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JUNE - JULY 2020 REVIEWS


NEW FOR JULY:

RED WINES

FRANCE - RED

2018 Thevenet & Fils, Bourgogne Rouge, Les Clos, Burgundy, France (S)
19.99/215.8
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This gorgeous soil-driven, single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Burgundy’s southern reaches is an absolute steal for its modest tariff. Jean-Claude Thevenet’s superb expressions of the Maconnais’ finest crus are always big hits with our discerning Burgundy clientele. This month we’re honored to present Thevenet’s rare red wine, sourced from a superbly situated single vineyard called Les Clos in the village of Bussieres. Sporting a translucent rusty garnet color in the glass, the 2018 Les Clos presents dusty mineral-driven aromas of cranberries, red raspberries, chalky earth, and rose petals. The wine’s suave Burgundian palate alternates notes of tart cherries and tangy raspberries framed by soft tannins, earthy rhubarb, and a persistent limestone soil signature. Bright minerals, balancing acidity, and appetizing notes of savory herbs carry the wine to its long finish. Pair now and over the next three years with poultry, pork, stews, and rich recipes featuring morel mushrooms.

WHITE WINES

FRANCE – WHITE

2016 Les Rocailles, Apremont, Savoie, France (S) 16.99/183.49

A true earthly paradise nestled in the French Alps, Apremont is one of the Savoie’s most hallowed villages, featuring cool, sub-alpine limestone slopes where the indigenous Jacquere grape reaches its greatest expression. Fashioned exclusively from the indigenous Jacquere grape, this low alcohol refresher from Les Rocailles brings to mind crisp Alpine breezes and pure mountain spring water. A gleaming lemon-gold in the glass with green reflections, Les Rocailles’ Apremont presents a lovely bouquet of citrus blossoms, greengage plums, fresh fennel, and limestone minerals. What follows is a crisp, crunchy palate expression of gooseberries, green apple skin, lemon balm, and freshly minced herbs. Bone dry and bristling with Alpine purity, this is 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 semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses from the Jura, Savoie, and Switzerland. Enjoy now and over the coming two years.

2018 Domaine des Guidoirs, Muscadet Sevre & Maine Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France (S)
11.50/124.20

For four generations, the Nouet family has nurtured its 57-acre estate located on the banks of the Sevre River. An unusually windy site, the prevailing currents layer Guidoirs’ vines with fresh salty sea breeze from the nearby Atlantic. Guidoirs’ Muscadet hails from Le Pallet, one of Muscadet’s finest crus, which features complex terroirs. Pale green-gold in the glass, Guidoirs’ Muscadet projects impressions of Williams pear skin and yellow plums infused with flint and saline minerals. Clean, zesty, and incisively dry on the palate, the wine conveys impressions of lime zest, green apples, quinine, and fresh ginger. Muscadet always delights as an aperitif, but it shines brightest when paired with briny oysters on the half-shell, pan-roasted mussels, flash fried razor clams, Dover sole, and sauteed green vegetables. Enjoy Guidoirs’ Muscadet now and over the coming five years.

PORTUGAL - WHITE

2019 Quinta de Porrais, Branco, Douro, Portugal 10.99/118.69

The terraced shale vineyards of the Douro are a sight to behold. Here the vines cling to precipitous hillsides and absorb the plenitude of minerals from the vineyards’ shallow soils. Grown at nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, Quinta de Porrais’s Branco – a blend of 65- to 80-year old Códiga do Lorinho (55%) and Rabigato (45%) – bristles with energy. Pale lemon-gold in the glass, Porrais’s 2019 Branco casts smoky, mineral-inflected aromas of green pineapple, honeydew melon, acacia, and orange blossoms. Invigorating on the palate, the wine’s brisk acidity propels a juicy core of green plum, papaya, and melon fruit. Floral notes and waves of smoky shale and schistose minerals reappear to segue the Branco to its long, clean finish. This is a stunning value as an everyday sipper or as a complement to green salads, picnic fare, sauteed zucchini, oysters on the half-shell, sashimi, steamed clams, and seafood tapas.

2018 Anselmo Mendes, Passaros, Loureiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal 11.99/129.49

Anselmo Mendes is highly sought after as a winemaking consultant by many of Portugal’s elite wine producers. At his home estate, Mendes takes Vinho Verde to the highest level by focusing on the region’s most characterful varietals as expressed from their most prestigious terroirs. Mendes’s 2018 Loureiro single-varietal Vinho Verde hails from the Lima River Valley where it thrives and reaches its apogee. Casting a brilliant straw-gold color, the wine opens with aromas of pear skin, chamomile, tarragon, and juniper. Juxtaposing brisk acidity with a fleshy texture, the Loureiro layers the palate with pear and lime fruit complicated by hints of quinine, kaffir lime leaf, and fresh ginger. Long, lingering, and seriously refreshing, the Passaros finishes with salty impressions of granitic soil, white grapefruit, and lemongrass. This is a unique and oh-so-satisfying expression of Vinho Verde for a pittance. Fans of Chenin, Riesling, Viognier, Albarino and Arneis should take special note and plan to pick up a case of this dynamite summer quaffer for enjoyment now and over the coming three years with shellfish, crustaceans, delicate fish dishes, and light potato and vegetable tapas.

SPAIN – WHITE

2019 Bodegas O’Ventosela, Treixadura, Gran Leirina, Ribeiro, Galicia, Spain (S)
16.99/183.49

Here’s another sensational wine from Galicia! Nestled at the eastern edge of Galicia, the Ribeiro DO is gaining steam as one of Spain’s most fascinating and compelling white wine regions. The Bodegas O’Ventosela’s Gran Leirina, crafted from Treixadura grown on granite in the Finca Traveselas vineyard, casts a shimmering green-glinted gold color followed by fascinating aromas of lemon pith, yellow melon, and high-toned minerals. Pure and expressive on the palate, the wine conveys impeccable balance amid crystalline impressions of green pineapple, Meyer lemon, and honeysuckle blossoms. The 2019 Gran Leirina finishes dry, mineral-driven, and bristling with acidity, while complex notes of quince, ginger, and menthol emerge as the wine lingers on the back-palate. We suggest pairing this delicious, versatile beauty now and over the coming two years with grilled octopus, potato tapas, bacalao, broiled swordfish, and tuna sashimi.

ROSE WINES

OREGON – ROSE

2019 Crowley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 17.99/194.29

This is a beautiful early glimpse into the gloriously pure 2019 Willamette Valley vintage! Winemaker Tyson Crowley continues his unbroken string of successes with this lovely, low octane, 12.5% alcohol rose crafted from a single dry-farmed and own-rooted block of Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir. A medium orange-tinted salmon color, Crowley’s 2019 rose opens with crisp aromas of tart cherries, pink grapefruit, watermelon rind, orchard blossoms, and crushed stones. Spicy, floral, and driven by savory, herbal red fruits, the wine combines the depth and garrigue of the best Provençal roses with the rose petal and mineral drive of the best roses from the Alto Piemonte. This is a brilliant Willamette Valley rose that commands food. Pair now and over the coming two years with fresh chevres, broiled salmon and steelhead, grilled chicken, seasonal squashes, and pork tenderloin.

FRANCE – ROSE

2019 Domaine Montrose Rose, Prestige, Cotes de Thongue IGP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (S) 16.99/183.49

The Domaine Montrose, impeccably run by Bernard and Olivier Coste, fashions its top-of-the-line Prestige rose from 70% old-vine Grenache and old-vine Rolle (a.k.a. Vermentino) planted on pebbly siliceous clay terraces. Reflecting a pale salmon-pink, Montrose’s Prestige Rose opens with limestone-driven aromas of red currants, golden raspberries, blood orange zest, white pepper, and jasmine blossoms. Fleshy yet incisive on the palate, the rose reveals a juicy kernel of pink grapefruit and tangerine followed by accents of bay leaf, lavender, and brown spices. This is truly an impressive rose that will thrill as a welcome wine, a leisurely warm weather sipper, or as a complement to grilled anchovies, barbecued chicken, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, summer veggie kebabs, and roast squab.

2019 Le Galantin Bandol Rose, Provence, France 18.99/205.09

This venerable Bandol estate crafts a superb rose with all the sun-drenched, herb-scented goodness that separate the finest Provencal roses from the rest of the pack. A pale copper-tinged peach-pink in the glass, Galantin’s rose – a blend of Mourvedre (50%), Cinsault, and Grenache – offers quintessential Provencal rose scents of sweet cherries, dried flowers, limestone, and herbes de Provence. Brisk yet fleshy, the wine conveys the warmth of the Mediterranean amid waves of fleshy cherry, orange zest, and red currant fruit accented by fragrant herbal garrigue. The wine tightens on the finish, presenting a bristling acid spine that amplifies the wine’s stony, dusty mineral undercurrent. As the rose blossoms in your glass, it gains aromatic complexity, precision on the palate, and additional savory texture. Try this beauty now and over the coming year with all sea fish preparations, grilled bread topped with tapenade, ratatouille, and barbecued chicken and ribs.

ITALY – ROSE

2019 Poggio Anima, Rosato, Raphael, Terre Siciliane IGP, Sicily, Italy (O)
13.99/151.09

This is the season’s most aromatic and floral rose wine! Poggio Anima’s Raphael is a classic Sicilian rosato composed of early-picked 80% Zibibbo with direct-pressed Syrah. The Zibibbo imparts aromas of jasmine, orange blossom, rose water, spicy cinnamon, sweet grapefruit, and candied ginger. The Syrah gives the rosato its color and lovely leathery undertones. Together, they make for the perfect picnic wine and a superb complement to spicy and assertive cuisines. Very versatile, Poggio Anima’s rosato will pair effortlessly with dry-rubbed ribs and chicken, shrimp fra diavolo, mild Indian biryanis, Middle Eastern tagines, Hawaiian pizza, and marinated lamb kebabs. Enjoy over the coming year to capture all its aromatic glory.


RED WINES

OREGON - RED

2017 Drouhin Oregon, Roserock, Pinot Noir, Zephirine, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Oregon (S) 53.99/553.94

From winemaker Veronique Drouhin: “The 2017 Zephirine has a wonderful nose with aromas of red berries, toast, herbs, and purple flowers that calls to mind the perfume of the Zephirine rose. There is complexity and layered flavors, with a round, almost juicy, central core of fruit. Flavors include crushed red berries, cassis, subtle vanilla, minerals, and cedar. Rich and generous, the texture is soft and silky with bright acidity and fine tannins. The finish is very elegant and long, suggesting that this Zephirine has an exciting story ahead. Sante!”

From James Suckling, Vinous: “This has a very impressive sense of density and power with such immaculate detail and definition, in terms of tannin and fruit. The aromas are in the spicy and floral zone with blue-fruit and leafy nuances. Deceptively elegant and convincingly excellent pinot noir. Drink across the next decade.” - 96 points

2018 Evesham Wood, Pinot Noir, La Grive Bleue, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon (O) 25.99/280.69

Evesham Wood’s La Grive Bleue (Western Bluebird) is sourced from organically farmed vines on the Evesham Wood estate. Transparent ruby in the bowl, Evesham Wood’s La Grive Bleue opens with classic Eola Hills aromas of black raspberries, black cherries, violets, and cloves. The wine is bright and generous on the palate, alternating waves of black raspberry fruit with complex notes of smoky minerals, tobacco, cinnamon, and allspice. Clean, focused, and impressively restrained, the wine finishes with fine, gripping tannins, and a hint of French oak. This is a lovely Eola Hills Pinot that drinks great right out of the chute but shows the poise and reserve to improve for another three to five years. Enjoy with classic Northwest fare, especially broiled salmon, rotisserie chicken, wild mushrooms, and quail. Look for the little bluebird in the lower right-hand corner of the label!

FRANCE – RED

2018 Domaine Dugois, Ploussard, La Sombarde, Arbois, Jura, France (S) 20.99/226.69

This terrific Ploussard from Domaine Dugois shows the variety’s enigmatic personality: it’s bright, juicy, and 100% approachable, yet there’s a kaleidoscope of latent complexity that will make it a surefire hit among the most discerning fans of Jura wines. Ploussard (Poulsard) is a delicious but finicky variety that’s a specialty of the Arbois sector of the Jura and a favorite of lovers of delicate, transparent, food-friendly reds. The 2018 Dugois La Sombarde reflects an orange-tinged garnet robe segueing to gorgeous aromas of pomegranates, wild cherries, red currants, and orange peel. Showing Ploussard’s approachable side, the wine reveals raspberry, red currant, and watermelon fruit buttressed by fine, savory tannins and complex hints of cinnamon, bay leaf, and nutmeg. A superb choice for a summertime red, enjoy Dugois’ delicious Ploussard now and over the coming five years with roast chicken, pork chops, morel mushrooms in a cream sauce, pates and terrines, gratin dauphinois, and tartiflette

2016 Chateau Recougne, Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux, France 14.99/161.89

Perched on a well-drained hillside near the border of Lalande-de-Pomerol, Chateau Recougne's siliceous clay soil is rich in iron oxides and an outstanding terroir for the cultivation of the noble red Bordeaux varieties. Casting an opaque black-plum color in the glass, Recougne’s 2016 Bordeaux Superieur – a blend of Merlot (78%), Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon – offers classic Right Bank aromas of plums, cherries, cassis, tobacco, cedar, and earth. Sporting plentiful fine tannins and a velvety texture, the wine blossoms on the palate with further suggestions of chocolate, herbs, and graphite minerals. Lovely notes of cassis and cigar box reemerge on the long, generous finish. We love the 2016 Bordeaux vintage and encourage you to buy this superb value by the case. It drinks impressively well now but will mature effortlessly over the coming five to seven years, developing additional complexity and nuance. Pair with roast beef, game birds, hearty roasts of lamb, and earthy braised lentils. “One of the best Bordeaux Superieurs money can buy…” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

2016 Domaine le Couroulu, Vacqueyras, Cuvee Classique, S. Rhone Valley, France 18.99/205.09

The Domaine le Couroulu is a superstar in its home village of Vacqueyras. Couroulu’s impressive portfolio of Southern Rhone wines is a frequent spotlight in these pages, and this month we’re again delighted to present the domaine’s old-school Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique. A blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (30%), and Mourvedre, Couroulu’s Classique presents an opaque rusty garnet color and textbook Vacqueyras aromas of Provençal cherries, ripe plums, bay leaf, and black peppercorns. Packed with flavor yet remarkably lithe, the wine layers the palate with spicy cherry fruit followed by complex notes of earth, game, leather, and herbal garrigue. Traditionally styled and showing all the elegance and grace of the classic 2016 vintage, Couroulu’s Classique finishes with fine, lip-dusting tannins and echoes of salumi, leather, and stony earth. This is a must-try selection for fans of traditional Southern Rhone wines. Enjoy this rustic beauty now and over the next five years with cured meats, mild sheep’s milk cheeses, braised beef or lamb with rosemary and olives, or with rich, slow-cooked ratatouille.

2018 Vignoble Musset Roullier, Anjou Rouge, Les Neuf Vingt, La Maturite de la Passion, Anjou, Loire Valley, France (S) 16.99/183.49

Located between Angers and Nantes, Musset Roullier’s vineyards lie in the tiny village of La Pommeraye, which enjoys diverse soils and a particularly warm microclimate. This warmer site blesses Musset Roullier’s Anjou Rouge with a silky texture and none of the green, herbal characteristics often found in the Cabernet Franc grape. Opaque black plum in the glass, Musset Roullier’s Anjou Rouge explodes with sun-warmed black cherry and cassis fruit accented by hints of leather, violets, button mushrooms, and stony minerals. Fresh and lively on the palate, notes of clove and spicy cinnamon mesh with perfectly ripe stone fruits, supple tannins, and backing expressions of dusty minerals. The wine finishes long and tangy, and will prove a lovely complement to rustic pates, fresh chevres, seared hanger steaks, grilled Portobello mushrooms, and barbecued ribs and chicken. Enjoy now and over the coming three years.

2013 Domaine Jean Deydier et Fils, Cotes du Rhone, Massif d’Uchaux, Rhone Valley, France 13.99/151.09  reg. 16.99

The Domaine Jean Deydier is renowned for its superb Chateauneuf-du-Papes bottled under the Les Clefs d’Or label. The same care and excellence that goes into Deydier’s Chateauneufs carries seamlessly into the domaine’s Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages bottling from the Massif d’Uchaux, just north of the town of Orange. Employing roughly equal parts of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault, the wine performs like a baby Chateauneuf, yet costs a fraction of the price. Translucent black-ruby in the glass, the wine casts smoky, spicy aromas of bay leaf, juniper, paprika, and cinnamon alongside hints of tar, violets, and wet stones. Fresh on the palate, the wine’s deep kernel of chewy Grenache fruit alternates with the tarry, leathery notes imparted by the Mourvedre and the supple, perfumed nature of the Cinsault. Plentiful fine, buffered tannins emerge on the back-palate and transition it to a long licorice, plum, cherry, and herb finish. Enjoy this comfortably priced Rhone rouge now and over the next five years with classic Southern French cuisine like rosemary-scented lamb and ratatouille; it will also perform beautifully as a pair with everyday fare like burgers, pastas, and pan-seared pork chops.

ITALY – RED

2018 Punta Crena, Rossese, Vigneto Isasco, Rivera Ligure di Ponente, Liguria, Italy 19.99/215.89 reg. 23.99

The rare Rossese grape – known as Tibouren in nearby Provence – is much beloved by the tiny number of producers who work with it and understand it. The Ruffino family has been tending vineyards on steep terraced hills above the Mediterranean for over 500 years. All the care, attentiveness, and backbreaking labor required to farm this site result in one of the most joyful and lighthearted reds you will encounter. Punta Crena’s 2018 Rossese Vigneto Isasco casts a transparent garnet robe with faint orange highlights followed by an utterly unique piquant, spicy nose that brings to mind bitter cherries, cranberries, rhubarb, lilac, and lemongrass. Juicy and bursting with cherry fruit, the wine seems infused with lavender, sandalwood, and rose potpourri, which imbues the wine with a compellingly delicious woodsy and herbal sensation we’ve never before encountered. A savory clay soil signature and lingering impressions of sweet cherries come to the fore on the wine’s long finish. Joyful and delicious yet seriously unique, enjoy Punta Crena’s Rossese as a light red with anchovies, fritto misto, pizza, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, and grilled vegetables.

SPAIN – RED

2017 Ramon Marcos Fernandez, Mencia, Cruceiro, Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain 14.99/161.89

Grown on steep, terraced granite slopes in far northern Spain, the Ribeira Sacra boasts a winemaking history dating back to Roman times. The difficulty of working these slopes caused many of the region’s finest vineyards to be abandoned in the 20th century. Fortunately for wine lovers, these terraced hillsides are being rediscovered and rededicated to the production of wine. Casting an opaque black plum robe, Fernandez’s Cruceiro presents pure, chewy black cherry and plum fruit lifted by tangy acidity and dissolved slate minerality. Smoky, earthy, suave, and gently tannic, the Cruceiro continues with persistent waves of smoky, slate-driven cherry fruit backed by suggestions of cinnamon, cracked black pepper, star anise, leather, and tobacco. This is a seriously delicious Mencia that drinks well today with heartier fare and will repay three to five years’ aging in your cool cellar. Enjoyable by itself, will also prove a lovely partner with roast pork, chorizo, paellas, tapas, grilled mushrooms, braised rabbit, and recipes featuring smoky pimenton.

2015 Vina Olabarri, Rioja Reserva, Spain 18.99/205.09

A perennial newsletter favorite, the great Olabarri estate is back with a masterpiece of a traditional Rioja Reserva. Opaque black cherry in the glass, Vina Olabarri’s 2015 Reserva unfurls with a classic Rioja nose of black plums, spicy cherries, cigar tobacco, vanilla, and salty minerals. Lush on the palate, this traditional Tempranillo (90%) and Graciano blend offers lip-smacking wild cherry and tart plum fruit complemented by hints of tobacco, button mushrooms, limestone soil, and classic Rioja barrel notes. Firm, food-friendly tannins emerge on the back palate to segue Olabarri’s Reserva to its impressively complex finish, featuring suggestions of cinnamon, sarsaparilla, and sandalwood. After two years in barrel and another year in bottle, this beauty is ready for your table served with meat tapas, grilled lamb, roast beef, burgers, vegetarian lasagna, and patatas bravas. While this Reserva is superb now, it has the structure and stuffing to age effortlessly for another decade or more. Superb!

SLOVENIA – RED

2015 Marof Estate, Breg Zweigelt, Prekmurje, Podravje, Slovenia 13.99/151.09

Austria’s favorite and most widely planted red wine grape, Zweigelt, finds another fascinating expression just across the border in the Prekmurje region of Slovenia. Sporting a deep black cherry color and explosive nose of cherry fruit, spicy game, Szechuan pepper and smoky soil, Marof’s 2015 Zweigelt is a classic and unusually affordable rendition of the variety. Fresh and meaty on the palate, the wine presents spicy black cherry and brambly black raspberry fruit followed by cheek-dusting tannins and impressions of peppery salumi, Szechuan peppercorns, leather and Crimini mushrooms. Marof’s Zweigelt finishes long, zesty, and peppery and will prove a lovely choice for a hearty warm weather red. Serve this beauty at cool cellar temperature and brace yourself for a mouthful of spice, game, pepper, and utterly delicious black fruits. Pair now and over the coming two years with barbecued ribs, pulled pork, hanger steaks, and grilled marinated Portobello mushrooms.


WHITE WINES

FRANCE – WHITE

2018 Chateau de Fontenille, Entre-deux-Mers Blanc, Bordeaux, France (S) 13.99/151.09

Visionary winemaker Stephane Defraine is defining what makes the wines of Bordeaux’s Entre-deux-Mers sector so special and so compelling. Defraine selects the coolest, most gravelly limestone and clay sites for his exemplary Entre-deux-Mers Blanc. A traditional White Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc (40%) and 20% each Sauvignon Gris, Semillon, and Muscadelle, the 2018 Blanc radiates gorgeous aromas of pink grapefruit, passion fruit, and white peaches. Brisk yet ample on the palate, the wine infuses a juicy kernel of grapefruit, mango, and tangerine with gravelly minerals and hints of green herbs. Notes of white pepper, basil, jalapeño, and flint emerge on the long, refreshing finish. This is superb, affordable, top-caliber white Bordeaux that will pair well with raw shellfish, broiled rainbow trout, sole meuniere, sauteed leafy vegetables, creamed spinach, and fresh chevres.

2017 Daniel Vergnes, Tursan, Les Pentes de Barene, Tursan, SW France (O) 14.99/161.89

The rare Tursan AOC is found in far southwestern France near Madiran, only 45 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. For his Les Pentes de Barene bottling, Daniel Vergnes blends indigenous Baroque (59%) and Gros Manseng (32%) grapes with the noble Sauvignon Blanc. Opening with a deep lemon-gold color, Vergnes’ Pentes de Barene casts aromas of pear skin, star fruit, sunflowers, and white pepper. Full and satisfying on the palate, suggestions of fleshy pears and Mirabelle plums are amplified by the wine’s resinous texture. The Tursan finishes rich and ample yet clean and focused, with fleshy yellow plum and apricot fruit mingling with suggestions of ginger and beeswax, all lifted and brightened by a salty mineral undercurrent. Enjoy now and over the coming year with shellfish, green salads, goat cheeses, and mild white-fleshed fish preparations.


2018 Arnaud Lambert, Saumur Blanc, Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg, Loire Valley, France (CO) 15.99/172.69

This is grand cru dry Chenin for a song! Arnaud Lambert is leading a revolutionary movement in the Central Loire Valley appellations of Saumur and Saumur-Champigny. Lambert’s goal is to spotlight each of his vineyard’s distinct terroirs and to express their potentials through organic viticulture and precise, minimal-intervention winemaking. Tuffeau is the yellow-tinged limestone that was quarried in times past to build the magnificent chateaux in the central Loire. Today, tuffeau is responsible for the equally magnificent Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs grown upon it. From tuffeau-rich soils, Lambert’s Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg casts classic Saumur Blanc aromas of Anjou pears, lanolin, chamomile, and perfumed yellow limestone. Brisk on the approach, the wine presents a silky mouthful of pear-driven Chenin fruit framed by smoky limestone minerals and nervy acidity. Pleasant notes of quince, cinnamon, and honeycomb emerge on the wine’s long pear and green apple-tinged finish, followed by a dusting of salty, lip-coating minerals. Pair this superb Chenin blanc now and over the coming three years with freshwater fish preparations, aged chevres, dishes featuring chanterelle mushrooms, and roast pheasant.

2018 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot, Macon-La Roche Vineuse, Clos de la Bressande, Burgundy, France (S) 15.99/172.69

Third-generation Burgundian vigneron Pierre-Emmanuel Sangouard spotlights the Clos de la Bressande cru’s superb aspect and classic clay-limestone soil to craft this delicious white Burgundy. A gleaming green-glinted golden color in the glass, Sangouard’s 2018 Clos de la Bressande brilliantly expresses its Maconnais origins with high-toned white Burgundy aromas of clay-limestone soil, lemon zest, and white peach skin. Crisp, brisk, and stony on the palate, the wine suffuses its juicy core of yellow plum, white peach, and Meyer lemon fruit with mineral undercurrents, buoying acidity, and complex undertones of browned butter, and raw hazelnuts. Vinified and aged in stainless steal to preserve its minerality, the wine finishes long and sumptuous with persistent echoes of its calcareous terroir. As with all selections in Sangouard’s portfolio, this is superb, terroir-driven white Burgundy, and, at its sub-$20 tariff, an unbelievable value. It will wow as a welcome wine as the days grow longer, and perform year ’round as a lovely foil for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

2017 Remoissenet, Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy, France (B) 25.99/280.69

Remoissenet is a terrific source for authentic, terroir-expressive Burgundies. Their superb 2017 Bourgogne Blanc – a blend of fruit from declassified, biodynamically-grown estate fruit from Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet – casts deep green-tinged lemon-gold in the glass followed by classic aromas of lemon zest, toasted hazelnuts, and limestone minerals. Crafted by Claudie Jobard, daughter of Laurence Jobard, the revered, long-time winemaker for Joseph Drouhin, Remoissenet’s Bourgogne Blanc fuses the flintiness of its Chablis component with the lifted limestone expression we so love from Puligny. Barrel notes of toffee, smoke, and vanilla segue the wine to a vibrant, full palate that resonates with impressions of pear skin, Golden Delicious apple, and acacia blossoms. Tensile minerality and tongue-tingling acidity carry the wine to its long, persistent finish. This is a superb Bourgogne Blanc that punches way above its weight class and delivers far more than its humble designation. Buy this beauty by the case to enjoy now with broiled salmon, mushrooms in a cream sauce, roast pork tenderloin or rich sausages, and to cellar three to seven years while the wine gains richness and texture.

2019 Domaine de l’Idylle, Cruet, Savoie, France (S) 13.50/17.99

Few wines offer this much distinctiveness, satisfaction, and deliciousness at such an affordable price tag. Cruet is a small Savoyard commune at the foot of Mont Blanc in southeastern France. With their low alcohol content, sensible price tags, and high refreshment quotients, the Savoie’s Jacquère-based wines are tops among our personal go-to wines for everyday enjoyment. Pale green-gold in the glass, l’Idylle’s Cruet explodes with brisk green apple, Williams pear, and lemon-lime fruit accented by honeysuckle, jasmine, savory, and wet stones. Bright and lively on the palate, notes of lemon zest, pear skin, and saline minerals accent the Cruet’s transparent core of crunchy orchard and citrus fruit. The wine finishes clean, bracing, energetic, and utterly delicious. We suggest offering this sensational value year ’round as a crowd-pleasing aperitif or, better yet, as a lovely partner to shellfish, crustaceans, sashimi, and white-fleshed fish. It will also be a terrific choice for pairing with scalloped potatoes, grilled squashes, fondues, and Savoyard cheeses such as raclette and tomme de Savoie.

PORTUGAL – WHITE

2017 Quinta das Bageiras, Bairrada Branco, Beiras, Portugal 13.99/151.09

Quinta das Bageiras is one of the few remaining fully traditional wineries in the Bairrada. Winemaker Mario Sergio follows strict ancestral methods by employing only native yeasts for his Branco and allowing the just-pressed must to settle 24-36 hours in large, open-topped glass decanters before being transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Reflecting a green-tinged lemon gold in the glass, Bageiras’s Branco – a blend of indigenous Maria Gomes (50%), Bical (40%), and Cerceal grapes – blossoms with delicious aromas of lemon zest, key lime juice, jasmine, and muskmelon. Brisk and zippy on the palate, white grapefruit, green plum, and green melon fruit mingle with salty, flinty minerals and impressions of fresh tarragon. The wine finishes bright and bursting with juicy citric acidity, begging to be paired with green vegetables and seafood. Enjoy now and over the coming two years with grilled summer squashes, broiled asparagus, salt cod fritters, fresh oysters, steamed clams, and delicate white-flesh fish preparations.

SPAIN – WHITE

2019 Arregi, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 14.99/161.89

Arregi, Portland’s first and among the most beloved Txakoli, is in classic form this vintage. Pale green-tinted lemon-gold in color, Arregi’s 2019 Txakoli features saline-driven aromas of key lime zest, fresh bay leaf, tarragon, and salty sea breeze. Fresh, zippy, and still sporting an appetizing dose of dissolved CO2, Arregi’s bright, zesty palate conveys expressions of green plums, green apple skin, gooseberries, and freshly cut grass. On the finish the wine adds notes of white grapefruit, quinine, and cardamom. Showing enough bristling acidity to stand up to even the most wine-challenging vegetables – even asparagus and green beans – Arregi’s Txakoli is a perfect fit for vegetable lovers and vegetarians who would love to have a vinous complement for their summer market vegetables. Enjoy this beauty all summer long and into the fall to capture its youthful brightness and vigor.


ROSE WINE

SPAINROSE

2019 Rezabal, Geteriako Txakolina Rose, Basque Country, Spain 14.99/161.89

Wow! This is the most savory and satisfying Txakoli rose in our experience. A gleaming copper-tinged pale salmon hue, Rezabal’s rose – an indigenous blend of Hondarrabi Beltza (80%) and Hondarrabi Zuri – presents a distinctively herbal, almost Cabernet Franc-like bouquet of green strawberries, rhubarb and earthy cranberries. The rose’s bright, zesty palate sports an appetizing dose of dissolved CO2 and conveys delicious expressions of pink peppercorns, watermelon, gooseberries, and salty minerals. Brisk and saline on the finish, the rose adds notes of tart pink grapefruit, vine smoke, and bitter herbs. We love this wine and plan to enjoy it served on its own all summer long. We also plan to pair it with summer vegetables, sushi, sashimi, grilled chicken and seafood, and vegetable and bean pintxos. A phenomenal and truly distinctive Txakoli rose!

March 21 was our last
in-store shopping day

For your safety and ours, we've ended in-store shopping and events until further notice.

We'll be staffed and following up on your calls and emails as they come in.

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We cannot accept cash payment at this time.

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Thanks for your patronage!

 

Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants
2222 NW Quimby Street Portland, Oregon

** NEW HOURS **
Tues.-Sat. 10-5

Map and Directions

e-mail

503-241-9463 (WINE)
1-800-903-9463 (WINE)

Curbside pickup during business hours: call from our parking lot


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

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