Sunday Sippers – Two From France

March 29th, 11-5

This Sunday we’ll have two wines from France open for sampling – an Alsace from the Northeast of France, and a Cabernet from the South. Come give them a try.

 

2013 Hugel Gentil            ($14)
This wine revives an ancient Alsace tradition that wines assembled from noble grape varieties were called “Gentil”. Gentil “Hugel” allies the suave, spicy flavor of Gewurztraminer, the body of Pinot Gris, the finesse of Riesling, the grapiness of Muscat and the refreshing character of Sylvaner. Very yummy.
12.5% by volume

 

 

2012 Fortant Coast Select    ($10)
Cabernet Sauvignon
A Languedoc Cabernet that for some reason they want to look like it came from California. The wine features an intense nose with notes of blueberry and violet. Round and juicy on the palate with lovely flavors of freshly picked black fruit.

 

 

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Get your Chores Done and Clean Up

The clouds have come back to mix in with our beautiful weather.  But it is a great weekend to get your chores done, like a little Spring Cleaning

Saturday we’re pouring some great wines at special prices that our distributors have cleaned out of their warehouse.  Now it’s your turn to clean up.  Get your chores done and have come have a taste.

Sunday we’ll be sampling some new arrivals.  We’ve got two new French wines lined up to try.

2013 Hugel, Gentil  $14
This wine revives an ancient Alsace tradition that wines assembled from noble grape varieties were called “Gentil”.  Hugel’s Gentil allies the suave, spicy flavor of Gewurztraminer, the body of Pinot Gris, the finesse of Riesling, the grapiness of Muscat and the refreshing character of Sylvaner.  A very yummy combo.

2012 Fortant, Coast Select  $10
Cabernet Sauvignon
A Languedoc Cabernet that for some reason they want to look like it came from California.  The wine features an intense nose with notes of blueberry and violet. Round and juicy on the palate with lovely flavors of freshly picked black fruit.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Spring Cleaning

Saturday, March 28th, 2pm

Spring is our favorite time of year.  Not only does it bring the blossoms and flowers, but it is also the time when our distributors stroll through their warehouses and decide what wine they need to move to make room for their coming shipments.  They want to clean out and we like to clean up.  This Saturday we’ll be pouring a selection of these tidy offerings.  Come by and sweep some up for yourself.

2011 Domaine de Pignan, Château Neuf Blanc  $22
40% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 20% Rousanne, 10% Bourboulenc, 5% Picpoul, 5% Picardan
A full and layered CNDP Blanc with complex herbal and honeydew melon notes.  Often eclipsed by their rouge counterpart, Château Neuf blancs should not be overlooked.  Was $37 now $22

2013 Pélaquié Tavel Rosé  $15
60% Grenache, 40% Cinsault
From an old family winery, (16th century) this blend of Grenache and Cinsault is full, generous with aromas of “scrubland” read herbal and fruity with a touch of tannin. But the next shipment is coming. . .Was $20 now $15

2009 Ronchi Terle, Barbera D’Alba  $20
Sweet perfumes of a just-baked cherry pie; abundant spices that remind of a lively Moroccan market. “Terlé” grows on similar soils as does the family’s Barbaresco, and is raised with equal care. 100% barrel aged, with 30% new wood. Outstanding vigor and silky balance, with penetrating, limpid flavors of black cherry and cranberry. Excellent length, with a peppery finish that keeps on giving.  Was $24 now $20

2007 Château Gigault, Cuvee Viva  $12
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Côtes de Blaye
The Cuvee Viva is lush, seductive, ripe, dark and full-bodied – scented with black olive and dried herbs, notes of coffee and cacao; silky soft with an iron and mineral finish. 2007 was a cooler vintage, but the wine is tasting great right now.  Was $25 now $12 

2011 Notre Dame des Pallières, Les Ribes Rasteau  $13
75% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault.
Fuller-bodied, dry. This wine has a youthful purple color and a complex nose of clove and earthy tobacco. The palate is full of dark plum, mocha, and licorice followed by a very long finish of fine tannins. Was $17 now $13

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Sunday Sippers

Two Under the Radar Washington Wines

March 22rd, 11-5

Who says you can’t find Washington wines are reasonable prices. Sunday we’ll be pouring two Washington wines that have gone mostly unnoticed. Stop by and take note.


2011 Upland Estates, Gewurztraminer $10
“Upland Winery,” was Eastern Washington’s first winery and cultivated its first plantings on Snipes Mountain in 1917. In 1934, they started commercially making wine unfortified wine out of European grape varieties. Some things have changed since then but the Upland Estates still farms some of those original vineyards. Their Gewurztraminer is dry and nicely complex with a pleasant mix of herbs and spice notes.

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Airfield Estates, Dauntless $15
72% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet FrancAirfield Estates is located on an old air base (founded Pre World War II by the Olympic Transport Company) at the foothills of the Rattlesnake Mountains, near Sunnyside, WA. Seeing the agricultural promise of the location, H. Lloyd Miller purchased the air base at auction and for four generations the Miller family has farmed the surrounding area, planting its first vines in 1968 (most of that being sold to Chateau St. Michelle until recently.) An estate grown red blend, the Dauntless has aromas of plum & spice, the palate is full bodied with smooth tannins, soft oak and flavors of black cherry and spice.

 

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Spring is Here

It’s official.  After the warmest winter in memory, Spring is here.  And it looks like a mix of everything for the first weekend of Spring, with blossoms blowing everywhere, intermittent sowers and breaks of sunshine.  At Madrona Wine Merchants we are mixing it up as usual.

Saturday we’re tasting some organic wines of Terre Rouge and Easton Cellars.  Even though it has two names this is one winery that grows organic grapes in Amador county in the Sierra Foothills of California.  Bill Easton’s wines are worth checking out.  We start at 2.

Sunday, all day, we’re pouring two under the radar wines from Washington State. These low flying wines deliver big taste and good value.

2011 Upland Estates, Gewurztraminer $10
“Upland Winery,” was Eastern Washington’s first winery and  cultivated its first plantings on Snipes Mountain in 1917.  In 1934, they started commercially making wine unfortified wine out of European grape varieties.  Some things have changed since then but the Upland Estates still farms some of those original vineyards.  Their Gewurztraminer is dry and nicely complex with a  pleasant mix of herbs and spice notes.

2012 Airfield Estates, Dauntless $15
72% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Airfield Estates is located on an old air base (founded Pre World War II by the Olympic Transport Company) at the foothills of the Rattlesnake Mountains, near Sunnyside, WA. Seeing the agricultural promise of the location, H. Lloyd Miller purchased the air base at auction and for four generations the Miller family has farmed the surrounding area, planting its first vines in 1968 (most of that being sold to Chateau St. Michelle until recently.) An estate grown red blend, the Dauntless has aromas of plum & spice, the palate is full bodied with smooth tannins, soft oak and flavors of black cherry and spice.

Breeze on in and have a sip.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

California Original…

the wine of Terre Rouge & Easton Cellars,

Saturday, March 21st, 2pm

Bill Easton started his winery in 1986 on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley.  His Terre Rouge wines focuses on classic Rhône varieties while Easton Cellars he uses for traditional California varietals.  “Terre Rouge” means red soil, which can be found in the volcanic and granitic soils of the vineyard.  The Estate is sustainably & organically farmed, the winery is solar powered and the uses recycled glass.  They also have estate owls on the property for rodent control.  Bill prefers organic farming. “With organic farming you are growing the soil and not just growing the plants.”  Stop in on Saturday and try these original wines from Amador.

2012 Easton Sauvignon Blanc Monarch Mine Vineyard  $17
Monarch Mine Vineyard is planted on a rocky site at 2500’with two clones of Sauvignon Blanc, Clone One (brisk) and Musque (floral, viscous).  The wine is co-fermented then aged for nine months in neutral French oak barrels on lees before bottling.  It does not undergo malolactic fermentation and therefore retains its delicious crispness. Its brisk mineral and key lime notes are rounded out by casaba melon and papaya flavors.

2011 Terre Rouge, Tete a Tete $19
The Tete a Tete is blended from more forward lots of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache, with meaty, smoky, spicy complex characteristics.  “This easy drinking Rhône blend is the perfect wine to have a head to head, or heart to heart conversation with your best friend.

2011 Terre Rouge Cotes L’Ouest Syrah $18
The Cotes L’Ouest is Blended from 60 % lower elevation sites with 40% high elevation vineyards.  The wine has a clean purity of Syrah fruit that is reminiscent of a St. Joseph in the Northern Rhône. It is lush and supple with key notes of raspberry, smoke, pepper, and cinnamon.

2012 Easton Zinfandel  $18
The Easton Zin is blended from 25, 40, 60 and 80 year old vines, then aged in new and aged French oak for 10 months.  It is easy drinking and soul satisfying.  The 2012 has full black cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with a beautiful balance and a big, sumptuous, and juicy mouth feel. It also presents complex spicy aromas, with a nice creamy texture.

2011 Terre Rouge Mourvèdre Mourvedre $28
The Terre Rouge Mourvèdre is made with long lees contact to help broaden and fill the middle palate with great textural sensations. It’s like a true Bandol without the funk. The classic game, meat, smoke, blackberry characteristics of Mourvèdre is the perfect match for wild game, leg of lamb with olives, and smoked sausages. The 2011 was voted Mourvèdre of the Year by Wine and Spirits Magazine.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Sunday Sippers – Vive La France,

March 15th, 11-5

Jim will be pouring some of his favorite French wines while Mark is at the Hōnen Matsuri Festival in Komaki, Japan. These two just arrived in shop and we are excited to share them with you.

2011 Dubois & Fils Hautes Côtes de Nuits   ($)
Pinot Noir
This Haute Côte has a bouquet of flowers and red fruits. The fruit aromas are well balanced with a few “animal” flavors. It will develop with a few years in the cellar. 12.5% by volume

2007 Château Gigault Cuvee Viva
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Côtes de Blaye
The Cuvee Viva is lush, seductive, ripe, dark and full-bodied – scented with black olive and dried herbs, notes of coffee and cacao; silky soft with an iron and mineral finish. 2007 was a cooler vintage. 13% by volume

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

South American Specialties,

Saturday, March 14th, 2pm

One of the intriguing things about wine is that a number of them (the ones we like) are unique to place.  This Saturday we’ll be showing off some unique wines from Argentina and Chile that are from nowhere else.  The grapes all originated elsewhere, but they have all found new homes in South America.  Come taste the distinctness.
 
2013 Cousino Macul, Isidora, Savignon Gris  $17
This is a unique white, one which is something of a specialty at Cousiño Macul. Chile’s oldest winery brought vine cuttings from the Graves region of Bordeaux in the mid-19th Century.  Philoxera later wiped out all The Sauvignon Gris in France, but the vine thrived in Chile’s Maipo Valley.  Sauvignon Gris is a relative to Sauvignon Blanc, but produces wines a little bit fatter, richer, with less tendency towards grassiness, with aromas of wildflowers, citrus and spice and showing more body and richer texture than its Sauvignon Blanc cousin.
 
2013 Tilia, Torrontes $10
This winery takes its name after the Tilia (Linden) tree commonly found throughout Argentina’s wine country, the flowers of which make an herbal tea.  Tilia is dedicated to sustainability practicing water conservation and reuse, minimal use of pesticides and organic fertilization.  The grapes for the Torrontes come from vineyards in Cafayate and Salta- North of Argentina.  It is a floral white with citrus and apricot flavors and clean acidity.
 
2012 Leyda Pinot Noir $16
Leyda winery discovered and developed the Leyda Valley viticultural region of Chile; pioneering its cool, coastal viticulture, including this expressive and fruit driven, cold climate style of Pinot Noir.  The wine showcases red fruit with spiciness and floral notes. In the mouth it is fruity, juicy and fresh, with good acidity. The tannins are soft, sweet and well rounded.
 
2013 ReNacer, Punto Final, Malbec Clasico $11
Bodega ReNacer is built around environmentally sustainability, being the first winery in Argentina to use solar energy and to offset carbon emissions and certify its Carbon Footprint.  The Punto Final comes in an eco-friendly bottle, with a lighter weight (15% less glass, reduced carbon emissions), and a recyclable carton case.  The fruit for the Punto Final comes from 50 year old vines in Uco Valley, Luján de Cuyo and Medrano.  The final point has lots of good plush fruit (blackberry, blueberry and cassis) and a touch of oak.
 
2011 ReNacer Enamore $29
Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, and Cabernet Franc
Enamore is a twist on the word Amarone.  It is made using the appasimento technique (drying the grapes to increase their concentration) Amarone style.  The Enamore offers supple aromas of ripe plums and blackberries, interlaced with aromas of dried figs and raisins, with notes of vanilla, cocoa, and sweet tobacco. These aromas carry through to the palate where they are joined by toasty oak and sweet cinnamon. This is a full-bodied wine, rich and complex, with finely grained tannins and a long, opulent finish.


Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Sunday Sippers

A Rosé Is A Rosé

Sparkling or Still

March 8th, 2015 – 11-5

Since we’ve been having such wonderful Spring-like weather for the last couple of weeks, we decided it’s time to break out the Rosé. In a rare Sunday treat we’ll be pouring bubbles (no, not Michael Jackson’s chimp) in addition to a still wine. Come early while the bubbles are still bubbly!

 

Oriol Rossell Cava Brut Rosé    ($15)
Trepa
Made solely from a northern Spanish indigenous grape, Trepa. Aromas of crushed sour berries, musk and orange rind with a yeasty richness.
11.9% alcohol by volume

 

2013 Château Virgile Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé    ($10)
90% Grenache, 10% Syrah
Chateau Virgile is a family-owned domaine is managed by two brothers, Serge and Thierry Baret in the Costières de Nîmes (which starting in 2004, is now part of the Cotes du Rhone). The grapes are harvested overnight and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. That brings out bright, refreshing, crisp fruit flavors of strawberry, cherry and raspberry. Was $13, Now $10

 

And if that isn’t enough, Sunday is also the Artist Reception for our new show of Still Life Paintings by Dahny Reed.  Come meet the artist from 3 to 5.

 

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Warm Climes

While there are no complaints about the weather here, it is Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.  With that in mind, we’ll be tasting the wines of Le Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmond de Rothschild from South Africa and South America.  Edmond was one of the Rothchilds who branched off and took his Bordeauxish ideas to the Southern end of the world.  Join us and try them today (Saturday) at 2.

And to celebrate our good weather, Sunday we’ll be pouring two fresh Rosés.

Oriol Rossell Cava Brut Rosé   ($15)
Made solely from a northern Spanish indigenous grape Trepa, the Rossell has aromas of crushed sour berries, musk and orange rind with a the yeasty richness.

2013 Château Virgile Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé     ($10)
90% Grenache, 10% Syrah
Chateau Virgile is a family-owned domaine in the Costières de Nîmes  The grapes are harvested overnight and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. That brings out bright, refreshing, crisp fruit flavors of strawberry, cherry and raspberry. Was $13, Now $10

And if that isn’t enough, Sunday is also the Artist Reception for our new show of Still Life Paintings by Dahny Reed.  Come meet the artist from 3 to 5.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

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