Archive for May 31, 2013

Modern Treasures of Greece,

Saturday June1st, 2-4pm

Greece use to be noted only for its rustic country wines and resiny Retsina. But Greek wine has undergone a renaissance, blending new wine techniques with their traditional practices. Dijon-trained winemaker George Skouras started his winery in 1986 in Pyrgela, Argos, a quaint village nestled in the Nemea region of the Peloponnese, where he became a leader in the modern Greek wine revolution. Working with both indigenous and international varieties, Skouras started producing very high quality Greek wines. Wineries like Sigalas and Alpha Estate weren’t long to follow suit.

2012 Domaine Skouras Zoe White $12
Roditis 70%, Moscofilero 30%
From 25 year old vines at 3400 feet elevation, this white blend of two indigenous varietals is fermented in stainless steel with a short ageing over fine lees. The Zoe white has a fresh, crisp acidity, lively and aromatic, with aromas of fresh flowers, hints of squash blossoms, avocado, orange, lemon blossom and touches of jasmine and mint.

2012 Domaine Sigalas Santorini $19
Assyrtiko 75%, Athiri 25%
On the island of Santorini, Domaine Sigalas tends 50 year old vines of Assyrtiko and Athiri. It is fermented in stainless steel, and has a nose of ripe citrus fruit and earthy and savory flavors with a lip-smacking texture. The wine was featured in this week’s NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/dining/reviews/white-wines-as-greek-as-the-sea.html?ref=dining&_r=0

2011 Domaine Skouras Zoe Red $12
70% Agiorgitiko, 30% Moscofilero
Skouras boasts one of the highest red wine vineyards in all of Europe, The Zoe Red comes from 22 year old vines in high elevation vineyards (2000 to 2,100 ft).It has vibrant aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries with hints of sweet spices and rose petal. The wine is medium bodied with moderate high acidity and the slightest hint of very ripe tannins.

2010 Domaine Skouras, Nemea, St. George $16
80% Aghiorgitiko (St. George), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Skouras’ St. George ages for 18 months in French oak. The nose reveals aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and ripe strawberries with just a touch of anise and spices such as clove and cinnamon. The finish is moderately long, full of red fruits with a touch of sweet vanilla, black pepper and elegant tannins.

2008 Alpha Estate, Axia Red $20
Xinomavro 80%, Syrah 20%
Alpha Estate is located in the Amyndeon plateau at 2000 ft elevation. The winery is set up for gravity transfer. The Axia Red ages ”sur lie” for seven months with regular stirring, nine months barrel, and fifteen months in bottle. It has spicy bouquet (vanilla, pepper, clove), and ripe blackberry. The wine has a big mouthfeel with rounded tannins, balanced acidity and a long aftertaste.

 

Erste + Neue

wine of Sudtirol Alto Adige

Thursday, May 30th, 5:30 to 7:30

Erste + Neue, a co-operative winery in the Alps of Alto Adige, has been a large part of the Kaltern wine trade for over 100 years. The 1986 merger of the Erste (“first”) wine co-operative (founded in 1900) with the Neue (“new”) wine co-operative (founded in 1925) formed a South Tyrolean winery rich with tradition. 430 dedicated grape growers bring their harvests to the winery each year. The terraced vineyards of the co-operative’s members are picturesquely situated around Lake Kaltern and on the plateau at the foot of the Mendel mountains.

2011 MullerThurgau $13
The cool nights of the alps are perfect for growing this dry white grape. The Muller has a soft bouquet of nuts and muscat with fresh dry pleasant fruitiness. It is great with oysters and other fish.

2011 Chardonnay “Salt” $17
This single vineyard Chardonnay has subdued fragrances of exotic fruits a balanced acidity with a touch of brininess and a long lingering aftertaste.

2011 Edelvernatch $11
Edelvernatsch (Schiava Gentile) is the indigenous grape found in the Kaltern, It makes a lighter bodied red with a fruity bouquet and light almond tones. Its lighter body makes it a very versatile food match.

2011 Kaltereresee “Leuchtenburg” $13
This is a single vineyard wine made from Venatsch (Schiava) the smaller berried cousin to the Edelvenatch. It is a medium bodied red that expresses the grapes unique character. Lots of cherry notes, full fruit and mild tannins.

2009 Pinot Nero “Mezzan” $20
A single vineyard Pinot Noir, Mazzon is the name of the south-facing moraine located between Mitterberg and Kaltern. This winegrowing area enjoys the most hours of sunshine per day and thus produces the best Pinot Nero for the “Mezzan” wine. They also benefit from the “Ora” from Lake Garda, a breeze that blows from the south up the valley from noon until sunset. The wine has spicy aromas of black cherry, sour cherry cake and a touch of vanilla.

 

Sunday Sippers,

May 26th, 11-5pm

Starting May 26th we will be kicking off our Sunday Sippers Series. An excuse to stop by and taste some new and interesting wines. Each Sunday we will have both a red and a white open. This Sunday we are starting with the:

2011 Moser Grüner Veltliner ($10)
This wine is 100% Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s most widely cultivated varietal. It is a young light wine with a fresh and spicy nose. The palate is spicy with a fruity body featuring notes of mineral and pear. Comes in a 1 liter bottle, perfect for 4 people on a weeknight dinner.


2010 Tikves Vranec ($10)
An unusual red variteal from Macedonia, This Vranec is deep and rich like full bodied Zin, but with more tannins and chewiness. Fun and interesting.



Under the Radar

unheralded wines of great value

Saturday, May 25th, 2pm

The wine business is built on notoriety with producers desperately seek reviews, ratings and name recognition. New upstarts struggle to gain a reputation while the old guard rests on their laurels. But then there are other winemakers who either by lack of resources or personality go about making their wine with little fanfare. This Saturday we’ll be pouring some very tasty examples of these little known wines that go largely unnoticed in the press. Come discover them for yourself.

Cavas del l’Emporda, Blanc Pescador, Vino de Aguja $9
Macabeo 50-60%, Parellada 20-25%, Xarel-lo 20-25%. 
A non-cava Spanish white from Catalonia in northern Spain. It is lower alcohol at 11.5% and slightly frizzante like Portugal’s Vinho Verde. The “white fish” has good crisp lemon-lime flavors and a lively refreshing finish.

2010 LaRochette Bourgogne Blanc $11
A Chardonnay from the Macon from Olivier LaRochette a winemaker from a long Burgundian lineage. The Bourgogne Blanc is unoaked and has notes of apple blossoms, white peach, lime zest and a mellony fullness with more fruit than mineral.

2010 Sainte Elisabeth, Costières de Nîmes $9
Grenache
Located in the village of Garons, in the centre of Costieres-de-Nimes vineyards, Chateau Sainte-Elisabeth is an independent family run estate focusing on the quality of the fruits for producing their wines Predominantly Grenache, this southern French red has a jammy quality with rich aromas of red and black fruits, spice, and mineral. –12.5% by volume

2010 Le Jas des Papes, Châteauneuf du Pape, le Secret du Jas $28
70% Syrah, 30% Grenache
A 5th generation small estate which makes this reverse blend from your typical CNdP. Their website features pictures of a very clean but plain looking winery more concerned with function rather than charm. The Secret is from 80 year old vines and ages for 12 months in new barriques. It has pleasing aromas of red berries, cherries and blackcurrant and a generous and robust structure.

2005 Château Marsau, Côtes de Francs $18
Merlot
An exception to the rule, Château Marsau gets regular reviews from the press. It is a big workhorse of a Bordeaux with a full rich body, dark ripe fruit and spicy tannins. There is not much of the 2005 vintage (a great year for Bordeaux) left around so it is great to have this one at hand. The wine is coming into its own and drinking well.

 

Sunday Sippers
All Day
11 to 5

Starting May 26th we will be kicking off our Sunday Sippers Series. An
excuse to stop by and taste some new and interesting wines. Each Sunday we will
have both a red and a white open. This Sunday we’ll be pouring:

2011 Moser Grüner Veltliner $10

2010 Tikves, Vranec $10

Stop In For Some Liquid Sunshine.

Fresh French Mayfair Tasting

Saturday, May 18th

Special Time 1PM —

until the bottles run dry

It’s Mayfair in Madrona this Saturday, a day of events and activities in the neighborhood. To celebrate we’re starting our tasting an hour earlier. We’ll be pouring a lovely line up of French lovelies suited for a spring day, along with some extra special snacks and some general good humor. Sometime around 3:30, Orb will win the Preakness and knock off the second leg of the Triple Crown. Stop by while you are out and about and join us.

2010 Domaine de la Croix Ronde, Haut Valle de L’orb, Cuvée Jade Chardonnay $12
This unoaked Chardonnay is from a remote valley leading towards the Massif Central in France’s Languedoc region. Not to be confused with Burgundy at all, this warmer climate Chard has rich flavors of limey citrus and slatey minerals.

2010 Damaine Michel Fronné, Alsace Pinot Blanc $14
This Pinot Blanc is a well-rounded yet delicate wine that combines all the freshness and softness characteristic of this grape varietal. The Alsatian summers are notably warm for this far north but have cool evenings. This fluctuation builds the perfect acid levels in the final wine balancing the wines natural sugars with complex flavors.

2011 Domiane Aimé, Pays d’ Oc Cabernet Franc $11 
Behind this wine’s beautiful ruby-red velvet color is an attractive, fresh and aromatic nose with all the green pepper and cedar of a good cabernet franc. On the palette it is pretty and packed with mature red fruits, yet has all the full ripeness of a southern French red. Organic.

2009 Château Chênaie, Faugères, Cuvée Conviction Rouge $16
35% Grenache Noir, 25% Carignan, 25% Syrah, and 15% Mourvèdre
From a 5th generation family farm in Faugères, the Conviction has a complex nose with aromas of undergrowth, wild fruit (fresh strawberry), and hints of freshly roasted coffee, chocolate, and gingerbread. The mouth feel is elegant and very supple, with fine coated tannins.

Trust Me,

I Think She’d Like A Nice Bottle Of Wine Better…

We are open today until 5PM for those last minute Mother emergencies. Stop on in.

Justin Neufeld, winemaker for

Gilbert Cellars and JB Neufeld Winery,

Saturday, May 11th, 2pm

Justin Neufeld became the winemaker for Gilbert Cellars in 2007 and then took
over management of the vineyards in 2009. He also has his own label JB
Neufeld
which produces some fine Cabernet. This Saturday, Justin will be
here with us, pouring some of the new vintages from Gilbert as well as his own
wine. Come have a taste of his handiwork.

2012 Gilbert Cellars, Rosé of Mourvedre $14
Mourvedre can make a big earthy red wine and also a beautiful
classic styled rosé. From their vineyards on Wahluke Slope, Gilbert’s Rosé has
aromas of Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, and first-crop Palisade Peach set against an
intriguing undercurrent of pine, coriander, and dried lavender. Though dry, the
palate offers considerable body as a result of the warmer vintage and a 75
percent barrel fermentation. The acid is present but not overwhelming, allowing
this wine to be enjoyed as simple refreshment or with some thought and more
complex cuisine.

2012 Gilbert Cellars, Gewurtztraminer $17
Planted on a southeastern-facing slope of Gilbert’s Hackett Ranch
their Gewürztraminer presents bright tropical aromas of pineapple, kiwi, and
melon along with hints of fennel seed, basil, and mandarin. Supple yet dry, the
Gewürztraminer dances on the palate with a variety of complementary flavors and
a refreshing character.

2010 Gilbert Cellars, Allobroges $20
37% Syrah, 34% Mourvedre, 29% Grenache
From Wahluke Slope’s Doc Stewart & 24K vineyards Gilbert’s
Rhone style blend named after the Gallic tribe of the Allobroges who introduced
winemaking to the Romans. Ripe aromas of blackberry, plum, and late-season Bing
Cherry deepen and soften with time in the glass as subtle aromas of sage,
smoke, and baking spice begin to make their way forward. The palate is firm but
balanced, with excellent length making this a wine that will pair beautifully
with rich, hearty fare now or will lay down and mellow for many years to come.

2010 Gilbert Cellars, Left Bank Red $20
53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 8%
Merlot, 5% Malbec
The Left Bank was named after the “Left Bank” of Bordeaux
which this delicious blend is styled after. And also because the Doc Stewart
& 24K Vineyards from which it comes are perched on the Left Bank of the
Columbia River. The wine is dark and full of well structured, lip-smacking
tannins.

2010 JB Neufeld, Yakima Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $34
This Cabernet is a blend of Artz vineyard and Dubrul vineyard. The Dubrul fruit
helped to soften the monstrous mid-palate of the Artz fruit. It provided a
wonderful sweetness up front on the palate and added herbal and tea notes to
the nose. The Artz fruit created the foundation for this wine, contributing
classic Red Mountain mouthfeel and wonderful dark fruits on the nose. Tannin
content, overall, was much higher than normal in 2010. This (in conjunction
with a pH of 3.52) will allow it to age in bottle with grace.

 

It’s a fast paced weekend at

Madrona Wine Merchants.

Saturday

We are tasting some thoroughbred wines whole we wait for the Kentucky Derby at 3:24. Come pick a favorite.

Sunday

New works by Bob Perlman grace our walls and Bob will be here from 3 to 5 for the Artist’s Reception.

The imagery is mainly non-referential and admittedly ambiguous although I ultimately try to make a picture, that is, a composed image that has a visual logic to it: a top, a bottom, a near, a far, a sense of light, something implied or depicted with a feeling of completion and resolution. While I’m concerned about each aspect of the work, in the end the whole needs to be greater than the parts – the painting needs to come together. More important, it should invite the viewer to journey into its space and sense of place. –Bob Perlman

Long Shots & Sure Bets

Kentucky Derby Day

Saturday, May 4th, 2pm

Saturday is the 139thrunning of the Kentucky Derby, a horse race known for its upsets and surprises. The favorite often fails and an outsider often comes up to take the roses. To honor the event we have selected some wine that we think will surprise you by showing better than one might expect. Come find a winner.

2011 Mahoney Vineyards, Las Brisas Vermentino $14
From a cooler vineyard site in Carneros Francis and Kathy Mahoney grow this unique Italian varietal. Las Brisas vineyard is named after the winds that drive out morning fog from the vineyard and usher in cooling airflow in the late afternoon. The wine exhibits white peaches and citrus flavors with lovely floral notes and a refreshing and crisp finish.

2012 Tertulia Cellars Rosé $14
49% Mourvèdre, 26% Grenache, 25% Syrah
This local Rosé comes from Tertulia’s Riviera Gallets estate vineyard in Walla Walla planted on a dried up riverbed. Round stones litter the subsoil and surface, absorbing heat during the day and radiating it out during the night. The wine emulates a Provence style. On the nose anise mingles with violets, sweet tarts followed by fruit character, strawberry rhubarb and grape fruit. It’s mouthwatering acidity gives way to a round mouth feel and pleasing finish.

2008 Amalie Robert, Vintage Debut Pinot Noir $30
Amalie Robert 30 acre vineyard is located approximately 15 miles southwest of Salem, Oregon. They make only estate wines, all farmed sustainably. They use all indigenous yeasts, and practice non-interventionist winemaking. The 2008 shows rich aroma of sun drenched blackberries, clove, dark chocolate and dried herbs. A well rounded saturation of black cherry, cola, and Darjeeling tea envelop the palate and seamlessly transition to a rich finish delineated with firm tannins and echoing acidity.

2011 Domaine la Guintrandy Côtes du Rhône $25 — 3ltr box.
70% Granche, 20% Carignan, 10% Syrah 
Since 1850 Domaine la Guintrandy has been a family estate winery on the border in Visan. Their Côtes du Rhône is the best red box wine we have recently tasted with lots of black currant and cherry fruit excellent purity, good spicy notes, and a bit of licorice. Pricewise that’s about $6.50 a bottle.

2009 Odisea Wine Company, Veritable Quandary Red $18
25% Syrah, 17% Grenache, 17% Tempranillo, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Alvarelhao, 3% Carignane, and 12% “Field Blend”
Odisea located in the Napa sources fruit from throughout central California. They use organically grown fruit for the most part and native yeasts for fermentation. They assemble their complex and interesting wines through obsessive blending, paring varietals not typically seen together In the Quandary Red intense black cherry, cassis, blackberry and ripe plum fruit intermingle with white pepper, eucalyptus, wet stone, vanilla and toast. It is an opulent wine with lots of ripe fruit and touches of mineral, spice and earth.

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