Archive for May 31, 2012

Ah! Français

Saturday, June 2nd, 2pm

French wines are all about diversity, with each region manifesting its distinct Terroir, that unique blend of soil, grape climate and tradition. This Saturday we’ll be taste touring some of those regions with some favorites from our racks. Each is a good representation of its region. And while there are no big names here, each wine drinks much better than its price. Viva la France!
 
2010 Chateau la Mouliniere Bordeaux Blanc $11
80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon
Built in the late 16th Century, Chateau La Mouliniere is a beautiful single-estate vineyard located on the right bank of the Dordogne River near Saint-Emilion. This dry white is soft and lush, with notes of melon, citrus and a hint of grass, good acidity and minerality balance out the fruit.
 
2010 Château de Domazan Côtes du Rhône $12
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.
Château de Domazan was built in the 14th century in the middle of a vineyard. More recently it was purchased by the Burgundy négociant Mommessin who was branching out into the Rhône. The 2010 is a smooth and full fruited Côtes du Rhône with nice floral aromas and a spicy touch.
 
2009 Château Cadillac, Cuvee Lesgourgues, Bordeaux Superieur $19
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Château Cadillac was built in the 13th century. The Cuvee Lesgourgues comes from older vines that grow on the highest areas around the chateau. The wine always drinks much better than its price. The 2009 is aged with a good percent of new oak, but has enough fruit to stand up to it. The wine shows great fresh black currant fruits, dark plum skins and sweet tannins. It is great Bordeaux with a lot of structure that tastes good now and will get better with age.

 
2006 Château Peyros Madiran $14
60% Tannat, 40% Cabernet Franc
In the foothills of the Pyrenees, Chateau Peyros makes their Madiran using sustainable agricultural practices and modern winemaking techniques. It was the winner of a recent brown bag tasting of different Tannat wines. It also got 92pts and a Best Buy nod from Wine Enthusiast. “A powerful expression of intense terrior. Very Concentrated and dense, with the tannins just beginning to soften, the wine is packed with black ripe fruits, solid and chunky.”

Artist Reception 3-5pm, May 27th

Stop on in for your last chance to see the Primavera Exhibition and meet the artist.

Primavera

New works by

Jessica Dodge

 

Come wet your inspiration!

 

Artist Statement:

I am using a variety of media to explore the burgeoning garden and it’s many inhabitants; with the larger compositions on glass I can capture the sweep of the landscape, and with the prints and studies I can get down to a more intimate level to focus on an individual plant or animal. I’ve found the inspiration for this work in the quickening flora and fauna of spring, the ever-increasing light and new-minted color.

 


Come Clean Up.

Mr. Burmester is cleaning his barrels.

One of our distributors is cleaning their warehouse.

We’re tidying up our shelves. 

 Take a stroll in the sun this afternoon up to the wine shop and have a sip of what we’ve swept up.

Spring Cleaning Tasting

Saturday, May 26th, 2pm

It is the season when distributors sweep out the warehouse, take stock of their inventory, and clean out the odds and ends by offering them at discounted prices. Spring is in the air, but instead of sniffing the flowers we have our nose deep into the wine glass checking out the deals that come our way. This Saturday we’ll be pouring a few of these bargains for you to sniff too.

2008 Moulin de Chauvigné, Savennières
Was $20 Now $15
Chenin Blanc
This wine, made by a husband and wife team on a small estate in Rochefort sur Loire, sees no oak and doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation. It has lots of mineral notes coming from the schist soil, a crisp acidity and a rich and concentrated body with notes of clove and citrus. It is drinking great now and will develop with more age.
 
2009 Nuraghe Supramonte, Cannonau di Sardegna
Was $10 Now $7
Cannonau is the local Sardinian version of Grenache, a grape that changes its character drastically with location. The Nuraghe is a dark fruited wine that is alive with the soft tones of violets and smooth flavor of lush berry. Why so cheap? We don’t know. But we’ve been drinking a lot of it.
 
2005 Domaine Galuval, Cairanne Petit Coeur
Was $18 Now $11.
60 % Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 20% Carignan.
Cairanne is situated in the Rhone valley close to Gigondas. Looking out from the top of the old village, there is a fine view of the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux in the east and the hills above Orange in the west. The vineyards are cultivated first and foremost by working the soil as naturally as possible. The grapes are harvested by hand, with sorting both in the vineyard and at the winery. This is one of those wonderful instances where a wine drops in price after it has been cellared to its peak. The little heart is full bodied and rustic with smoky spice notes.
 
Burmester 10 Year Old Tawny
Was $40 Now $20
Brunmester is a smaller port house started in 1730. This Tawny is made from old vines, being submitted to a careful ageing process in small oak casks. Over its 250-year history, Burmester has perfected the process of blending wines and this is a classic example of their expertise.

We are doing a bit of spring cleaning ourselves and for the weekend we’re offering 10% off on odds and ends of a few items on our shelves. These are just little tidbits and hanger-on’s that are taking up a slot for something else. If they don’t go, Mark and I will just have to take them home and drink them.
 
Sunday we are having a closing reception for our current art show Primavera. Jessica Dodge will be here from 3-5. Come take a last look. And keep your eyes peeled next week for new show of oil paintings by Nadia Hakki called Southwest by Northwest.

New Greek Wines,

Sunday, May 20th, 3-5pm

This Sunday we are having a special tasting of New Greek Wines (new to us, new to Seattle). Greek winemaking is as old as civilization, but has undergone a resurgence of quality and complexity. The wines hail from Mt Helicon and Rhodopi on the mainland, as well as from the islands of Crete and Santorini. We’ll have a spread of Mediterranean appetizers to match the wines. Come discover the new old world.
 
2010 Muses Estate, 9 Muses White $16
50% Assyrtiko, 30% Trebbiano, and 20% Sauvignon Blanc
Muses Estate is a family winery based near Thiva in the Valley of the Muses, near Mt. Helicon, a place of worship for the nine muses, the patronesses of spiritual creativity. Assyrtiko is the varietal that has brought glory to the island of Santorini, where it is renowned for its high acidity, crisp mineral flavors, and long aging capability. In hotter, more fertile soils like Thiva, the grape produces plumped, more citrus notes. Trebbiano provides a good deal of the crisp, clean finish. The Sauvignon Blanc gives traditional grassy notes.

 
2010 Diamantakis Winery, Prinos $18
50% Chardonnay, 50% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica
Long time grape growers, the Diamantakis’s took up winemaking in 2004. Situated in a mountainous valley, on the island of Crete, the family uses their terraced vineyards, and close proximity to Aegean sea breezes to grow international and indigenous varietals. The Prinos White has a perfumed nose with a citrus fruit aroma. The mid-palate is bright, citrus fruit with an aggressive finish.

 
2010 Thira Estate, Santorini $24
The grape Assyrtiko originated on Santorini where it finds its greatest expression due to the influence of the island’s volcanic soil. The grape is naturally resistant to most diseases, and the volcanic soil provides nutrient-filled soil without organic material, providing a phylloxera-free environment. This Santorini has complex aromas of lemon, citrus and exotic fruits and a pleasing mineral character derived from the volcanic soil. The wine is rich and well balanced with refreshing acidity, a long aromatic finish, and great aging potential.
 
2010 Muses Estate, 9 Muses Red $18
40% Syrah, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 9 Muses Red has a complex bouquet of bright and dark berries, dark cherries, and tree fruit, with underlying hints of vanilla. The body is full of soft tannins, a velvety texture and a touch of spiciness, with a medium-long finish.
 
2007 Domaine Kikones, Ippeas Red $22
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot
Domaine Kikones was the first winery founded in Rhodopi (far northeast corner of continental Greece). “Kikones” is referred to by Homer in his epic poems as an ancient tribe that first made wine in the land of Thrace. The Ippeas has a bouquet of ripe plums and red fruit aromas on a background of a lightly smoked barrel along with notes of licorice and white pepper. The body is thick and velvety with rich tannins accompany a very long finish.




And don’t forget the Classic Italian tasting on Saturday!
So little time, so much to drink.

Classic Italy, Saturday, May 19th, 2-4pm

Saturday we’re showcasing a solid line up of Classic Italian wines — crisp Pinot Grigio from Veneto, Barbera and Nebbiolo from Piedmonte, and a classic Sangiovesse Classico from Tuscany. To be a little different, we threw in the Grangia. It is soon to be a classic. Stroll on up to the shop and refresh yourself with the taste of Italy.

2010 Italo Cescon, Pinot Grigio                             $13
From Veneto the Cescon Pinot Gris has aromas of nutmeg, peach, and acacia floating off the wines fruity overtones and orange peel structure. It is a lovely dry white with rich and persistent flavor.

Elvio Tintero, Vino Blanco Secco, Grangia             $12
50% Favorita, 25% Moscato, 20% Arneis and 5% Chardonnay
The Grangia is an unusual frizzante (slightly sparking) blend made by a family estate in the Piedmont. It is crystal clear in color with a palate as refreshing as a mountain stream and flavors of prickly pear, lemongrass, and white pepper.

2010 Franco Sera, Barbera d’Alba                        $10
From 25 year old vines, the Sera Babera is hand harvested, macerated for a three weeks period followed by four weeks of fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperatures, then aged in oak barrels (20% new) for six months. The result is a rich and fruit driven Barbera at a great price. The wine has notes of sweet spice, chocolate and red fruit aromas with hints of tobacco along with its raspberry and strawberry flavors, light tannins and well balanced acidity.

2008 Nada, Barbaresco Casot                               $21
Nebbiolo
Nada is located in Treiso, one of the four villages of Barbaresco. The estate comprises 9 hectares of vines with the Casot vineyard being next door to Angelo Gaja. The family retains a traditional approach to winemaking with the wine aging in large, old barrels rather than small barriques. The Casot is a classic feminine styled Barbaresco with forest floor notes, focused spice, whiffs of roses, tar, herbs, tobacco, and rosemary and a good structure and length.

2007 Viticcio, Chianti Classico Reserva                 $30
Sangiovesse
Viticcio Riserva made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010. Usually that means you can no longer get it, when the list comes out, but in this case there is still a bit left and today we are showing it off. Come be your own critic. Subtle currant, cedar and floral aromas follow through to a dense, full-bodied palate of ripe fruits and silky tannins, with a long finish. A little age will soften this just slightly. Really serious. Best after 2010. 3,000 cases made.-JS WS 93pts

Sunday, we’re having a Special Tasting of New Greek wines.
3-5 pm
More info soon.

Mayfair! Special All Day Tasting!

It’s Mayfair this Saturday from the parade at 9:30 am to the block party all afternoon. Come enjoy the pony rides, the music, the food and of course when you get thirsty stop in and try some wine. We picked out a line up to fit the season and we’ll be pouring them all day. Come and check them out.

Sunday is Mother’s Day!

Skip the flowers and give the girls in your life something they will really enjoy. They might even share a glass with you.

Here’s the lineup for Saturday, along with whatever else strikes our fancy as the day goes on.

2011 Cave de Saumur, Rosé Coteaux du Vendomois $10

Pineau d’Aunis

Made by a cooperative of 25 growers and a dozen different winemakers who, together, farm 160 hectares of land, 50 of which are devoted to the dark skinned Pineau d’Aunis, ths rosé has an aromatic nose of citrus and strawberry along with herbal notes. It finishes with a good blend of crisp acidity and minerals.

2010 Würtz Rheinhessen Riesling, $30 / 3 LITERS

A dry and spicy Riesling that has much more complexity than you expect from a box wine. Each box is equal to 4 bottles, so that is $7.50 a bottle. And it is organic and the packaging is environmentally friendly. Keeps for many weeks. Great for camping, boating or just hanging out.

2010 Bodegas Juan Gil, Honoro Vera Monastrell, $10

This family winery started in 1916 runs 400 hectares of vineyards. The Honoro Vera comes from their organic vineyards that surround the cellar in Jumilla where the vines average 25years of age. The wine has lots of big dark smoky sweet fruit that will goes for easy drinking or an outside BBQ.

2008 Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, Margarita Vineyard $20

97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petite Verdot.

This high elevation Paso Cab is naturally fermented with native yeasts, by a couple of non-interventionist winemakers. The wine is aged in all French oak, but only 2% of it is new. That leaves the focus on some pure full fruit with restraint and moderate alcohol. It has classic aromas of plum, cured tobacco, saddle leather with soft tannins and good structure mixed in with the cassis and berry fruit.

Think Rosé For Mother’s Day – Or Today!

Madrona Wine Merchants has a nice selection of rosé for Mother’s Day or even today.

Rosé has arrived (though some say it’s always in season).

Check out our selection, some are already chilled and perfect for today.

Northwest Oenophiles: Saturday, May 5th, 2pm

We’re starting May off sticking close to home. This Saturday we’re featuring local terroir from some masterful home team winemakers. We have a great line up of wines from Hedges, Adelsheim, Tamarack and Reininger, a bunch of local heavy hitters that have helped foster Northwest oenophilia.You’ll love it.

2010 Independent Producers, La Bourgeoisie Chardonnay $13
Independent Producers is a project by the Hedges family, which aims at making good affordable wine without much pretention. From Dionysus vineyard, this unoaked Washington Chardonnay is crisp and refreshing and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
 
2010 Wallace Brook Cellars, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $17
Wallace Brook is the second label of Adelsheim. It is a good Oregon Pinot at a good price. The wine has a complex nose of spice and vanilla with an earthy tone followed by bright cherry.
 
2010 Independent Producers, La Bourgeoisie Merlot $13
From Sagemoor vineyard, this soft and supple Merlot comes with a font library and a Manifesto. The house of independent producers is a catch-all phrase to describe the independent nature of the grower and the vintner. No advertising and no scores. La Bourgeoisie defined is the middle class. This is our target market. The armorial, is symbolic of the death of snobbery towards this ancient product. It gives you something to read while you enjoy the wine.
 
2010 Tamarack Cellars, Cabernet Franc $22
Ron Coleman’s winery in Walla Walla makes some terrific Washington wine. The one we are pouring today is 100% Cab Franc mostly from Weinbau Vineyard on Wahluke Slope. The wine shows pie spices, huckleberry and leather on the nose, with caramel, raspberries and ripe plums, a bit of toasty barrel smoke giving way to luscious, velvety tannins and a length finish.
 
2005 Reininger Winery, Cima $47
50% Sangiovese, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot from Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills Vineyards.
Reininger is another classic Washington winery in Walla Walla. Chuck’s wines are big and develop lots of character with age. The Cima is a Super Wallan take on the Super Tuscan cross of Sangiovese and Bordeaux varietal grapes, mixed with the aging style of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva requiring five years of aging. Five years of patience and aging has brought the advent of Cima, the marriage of a Tuscan bride who discovered her Bordeaux lover in the folds of the Walla Walla Valley earth. Sumptuous velvet tannins embrace the brightness of sour cherry, the strength of dark plum and the youthful adventure of blackberry to brush ones sole with gentle comfort and wisdom, similar to the affectionate touch of a grandmother’s hand. 2005 is the current vintage.

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