Archive for November 29, 2011

Grower Champagnes

A Special Tasting with Triage Wines.
Sunday, December 11th, 5 pm
$20 plus tax.

Champagne is a world ruled by the big houses that buy juice from a lot of different growers and blend it to make consistent wines that vary little from year to year. Grower Champagnes on the other hand are wines made by small estates that grow their own grapes, make the wine themselves and blend out of their own stocks. The wines are more distinct, personal, and surprisingly delicious.

Join us on Sunday afternoon on December 11th for a special tasting of 4 great grower champagnes from Triage Wines, a local importer and distributor. They will be on hand to tell you all about the wine makers and their land. We’ll also have a nice selection of light appetizers to accompany the wines. It should be a great start to a holiday evening.

Space is limited and on a first come first served basis so please call or email us to save you a spot

We’ll be pouring:

J-L Vergnon Brut Blanc de Blancs Conversation — $46
Le Mesnil sur Oger, Côtes du Blancs
All Chardonnay that is aged over 3 years, this Blanc de Blancs sees no capitalization, undergoes no malolactic fermentation and gets minimal dosage. The wine has focused structure with aromas of citrusy grapefruit, lemon peel, biscuit and classic notes of chalk.

R. H Coutier Brut Tradition Grand Cru — $43
Ambonnay, Montagne de
Reims
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Organic
Produced entirely from Grand Cru grapes the Brut Tradition shows rich, leesy fruit obtained through extended bottle aging prior to disgorging. Quite vinous in texture, it is full and long with crisp apple fruit notes on the finish and showing some toasty notes in the nose.

José Michel & Fils Brut Tradition — $40
Moussy, Côtes des Blancs
60% Pinot Meunier, 40% Chardonnay
The Brut is composed of reserve wines that are 5 or 6 years old. The wine has great toast on the nose, along with ripe but crisp lemon and some orange zest followed by a full bodied mouth feel and a long finish.

Laherte Frères Brut Tradition — $43
Chavot, Vallee de la Marne
60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir
Laherte’s 10 hectares of vineyards are spread in 75 different parcels in 10 different villages, giving them a large palette to work with. All of them are farmed either biodynamically or organically. This Brut has aromas of citrus zest, lemon blossom and pear leading to a yeasty, toasty, creamy rich mouthfeel with a full good finish.

For more information before Sunday you can check out:

http://www.triagewines.com/images/triage%20champagne%20catalog.pdf

http://triagewines.com/producers/Coutier%20Page.pdf

http://triagewines.com/producers/Vergnon%20Page.pdf

http://triagewines.com/producers/Jose%20Michel%20Page.pdf

http://triagewines.com/producers/Laherte%20Page.pdf

http://thevinecollective.com/wine_site/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/tvc_champagne_tasting.pdf

ANIMALE – Small Winery, Big Wines

December 3rd, 2-4pm

ANIMALE is a very small winery hidden away in the outskirts of pastoral Ballard with a total production of just around 200 cases. There Matt Gubitosa, winemaker, cellar master and head bottle washer produces his hand-crafted, full-flavored red wines from some of Washington’s lesser known grapes. His preference for aging in neutral oak barrels accents each varietal’s unique characteristics and lets the wines speak for themselves. Matt will be at the shop Saturday showing off his newly released 2009 vintage. We’ll have his Petite Sirah, Dolchetto, Petit Verdot and Mouvedre open for tasting. Come join us and be merry in Madrona.

2009 Petite Sirah         $25

From McIntire Vineyard in Sunnyside, the Petite Sirah has explosive aromas of fresh blackberries, and a hint of menthol. The wine is medium bodied with flavors of ripe plum, berries, and dark chocolate. 57 cases made.

2009 Dolcetto         $24

From Gilbert’s 24 K vineyard in Mattawa, this Dolchetto has aromas of blueberries and cherries, with appealing floral accents. It is an incredibly well made example of a domestic Dolchetto. 24 cases made.

2009 Mourvedre         $26

95% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah

From Kiona Vineyard in Red Mountain the Mourvedre has aromas of black currants and blackberries, with hints of exotic spices and tangerines. 24 cases made.

2009 Petit Verdot         $28

From Gilbert’s “Doc Stewart” Vineyard in Mattawa, the Verdot has complex aromas of cherries and plum with hints of roasted peppers, kumquat, and ginger. 24 cases made.

2009 Barbera     $18
From Gilbert’s 24 K vineyard in Mattawa. This is not your typical Barbera. 

Just In Time For Champagne Season.

Just in time for the Champagne Season, Madrona Wine Merchants the announcement of their new temperature controlled wine cooler. Stop in for that cold bottle of bubbly, or even a white wine or two.

NEWS FLASH!

Madrona Wine Merchants will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11am to 3pm for those last minute dinner emergencies.

Rhone Recovery

Saturday, November 26th, 2-4pm

This Saturday we’ll be featuring some great red wines from the Southern Rhone where Grenache finds its best expression. Southern Rhones are great food wine, balanced and versatile and the best ones have an elegance that is hard to match. They are just the thing to bring you out of Thursday’s food hangover. Shake it off and come try some excellent wines.

2010 Les Perles Piquepoul                                                        $8

Pays de L’Herault

Picpoul is the grape, known as “the Muscadet of the South” in France. The Les Perles, made by Jérôme Calmes in the Languedoc, is a Lip Stinger! Pale yellow color with green tints the picpoul has fresh and fine aromas of grapefruit, exotic fruit and lime flavors. It is slightly south of the Rhone, but a fresh way to wake up your mouth.

2010 Domaine Lafond, Roc-Epine, Côtes du Rhone                 $14

70% Grenache, 30% Syrah

This family run vineyard started in 1880 consists of 8 hectares of rocky, sandy soil with a mix of pebbles and lime and clay.  The grapes are all handpicked, destemmed and let to macerate for 14-20 days before pressing.  It is aged in cement and stainless tanks then racked into new oak for 3-4 months before bottling. The Lafond has aromas of ripe fruit, cherries, black currants and undergrowth followed by deep red fruits and dark berry flavors.

Clos du Papes, Le Petit Vin d’ Avril Rouge                               $15

Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre

From Clos des Papes, Le Petit Vin d’Avril Rouge is a non-vintage “house blend” meant for everyday drinking while their Châteauneufs age gracefully in the cellar. The Petit is made from declassified Chateauneuf du Pape vines usually blended from two vintages. The wine is full of cherry fruit with notes of pepper, spice and herbal brush.

2009 Clos des Brusquières, Châteauneuf-du-Pape                 $40

85% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre

With only eight hectares of vines (40 year old on average) this miniscule, ultra-traditional estate produces tiny quantities of just one wine: no luxury cuvee, no specialty blend, just a stunningly pure and complex Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Owner Claude Courtil is the godson of none other than Henri Bonneau, one of the most legendary and revered producers in the region, and he learned everything he knows about winemaking from his godfather. Henri and Claude share a deeply held commitment to natural winemaking: manual vineyard work, traditional aging in large foudres, and bottling without intrusive fining and filtration. The 2009 is loaded with dark fruit and spice. It is drinking great right now and will age nicely.

Thanksgiving Wines

Saturday, November 19th, 2-4pm

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and pretty near everyone needs a bottle or two of wine to go with the day’s feasting. Stop by the shop this Saturday when we will be tasting some wines we think will go great with the traditional meal. It will be a fun tasting. And it even counts as getting some of your chores done in preparation for Thursday.

2007 Domaine du Margalleau, Vouvray Brut $18

100% Chenin Blanc. Winemaker Jean-Michel Pieaux reserves the finest of his Chenin crop for this bountiful, dazzlingly fresh sparkling wine, performing a single disgorgement following a full year of aging on fine lees. Impressively complex and rich on the tongue, the Brut has notes of warm honey, lemon curd and white flowers along with almonds and citrus flavors. A great wine to start the meal with, or continue straight through.

2009 Eyrie Pinot Gris $14

In the winter of 1965, after earning a degree in viticulture and enology from UC/Davis, and research in Europe, 25-year old David Lett moved to Oregon “with 3,000 grape cuttings and a theory”. He planted the cuttings in a rented nursery plot, and went looking for the perfect vineyard site. It was the first planting of Pinot noir, Chardonnay, in the Willamette Valley, and the first Pinot Gris in America. Today some of those vines still go into their estate Gris. The 2009 is rich and creamy textured with notes of spice, minerals and round fruit. Pour a glass and pass the gravy.

2008 Cottonwood Winery, Marina Piper Pinot Noir $16

Sourced from three vineyards in separate Willamette Valley AVAs, (Chehalem Mountain, Yamhill-Carlton, & Dundee Hills), the Marina Piper is blended to make a well balanced Oregon Pinot Noir. The wine is medium-bodied and packed with red fruit and mineral flavors that develop over a long period in the glass. A classic pairing for salmon, but also excellent with turkey.

2009 Owen Roe, Ex Umbris Syrah $25

For those who want a bolder flavor with their dinner we might suggest the Ex Umbris from Owen Roe. Always a favorite with the critics, the wine got 93 points from Wine Spectator: Even in a powerful Washington vintage like 2009, David O’Reilly managed to produce a balanced, acid-driven Syrah that is a showstopper. There’s peppery red fruit dripping with bacon fat on the nose, and a palate full of strawberries and plums, anise and root beer. Fresh with supple tannins.

Sodovino Wine Tasting, Wednesday, November 16th, 4:30-7PM

Sodovino, a small but excellent micro winery, was happily located in the shadow of Safeco Field until construction forced them to move. That left them with the big problem of a lot of wine and a shortage of space to keep it. Desperate times require desperate measures. As a result, Madrona Wine Merchants is able to offer Sodovino’s fantastic wines at incredible prices.

2007 Sodovino Lewis Vineyard Syrah

100% single vineyard Syrah

Sourced from one of Washington’s premier vineyards, this Syrah exhibits lovely hints of chocolate covered strawberries and is elegant enough to pair with almost any meat or pasta dish. Aged 14 months in new American and neutral French oak.
Silver Medal Winner – Seattle Wine Awards 2010

from the winery $25, NOW $15

2007 Sodovino So’ Syrah

86% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre

Blackberry pie and loads of dark berry fruit accompany earth notes and pepper on both the nose and palate. So’ Syrah has a smooth full mouth feel with firm tannins and a long finish. Aged in 75% neutral French oak and 25% new American oak for 14 months.

Gold Medal Winner – Seattle Wine Awards 2010
from the winery $19, NOW $13

2007 Sodovino Red Wine
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Mourvedre, 23% Syrah

Aromas of cherries and fresh blackberries combine with forest floor and spicy cedar, followed by cherry liqueur, chocolate and vanilla on the palate. This wine has a full mouth feel with firm tannins, balanced acidity, and a long finish of cinnamon and cloves. Aged 15 months in new and neutral American and French oak.

Bronze Medal Winner – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Contest 2010
from the winery $19, NOW $13

Try Them!

We’ll have all the Sodovino wines open for tasting Wednesday, November 16th from 4:30 to 7pm. Come by and revisit how good they are.
Save Even More!

Buy 6 bottles of any mix of our wines and get 5% off.

Buy any mix of 12 of our wines and get 10% off.

Order ahead any full case of these or any other wine from us, and get 15% off. (please allow a week for us to get it in.)

Native Grapes of Southern Italy

Saturday, November 12th

2-4pm

Saturday we’ll have open for tasting some great wines from Puglia, Sicily and Campania. Places known for their indigenous grapes unique to their specific locale. The emphasis is on the fruit, with such varietals as Falangina, Negroamaro, Nero d’ Avola, and Aglianico showing their stuff. Come see what they have to offer.

2009 Vinosia, Falanghina, Beneventano, Campania $12

100% FalanginaVinosia is young winery, started in 2003, by Mario and Luciano Ercolino, whose family founded Feudi di San Gregorio where Mario was the head winemaker. Falanghina gets its name from the fact that due to its the vines are tied to poles called ‘falanga’ to contain its expansive growth. The Vinosia is a full-bodied white wine with lots of fruit notes of peach, pear and melon balanced by a fresh acidity. 

2007 Cantele, Salice Salento Reserva, Puglia $12

85% Negroamaro, 15% Malvasia NeraCantele is a third generation, family run winery in the Salento region of Puglia specializing in local varietals. The Salice Salento Reserva is aged for 3 years in a mix of stainless tanks and oak barrels then rests in bottle 6 months before release. The wine is full bodied with lots of deep fruit flavors and notes of spice and bitter chocolate with a smooth and luscious finish.

2009 Feudo di Santa Tresa, Purato, Nero d’Avola, Sicily (Organic) $13

100% Nero d’Avola — The Purato is made from organic vineyards in Vittoria in the south eastern region of Sicily. The family has been growing for generations and uses all natural organic methods such as cover crops, organic manure and natural herbicides, allowing them to completely eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. The bottles and labels are all from recycled material. The wine is rich with big berry and cherry flavors balanced out by dry tannins and good acidity.

2009 Terredora di Paolo, Aglianico, Campania $15

100% Aglianico — Terredora is an estate winery run by members of the Mastroberardino family with vineyards all over Campania. Their Aglianico is aged in a combination of barrels and stainless steel tanks, striking a balance between fruit and tannins. It is a bright dark cherry red with spicy aromas of violets, red berries, black cherry and a slight meaty character with subtle oak undertones.


Rioja Tasting,

Saturday, November 5th,

2-4pm

Rioja is one of the oldest and best known wine making regions of Spain with a strong tradition of aging the wines to develop elegance and finesse. Stop by the shop this Saturday and sample some selections from two great Rioja wineries –CUNE and Beronia. CUNE began in 1879 in Rioja Alta. They make very traditional styled wines that typify old school Rioja. Beronia on the other hand was founded in 1970 by some friends who wanted to make wines more to their own tastes. Their wines are more modern in style with more extraction. Both are delicious. Come see which style you like best.

2009 CUNE Bianco $11

100% Viura

Fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel vats, the CUNE Bianco is aromatic, fresh and complex white. The wine has fresh, fragrant fruity aromas of green apple and lemon, typical of Viura. Bright and fresh in the palate, with good balancing clean acidity and a lingering rounded finish.

2007 CUNE Crianza $13

80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo, and 10% Garnacha Tinta

The grapes for the Crianza are hand harvested, macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain varietal aromas. The wine is then aged in American oak casks for at least 12 months, with regular rackings to develop its finesse. The wine has aromas of red berries over the oaky and balsamic notes from its aging in wood. It has a full mouth feel, lively cherry fruit with some spice back notes and a balanced acidity. This wine usually sells for $18 to $20 but due to the vagaries of the market we get to sell it at $13.

2008 Beronia Crianza $15

84% Tempranillo, 13% Garnacha, and 3% Graciano

Beronia’s Crianza is aged for 12 months in mixed oak barrels and one year in bottle. The wine has aromas of tobacco, vanilla and dark fruit. It is a fine blend of full fruit flavors, smooth tannins with a spicy toasted finish.

2001 Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva $27

84% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano and 4% Mazuelo.

Rioja Gran Reserva wines are aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Tanzer’s wine colored prose says it better than we can. Bright red. Attractive aromas of candied cherry, plum and cedar, with vanilla and clove notes coming up with air. Sweet, open-knit and nicely focused, offering palate-staining red and dark berry flavors and mounting vanilla and cocoa qualities. A musky herbal quality lingers on the long, sweet, sappy finish. There’s a decadent quality to this wine that calls for lamb or a piece of dry-aged steak.- Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

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