Archive for December 31, 2012

Champagne Cocktails Anyone?

Here are some of our favorite champagne cocktails, from the old and easy to updated.

Champagne Cocktail

Yes, there is a Champagne cocktail called “Champagne Cocktail,” and it’s as beguilingly simple as its name. Adding the sugar cube after the Champagne helps prevent the bubbly from bubbling over.

6½ ounces Champagne (or other bubbles)
1 sugar cube soaked with Angostura bitters

Spiral lemon twist

Pour Champagne into flute. Add sugar cube. Garnish with lemon twist. —Adapted from Jerry Thomas’s “Bar-Tender’s Guide,” 1862, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Try it with the sugar cube soaked in Orange Bitters for a slightly different take on the traditional.

Wild Goose Chase

Armagnac, a woodsy French brandy, adds a warming, winterizing touch to this cocktail. The drink was created to pair with foie gras—hence the name.

1½ ounces Armagnac

¾ ounce lemon juice

½ ounce honey syrup (see recipe below)

2-3 dashes orange bitters

2 ounces Champagne
(or other bubbles)
Armangac-soaked prune (optional)

Shake first four ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe. Top with Champagne and add garnish. Honey syrup: In a small pan over medium heat, stir one part honey with one part water until combined. Let cool. Keep refrigerated and use within two weeks. —From Brian Means of the Fifth Floor, San Francisco

Too bad that foie gras in now banned in California (as of July 2012).

Red Baron

My family’s traditional Christmas season drink. Traditionally served at home with smoked oysters (preferably from Portlock Seafood)

1 part Cranberry Juice
3 parts Champagne (or other bubbles)

This drink also known as a Poinsettia if you add Triple Sec and reduce the percentage of Cranberry Juice

 

 

Get Your New Year’s Bubbles Here!

Stock up on bubbles for New Year’s Eve (and beyond). We are running holiday pricing on two grower champagnes:

Alain Bailly Grande Reserve Brut — Holiday Special Pricing — $30
Serzy-et-Prin Marne
60% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay
Sixth generation growers, Bailly’s estate consists of 12 hectares composed of eighty vineyard plots. The Grande Reserve has a golden tint, fine mousse, very full bouquet mingles toast, figs, fresh bread, and structured vinous aromas full of richness and freshness.
Was $33, now $30

Champagne Julien Chopin, Carte d’ Or – Holiday Special Price — $40
Blanc de Blanc
Chardonnay
Julien Chopin 6 ha vineyard located in Epernay produces this full “Grower” Blanc de Blanc. The wine contains 30% of 6 year old reserve wine blended with the younger wine to balance freshness with complexity. The Carte d’ Or has notes of butter, honey, and grapefruit along with a bit of brulee and mineral and a long lingering finish. Toast the New Year in right.
Was $50, now $40

Real Champagne a bit out of your budget? We have a variety of Cava, Prosecco, and other sparklers starting at $10. Time to stock the cellar.

Holiday Hours:
Sunday, December 30, 11-5pm
Monday, New Year’s Eve, 12-7pm

Something Old, Something New,

Saturday, December 29th, 2pm

New Years is about time. And time has a big influence on wine. Saturday we’ll be pouring a few things old (a couple of Bordeaux with some age) to reflect on and a few things new (bubbles just in to the shop) to look forward to. Drop by and contemplate times passage or just pass the time on Saturday afternoon.

Valdo Prosecco Brut DOC $12
Glera (Prosecco)
For something new try this well-balanced Italian bubbly. “Fresh, with a spicy thread of ground ginger, cardamom and balsamic weaving through tropical notes of pineapple, tangerine, white peach and vanilla bean. Balanced, with a lightly frothy mousse and a floral finish.”–Wine Spectator
 
Champagne Julien Chopin, Carte d’ Or, Blanc de Blanc– Holiday Special Price $40 Chardonnay,
Julien Chopin 6 ha vineyard located in Epernay produces this full “Grower” Blanc de Blanc.    The wine contains 30% of 6 year old reserve wine blended with the younger wine to balance freshness with complexity. The Carte d’ Or has notes of butter, honey, and grapefruit along with a bit of brulee and mineral and a long lingering finish. Toast the New Year in right.
 
2004 Chateau Villars, Fronsac $20
69% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
An organic vineyard in Fronsac with 35 year old vines. Chateau Villars has been run by the Gaudrie family many gererations. They keep the best fruit for their wine, selling the rest to brokers. The Hatchett Guide 2008 described the 2004 as “aromas of leather and underwood in perfect harmony with the fruit. The round, smooth, ripe tannins wrapped in intense wood notes are of high quality and demand to mature.” Four years later its time has come. Limited to stock on hand.
 
2005 Chateau Marsau, Cotes de Francs $18
Another Bordeaux with some age that is drinking great right now, the Marsau is a powerful wine that is starting to show its stuff. This beautiful Merlot-dominated Cotes de Franc exhibits a deep ruby/purple color as well as a sweet perfume of black raspberries, cherries, and currants, good freshness, ripe tannin, and a medium-bodied, pure mid-palate as well as finish. A sleeper of the vintage, it is ideal for drinking during its first 10-12 years of life.-Robert Parker


Day Four – ‘tis the Season Tasting

As we move into day two of our four day marathon tasting it’s time to put those running shoes back on and trot down to Madrona Wine Merchants for today’s ALL-DAY (11-7pm) tasting.

What’s on tap that would draw me away from that warm fire?

2011 Esporao Alandra                        ($8)
Antão Vaz, Perrum and Arinto
Fragrant and elegant with floral as well as lime and other citrus aromas and full dry fruit. A lovely little wine from Portugal.

2010 Duvernay Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes        ($13)
Grencahe, Mouvedre, Syrah
A big and rich old vine Rhone that packs a lot into a very small price. “Very beautiful steady and dark dress, in the reflections garnet. Nose of black fruits, very mature cherries, with aromas of licorice, ‘zan’ and spices (cloves and nutmeg). The mouth is dense with silky tannins and a beautifull minerality.”

2010 Terre del Barolo Nebbiolo d’Alba            ($15)
A full structured Nebbiolo that drinks above its price. Chewy tannins mixed with red cherries and floral notes.

And a special treat not yet released by the winery, but a pre-release sample:

2010 Baer Winery Ursa
42% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley

Day Three – ‘tis the Season Tasting

As we move into day two of our four day marathon tasting it’s time to put those running shoes back on and trot down to Madrona Wine Merchants for today’s ALL-DAY (11-5pm) tasting.

What’s on tap that would draw me away from that warm fire?

2011 Salvard Cheverny    ($15)
85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chardonnay
A good crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire that is rounded out by the Chardonnay. Nice grassy and citrus notes.

2010 Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne    ($18)
Piedmont
A classic bright red cherry Barbera with integrated acidity and smooth tannins.

2009 Ransom Pinot Noir    ($20)
Light and snappy, with a tangy edge to the red berry and currant flavors, sliding through the finish on a bed of fine tannins. Drink now through 2017. Wine Spectator
Organic

2009 Animale Petite Sirah    ($26)
Yakima Valley
Washington State
Medium-bodied with flavors of ripe plum, berries and dark chocolate.
Unfined and Unfiltered



Day Two – ‘tis the Season Tasting

As we move into day two of our four day marathon tasting it’s time to put those running shoes back on and trot down to Madrona Wine Merchants for today’s ALL-DAY (11-7pm) tasting.

What’s on tap that would draw me away from that warm fire?

NV Alvise Lancieri Prosecco    ($14)
A very crisp Prosecco with good body.
Please note: we will be opening the Prosecco at 2PM so the bubbles don’t de-bubble throughout the day

2009 Kestral Red Table Wine    ($16)
36% Merlot, 24% Syrah, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 8% Mourvedre
Ripe dark fruit along with notes of tobacco, dried herbs, cedar, and vanilla.
Normally $22 but on deal for a short while.

2009 Borgo Scopeto Borgonero    ($20)
60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah
A reserve wine aged for 18-24 months in cask and 8 months in bottle. Very intense, broad, refined and captivating, with notes of leather and tobacco.
Was $34 Now $20

2001 Viña Santurina Gran Reserva    ($30)
90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
A still youthful Gran Reserva with lots of well-developed fruit.

 

 

‘Tis the Season Tastings,

Fri., Sat., Sun., Mon. — Noon to 7:00

The holidays can get out of hand. Winter sets in and people like to hunker down together and keep warm. And then there are parties and presents and kids out of school, things just get busy. On top of that this year we have the end of the Mayan calendar which bodes, depending on who you talk to, either a big ending or a new beginning.

Things are no different at Madrona Wine. Our weekly Saturday tasting has spun out of control and spread out to four days. From Solstice to Christmas, we’ll be pouring tastes of some of our favorite wines from the past year. Obviously we can’t have them all open at once, but each day we’ll have some fun and festive stuff to try. Stop in and see what’s open, or come each day and don’t miss anything.

We’ll see you soon, and if we don’t have a happy holiday season and we’ll look forward to the new year.

Season’s Greetings
from Mark & Jim
Madrona Wine Merchants

Some of the things we’ll be opening:

2009 Ransom Pinot Noir

2009 Kestral Red Table Wine

2009 Borgo Scopeto, Borgonero

2010 le Roselle Valpolicella Ripasso

2001 Vina Santurina Rioja Gran Reserva

2009 Animale Petit Sirah

2007 Anwika, Ungaba

2011 Salvard Cheverney

Alvise Lanceieri Prosecco

2010 Duvernay Cotes du Rhone Vielles Vignes

2010 Baer, Ursa

2007 Lincourt Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

2009 Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne

2009 Chateau Mangot Saint-Emilion

2010 Terre de Barolo Nebbiolo

The wines in RED are the ones that we have open today, Apocalypse Friday, December 21st, 2012.

We’re Famous!

The owners of Madrona wine merchants are pictured in an article called The Masters of Wine-Spitting. Click on the title to jump to the article.

To quote the article: “It’s a necessary evil for anyone wanting to taste many wines, but how on earth should one go about it?”

Here is a link to our very own spitting article: Swirl, Sniff, Spit, Dump, or Drink?

Sauternes tasting at 5:30.

There is still room left in our Sauternes tasting, today at 5:30. Come by and taste some delicious dessert wine along with tasty appetizers. It’s a lovely start to the evening and we’ll get you home by dinner.

$10 each plus tax.
$5 each for wine club members and one guest.

10% off any wine purchased during the tasting.

Big Reds and Bold Whites,

Saturday, December 15th, 2pm

We assembled some tasty wines for the holidays from all over. We’ll have a sparkler from Alsace, a bold Viognier from Oregon, a Super Tuscan from Maremma, a big Cab from Walla Walla and a bit of Californiafor dessert.

Lucien Albrecht Crémant Brut Blanc de Blanc $19
Lucien Albrecht pioneered Crémant production in 1971 and helped gain an Appellation Contrôlêe for the wine and for Alsace. The wine is vinified by the classic Champagne Method. This Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Pinot Blanc has a fine and elegant bead, a beautiful straw color; a light, delicate palate.

2008 Quady North, Viognier Steelhead Run $20
Herb Quady, the son of the California winemaking family, has moved north to Applegate Valley in Oregon and is producing some great wines from the fruit there. His single vineyard Viognier has citrus, melon and Asian pear notes, delicate, silky tannins and distinct notes of plum and white pepper.. Classic melon, stonefruit, and pineapple aromas overlay a subtle note of fresh bread.

2009 Rocca di Frassinello, Le Sughere, Maremma $26
50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
Rocca di Frassinello is a partnership between Castellare di Castellina in Chianti Classico and Eric de Rothschild who has just a little experience with Bordeaux blends. The 2009 Le Sughere di Frassinello is simply dazzling . . . Expressive floral notes are woven throughout a fabric of vibrant dark fruit in this intense, supple red. Racy and expressive from start to finish, the wine impresses for its fabulous harmony and ripe, explosive finish. –93 Pts ROBERT PARKER

2009 Amavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla $26
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 3% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc
Amavi Cellars own blocks of grapes in Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, Les Collines, and Goff Vineyards This Cab is a blend of theses vineyards all of which are certified sustainable. The wine has full aromas of ripe mixed berries complement earthy notes of cedar and wet stones. On the palate, layers of black cherries and blackberries mingle with hints of dark chocolate, mint and spice. Gentle tannins create a supple mouthfeel, leading to a powerful yet refined finish.

Quady, Essencia $20-750ml   $15– 375ml
Orange Muscat
Quady has been a pioneer of California dessert wines. Orange Muscat is grown in small plantings in France, Italy and Australia. The Essencia has aromas reminiscent of Orange Blossom and Apricot, and a lingering refreshing aftertaste. The wine is lightly fortified to about 15% alcohol and aged for 3 months in French Oak.

We also still have space left in our
Sauternes Tasting
Sunday Evening

Call or email us to save a spot.

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