© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Availability and prices may have changed since the newsletter date.

 

SEPTEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

OREGON

2015 Crowley, Pinot Noir, La Colina Vineyard, Cuvee Liner & Elsen,
Willamette Valley, Oregon 39.99/431.89

Our sixth vintage of the Crowley La Colina Vineyard Cuvee Liner & Elsen Pinot Noir is the best yet! Sourced from a single barrel of Wadenswil clone, the wine presents complex scents of cherries, raspberries, rhubarb, Bergamot, rose petals, and a bouquet of savory herbs and citrus. On the palate a core of blackberries, raspberries, cherries, nectarines, and citrus is anchored by sturdy tannins, energizing acidity, and background notes of earth, chalk, and minerality. Further hints of nectarine and peach, plus an enduring finish marked by red fruits and spice, make the 2015 cuvee a very special wine. As delicious as it is now, the wine will benefit from 10-15 years of aging. This is a pre-release offer: the wine will be available in Fall 2017.
Also available: 375ml…20.99; magnums…84.99

FRANCE

2015 Domaine de la Petite Mairie, Bourgueil, Cuvee les Galluches,
Loire Valley, France 18.99/205.09

James Petit’s cuvee Les Galluches – named for the rocky, sandy soils that underlie the domaine – is crafted to fashion a wine of intense aromatics, subtle tannins, and immediate enjoyment. Translucent ruby in the glass, Petite Mairie’s Cuvee les Galluches offers full-throttle, classic Bourgueil aromas of cassis, wild cherries, Maduro tobacco, and stony soils. Warm and generous on the palate, tar and violet-scented currant fruit marries with fine tannins, a deep loam and gravel soil impression, and complex suggestions of tobacco, dried herbs, and licorice. Silky and supple yet buoyed by persistent dusty minerality and mouth-watering acidity, Petite Mairie’s Cuvee les Galluches finishes vibrant, pure, and begging to be paired now and over the coming three years with pates and terrines, fresh and medium-aged chevres, grilled bavette steaks, burgers, eggplant, and braises featuring rabbit or pork.

2012 Chateau de Campuget, 1753, Syrah, Costieres de Nimes,
S. Rhone Valley, France 12.99/140.29 reg. 15.99

Campuget’s 1753 is named for the year found on an ancient document recently discovered at the chateau. Accordingly, the 1753 represents the very finest expression of Campuget’s wines: 100% Syrah unencumbered by oak, which allows the pure potential of the grape and terroir to speak. Black-plum in the glass, the wine bursts with aromas of blackberries, blueberries, tar, leather, and sappy wild herbs. Broad on the palate, the wine layers delicious suggestions of boysenberries, burnished leather, lavender, and violets. Chewy cherry and currant fruit yield to a stony soil undercurrent and a lingering note of Belgian chocolate. Syrah fans will delight in the wine’s authentic expression of the grape; Southern Rhone fans will love its Chateauneuf-like stony soil signature; and all fans of rich, hearty red wines will love the way the 1753 pairs with roast leg of lamb, potato casseroles, garlicky tapenades, ratatouille, and dishes spiked with anchovies. Enjoy this terrific value-play Syrah now and over the next two years. Limited.

2014 Domaine Andre Berthet-Rayne, Cairanne, Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages, Tradition, S. Rhone Valley, France (O) 15.99/172.69

Employing organic viticulture, hand harvesting, superbly situated old vines, and traditional methods in the cellar, Berthet-Rayne is fashioning lush, full-throttle Cairannes that combine old-school character with modern accessibility. Crafted primarily from old-vine Grenache with dollops of Syrah and Carignan, Berthet-Rayne’s 2014 Cairanne Tradition opens with a classic translucent black-plum color and heady aromas of black raspberries, wild cherries, black pepper, lavender, and clove. Spicy and understated on the attack, the wine blossoms on the palate to reveal a deep core of bitter cherry and crunchy red currant fruit accented by notes of dried herbs, leather, and cinnamon stick. On the finish, the sappy fruit expression meshes with just enough ripe, framing tannins and a persistent undercurrent of smoky terroir. At this price, Berthet-Rayne’s delicious and thoroughly satisfying Cairanne is a wine to buy by the case to enjoy now and over the coming five years with roast lamb, grilled burgers, ratatouille…just about anything that calls for a hearty red wine.

2006 Chateau Capbern Gasqueton, Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux, France 27.99/302.29

Saint-Estephe is one of the Medoc’s premier winegrowing appellations. Located in its northern sector, Saint-Estephe is separated from the more-famous Pauillac by a mere stream. Here the soils feature more clay and produce a more elegant style of wine. Chateau Capbern Gasqueton, owned by the prestigious Calon Segur estate, blends Cabernet Sauvignon (68%) with Merlot (31%) and Petit Verdot to craft this delicious, approachable claret. Opaque black plum in the glass, the 2006 Capbern Gasqueton casts classic Medoc aromas of black currants, pencil lead, tobacco, and mint. Voluptuously textured on the palate, the blend fuses sumptuous, cassis-tinged Cabernet notes with velvety, chocolaty Merlot impressions. Fine tannins sneak in mid-palate to add lift and transition the wine to its long, layered finish, featuring vanilla, woodruff, and a hint of brown spices. This is terrific claret and a steal for its pedigree. Enjoy now and over the coming decade with prime rib, roast lamb, herbed eggplant, and hearty lentil preparations.

2013 Clos Siguier, Cahors, Vieilles Vignes, Les Camille, Southwestern France (O) 16.99/183.49

The fashionable Malbec grape finds its historical home and greatest expression in southwestern France’s Cahors appellation. Cahors is divided into two distinct zones: the heavy soils by the Lot River, which produce dark, tannic wines, and the lesser-known, better-drained terroir on the flat terraces above. Clos Siguier’s wines hail from the latter sector, and express the lighter, brighter, more savory side of Cahors. Opaque black plum in the glass, the Clos Siguier’s old-vine 100% Malbec Les Camille cuvee explodes with vivid aromas of black cherries, cardamom, licorice, and dried herbs. Emphasizing lighter soils and higher altitude, the Clos Siguier conveys a bright, vibrant core of cassis and black raspberries layered with suggestions of earthy morel mushrooms, black tea, and cracked black peppercorns. Bright acidity and fine tannins join the wine’s transparent kernel of black fruits mid-palate and segue the wine to its full, satisfying, herb-tinged finish. This is a most approachable, focused, soil-transparent, and immediately satisfying Cahors that also has the poise to repay time in the cellar. Enjoy now and over the next five years with hearty stews, mushroom dishes, burgers, lentils, casseroles, and other rustic fare.


ITALY

2015 I Vini di Emilio Bulfon, Piculìt Neri delle Venezia, IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy (S) 14.99/161.89

Emilio Bulfon, who specializes in lesser-known, indigenous varieties of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia, aims to “bring back to life the ancient vines that seemed to have disappeared, overwhelmed by undergrowth and human neglect.” Hallelujah! Bulfon’s 100% Piculìt Neri casts a translucent plum-ruby robe followed by inviting aromas of black cherries, chestnuts, cinnamon-tinged potpourri, and dusty earth. Warm and fleshy on the attack, Bulfon’s Piculìt Neri tenses mid-palate with brightening acidity and suggestions of Bing cherries, huckleberries, violets, and vanilla bean. Long, compelling and splendidly balanced, Bulfon’s Piculìt Neri finishes with further notes of wild blueberries, nutmeg, and appetizing tannins. This is the surprise wine of the newsletter – and a steal to boot! It’s a lovely, late-summer red, and will drink well year ’round with roast game, rabbit stew, charcuterie, and rich mushroom ragoûts.

2012 Arnaldo Caprai, Montefalco Rosso, Umbria, Italy (S) 19.99/215.89

In the heart of Umbria, south of Tuscany in central Italy, the Montefalco region has a long and successful history with Sangiovese, as well as with its own special varietal, Sagrantino. The Arnaldo Caprai estate is Montefalco’s guiding light, and its benchmark Sagrantino wines are among the most distinctive, backward, and highly sought-after of all Italian wines. Caprai’s 2012 Montefalco Rosso fuses the Sangiovese’s (70%) bright cherry and leather notes with Sagrantino’s (15%) dark, smoky mineral expression and Merlot’s (15%) velvety plum and chocolate notes. Translucent black-ruby in the glass, Caprai’s Montefalco is a big, chewy, and satisfying red with a beautiful floral top note, loads of character, and plenty of cellaring potential. Perfect for grilled foods, salumi, and hearty cuisine, we suggest enjoying this palate staining, rustic-yet-polished red now or over the coming five years with freshly sliced salami, cured meats, rustic pasta dishes, and grilled mushrooms, eggplant, beef, pork, and lamb.

WHITE WINES

FRANCE

2016 Chateau de la Jousseliniere, Perle Bleue, Gros Plant du Pays Nantais Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France (S) 8.99/97.09

The Pays Nantais are the environs around the western Loire Valley city of Nantes, home to Muscadet and its lesser-known cousin, Gros Plant. Gros Plant is also the varietal known as Folle Blanche, the base of the finest Cognacs and Armagnacs just a short hop to the south. Rarely seen outside its home base, the Gros Plant is drunk with gusto in the Nantais and employed as a proud entry to producers’ extensive portfolios. Pale lemon-gold in the glass, Jousseliniere’s Gros Plant offers aromas of straw, white currants, golden raspberries, lemon pith, gardenia blossoms, and wintergreen. Laser focused in the mouth, the wine refreshes and enlivens the palate with citrus and white berry fruit expressions lifted by brisk acidity and persistent minerality. The neutral Gros Plant varietal allows the briny air of the Atlantic Loire to fuse effortlessly with the region’s diverse soils. The combination makes for easy, economical, and completely satisfying drinking over the coming three years with clams, mussels, oysters, crab, halibut, green squashes, or lightly dressed salads and braised leafy greens like chard and kale.

2016 Les Rocailles, Apremont, Vin de Savoie Vieilles Vignes, Savoie, France (S) 16.99/183.49

Like the Cotes du Rhone-Villages, the Vin-de-Savoie A.O.P. allows certain outstanding villages to append their names to lend special emphasis to the wines. Apremont is one such exemplary village in the Savoie. Fashioned exclusively from the indigenous Jacquere grape, this low-alcohol refresher brings to mind crisp Alpine breezes and pure mountain spring water. A gleaming lemon-gold in the glass with green reflections, the 2016 Les Rocailles Apremont presents an impressive bouquet of pineapple, greengage plums, passion fruit, and flinty minerals. On the palate, the Apremont follows with crunchy expressions of green pineapple, pippin apples, mint, and chalky minerals. Dry and refreshing, this is simply a glorious white for year ’round enjoyment as an aperitif. It will also make a fantastic complement to smoked trout, white-fleshed fish dishes in a beurre blanc sauce, oysters, salads, fondue, and cheese plates featuring Tomme de Savoie, young Gruyere, and other semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses from the Jura, Savoie, and Switzerland. Enjoy now and over the coming two years.

2016 Coralie et Damien Delecheneau, La Grange Tiphaine, Bel Air,
Touraine-Amboise, Loire Valley, France (B) 15.99/172.69

From seventy-year-old, biodynamically-grown vines on red clay, flint and limestone soils, Coralie and Damien Delecheneau craft this organic Chenin Blanc masterpiece. A medium lemon-gold hue, Delecheneau’s Bel Air opens with gorgeous aromas of Comice pear, cinnamon-tinged tarte Tatin, and a flinty silex soil signature. Coiled and pulsing with energy, the Bel Air blossoms on the palate to reveal notes of Golden Delicious apples, white meadow flowers, apricot skin, pineapple, quinine, and gunflint. Clean, fresh, and alternating sensations of tension and sumptuousness, the Bel Air finishes taut and dry with reprises of crunchy pear fruit, sappy fresh herbs, and smoky flint terroir. A fantastic wine and a must-try for Loire Valley fans, this is transparent, soil-driven Chenin that vividly magnifies the special soils of the Touraine’s Amboise sector. Enjoy now and over the coming five years with shellfish, crustaceans, steak fishes, white-fleshed fish preparations, fresh chevres, and sauteed squashes.

2015 Pierre Vessigaud, Macon-Fuisse, Le Haut de Fuisse, Burgundy, France (O) 19.99/215.89

Surrounded on all sides by the more prestigious vineyards of Pouilly-Fuisse, Pierre Vessigaud farms his Le Haut de Fuisse from a special vineyard site at the top of the Fuisse hills. The site’s high altitude imparts superb minerality and cut to this overachieving Macon, while Vessigaud’s insistence on fermenting exclusively on indigenous yeasts yields textural richness and shimmering top notes. Brilliant lemon-gold in the glass, the wine yields aromas of dry roasted hazelnuts, toffee, lemon curd, and limestone dust that emerge with aeration. Hints of tart green apples, sweet butter, and hazelnut brittle greet the palate before flinty limestone terroir and brisk acidity segue the wine to its fresh, complex, and extraordinarily food-versatile finish. Serve Vessigaud’s Haut de Fuisse as a terrific warm-up wine at your autumn gatherings, or pair it now and over the coming five years with salmon, halibut, steelhead, or richly-sauced fish recipes. Here’s a superb and comfortably priced White Burgundy with a transparent soil expression that leaves no doubt about its unique and distinctive chalk, clay, and limestone origins.

2015 Paul Pernot, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France 26.99/291.49

Good for us, and good for you. After we sold out the first thirty cases, another twenty magically appeared! Pernot’s Bourgogne Chardonnay gives a delicious glimpse into the buzz surrounding the lauded 2015 Burgundy vintage. Based in the hallowed village of Puligny-Montrachet, Paul Pernot and his sons issue some of the appellation’s most sought-after wines. Fashioned from declassified Puligny-Montrachet vines on the Meursault border, Pernot’s blanc opens with limestone-driven, Burgundian impressions of golden plums, white peaches, lime marmalade, toffee, hazelnuts, and meadow flowers. The palate conveys both Meursault’s rich, golden buttery lemon curd nuances and Puligny’s silvery, tensile precision. Long, sappy, and showing extra depth and breadth in the 2015 vintage, the wine finishes rich, elegant, and suave with ineffable echoes of Burgundian limestone minerality. Throughout, the wine gives a sense of purity, richness and soil transparency rare for a Bourgogne blanc at such an affordable tariff. Very limited, so be sure to call early to secure your case of this beauty. Enjoy it now and over the coming seven years with roast pork, veal, poultry, and gratin dauphinois. Too good to miss!

2014 Kientzler, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France 13.50/145.80

A frequent feature in these pages, Kientzler’s delicious 2014 Pinot Blanc again knocked us out. Andre Kientzler and his sons, Thierry and Eric, are producing delicious textbook, character-filled wines from all of Alsace’s noble varieties. Best of all, they are available for extremely affordable prices given their quality. A pale straw-gold in the glass, Kientzler’s Pinot Blanc offers aromas of fresh lemons, white meadow flowers, pear skin, and menthol. In the mouth, the wine balances the richness of fleshy Mirabelle plum fruit with crisp lemony acidity and deft hints of freshly squeezed ginger and citrusy lemongrass. Kientzler’s 2014 Pinot Blanc finishes crisp, clean, and driven by its mineral undercurrent. It’s always a joy to offer a superb Pinot Blanc that offers this much character, finesse and balance for such a modest tariff. Enjoy now and over the coming three years with roast turkey breast, salmon, halibut, duck, green vegetable souffles, and, of course, choucroute garni.


ITALY

2015 Cantine Segesta, Vermentino, Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino, Liguria, Italy 13.50/145.80

Sestri Levante (Segesta Tigulliorum in Latin) is ancient maritime town situated on a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea about 35 miles south of Genoa. Here Sergio Sanguineti traditionally vinifies a 100% Vermentino from vines grown at 150 meters right on the coast of eastern Liguria. A deep, medium gold in the glass, Segesta’s Vermentino fills the senses with a bouquet of pear skin, tangerine, fresh quince, and salty sea spray. Impressively taut on the palate, the wine conveys a chewy core of yellow plums and star fruit complicated by herbal notes of camphor and sorrel. Long and bracing, the Vermentino finishes with notes of iodine, fennel, rosemary, quinine and sappy pine tips. Thoroughly conveying its maritime origins, this is a must-try selection for all things seafood, especially steak fishes like swordfish and tuna. It will also pair well with pastas dressed in a basil pesto sauce. Enjoy now and over the coming three years. Fascinating wine!

2016 Tenuta le Velette, Orvieto Classico, Berganorio, Umbria, Italy 12.50/135.00

The dynamic Tenuta le Velette produces one of Orvieto’s most exciting portfolios. Orvieto, one of Umbria’s most renowned white wines, is at its best when made from fruit grown on tufaceous soils and bedrock in the region’s Classico zone. Fashioned from a blend of Trebbiano (30%), Grechetto (30%), Malvasia Bianco (20%), Verdello, and Drupeggio, Le Velette’s Berganorio casts a bright lemon-gold color from the glass, followed by aromas of kiwi, green melon, honeysuckle blossoms, cinnamon, and wet stones. Crisp and brisk on the palate, the Berganorio conveys suggestions of lime zest, green apple, honey, and ground cinnamon. On the finish, the wine is long, dry, and persistent with further suggestions of citrus zest, pinesap, and an appetizing hint of almond skin. Enjoy the Berganorio now and through the coming year served with shellfish, freshwater fish dishes, light poultry preparations, white pasta dishes, sauteed green vegetables, and fresh cheeses.

2016 Cantina Girlan, Pinot Grigio, Sudtirol, Alto Adige, Italy 14.99/161.89

2016 is shaping up to be a beautiful vintage for northern Italian white wines. Alto Adige sits on Italy’s border with Austria and the intense, mineral-driven Austrian influence is immediately evident in Girlan’s lovely Pinot Grigio. The wine opens with a brilliant pale lemon-gold color. Swirl it to reveal aromas of green apples, meadow flowers, and limestone soil. The mouthfeel is at once crisp and bracing with notes of juicy fresh lemons and crushed stones, while also being satisfyingly deep with notes of pineapple, Mirabelle plums, and ripe pears. Finishing snappy and long, the wine leaves the palate with brisk, appetizing expressions of white pepper, fresh tarragon, and smoky limestone minerals. This is a terrific Pinot Grigio that will pair nicely with salmon, Dover sole, brook trout, quiches, grilled zucchini, and other lighter fare. Drink now or over the next two years.

LINER & ELSEN
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FRIDAY TASTINGS:
First and third Friday
of the month
5:30-7:30 p.m. - Fee*

Sept. 1
Celebrate the resurgence of Hungarian wines!

Sept. 15
A taste of lovely red, white, and rose wines from Bandol.

Oct. 6
Great wines from Italy’sValle d’Aosta.


SATURDAY TASTINGS:
Weekly; Starts at
12 noon - No fee

Sept. 2
From France:
Delecheneau La Grange Tiphaine Bel Air, Pierre Vessigaud Macon-Fuisse, and Dom. de la Petite Mairie Bourgueil Cuvee les Galluches.

Sept. 9
Italian Beauties:
Tenuta le Velette Orvieto Berganorio, Cantine Segesta Vermentino, Cantina Girlan Pinot Grigio, I Vini di Emilio Bulfon Piculìt Neri, and Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso.

Sept. 16
Viva La France:
Ch. de la Jousseliniere Perle Bleue, Les Rocailles Apremont, Dom. Berthet-Rayne Cairanne, and Ch. Capbern Gasqueton St.-Estephe.

Sept. 23
French wines:
Kientzler Pinot Blanc, Paul Pernot Bourgogne Chardonnay, Ch. de Campuget Syrah 1753, and Clos Siguier Cahors Les Camille.

Sept. 30
An Italian shoot-out!
Three tables of great Italian wines.


SPECIAL EVENTS AT L&E:

Henrique & Henrique Madeira Seminar with Jake Parrott of Haus Alpenz Wine & Spirits

Tuesday, Sept 19
6:30 p.m. sharp

Cocktail and Madeira meister Jake Parrott is back in town! This is your chance to experience one of the most knowledgeable and entertaining wine and spirits maestros in the U.S.

Jake will do a whirlwind tour of the different styles of Henrique & Henrique Madeira – Sercials, Verdelhos, Boals, Malvasias – and some very rare releases.

Jake is a whole lotta fun, and this event will tickle your toes! Seating is limited and pre-payment is required. Contact L&E, or purchase your seats online.
Price per seat: $60.

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An Evening of Walla Walla Wines from K Vintners

Tuesday, Sept. 26
5:30-7:00 p.m.

Please join Theresa Schlecta from K Vintners for a tasting of wines from one of Walla Walla’s most celebrated wineries.

This is an informal tasting, and no reservations are necessary. Tasting fee: $10.

 



B = biodynamic methods; CO = certified organic; O = organic; S = sustainably farmed


© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Information and prices apply during the current month only. Wine availability and prices are subject to quantity on hand. We are not responsible for mispriced items in the newsletter.