Archive for April 26, 2014

White Port & What To Do With It.

Sunday Sippers 11-5pm

Sunday we are looking ahead to good weather and sampling White Port Lemon Tonic.  Wednesday is forecast to be 74 degrees.  You know you’ll want one.  

White port lemon tonic

  • A glass full of ice cubes
  • 1 part white port
  • 1 part tonic water
  • Generous squeeze of fresh lemon wedge

Alves des Sousa Caldas White Port                ($10)
White port is one of those things most people don’t know what to do with. But try it on the rocks with citrus peel, or play around and make up a new cocktail.

Was $20 now $10

And some other interesting recipes…

White port and mint

5–8 fresh mint leaves beneath a glass of ice cubes, filled with a mix of port and tonic at your discretion. I took it further, mixing a very light simple mint syrup:

Syrup:

  • Muddle (crush) a half-dozen fresh mint leaves in a cup of near-boiling water.
  • Add a bit of sugar, if desired, and let dissolve.
  • Let cool.

Cocktail:

  • Fill a glass with ice over a half-dozen muddled fresh mint leaves.
  • Add one part white port.
  • Add a tablespoon of the chilled mint syrup.
  • Add another part tonic.
  • Top with a spring of mint.

Cardicas Recipe

  • White Rum
  • Cointreau
  • White Port
  • Stir. No garnish.

Hi Ho Cocktail Recipe

  • Gin
  • Orange Bitters
  • White Port

Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel, and serve.

Mint Gin Cocktail Recipe

  • Dry Vermouth
  • Mint Gin
  • White Port

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Rock and Rye Cocktail Recipe

  • Dry Vermouth
  • Rye Whiskey
  • White Port

Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Petite French,

Minimal Intervention, Maximum Expression,

Saturday, April 26th, 2pm

This Saturday we’re pouring French wines from small producers, mostly organic, all hand harvested, from low yield vineyards, using mostly indigenous yeast with minimal intervention in the winemaking.  All things that make a difference when the wine hits the glass.  Come taste for yourself.

Domaine Rosier, Blanquette de Limoux “Cuvée Jean Philippe” Brut $15
90% Mauzac, 10% Chardonnay
Domaine Rosier is located in the upper Limoux Valley in the foothills of the Pyrénées.  Clay and chalk dominate the vineyard’s terraces, which are situated on steep slopes. The Blanquette has a subtle bead-of-light bubbles that carry delicate floral aromas and scents of acacia and green apple. The flavor is pleasant and fruity showing peach notes and a rich texture.

2012 Pouchaud Larquey Entre deux Mers $14
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillion
This domaine has been farmed organically since 1961, making it one of the first organic domaines in Bordeaux.   Traditional, meticulous pruning restricts yields far below the allowed tonnage for the region. The vines are hand harvested and indigenous yeasts start the fermentation.  This Entre-Deux-Mers is a pure expression of finely-etched minerality supported by rich, deep fruit flavors, touch of smoke and refreshing herbaceousness.

2010 Pierre Chauvin Anjou Rouge “Les Tournailles’ $14
75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Grolleau
From organic, 30 year old vines, the Tournailles distinctive notes of pickling spices and cigar box cedar on the nose. On the palate pencil led and green pepper are enticingly present with an underlayer of minerality drawn from the stony clay laden soils of Anjou.

2010 Domaine Aubai Mema, Liverna $12
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Grenache Noir, 10% Merlot
The Domaine Aubaï Mema is located in Aubais, a midieval village just south of Nimes, in the Languedoc. In the past, the villagers were proud to say that they were from Aubais itself (Aubaï Mema in Provençal), not just the surrounding county.  The Liverna has aromas of cocoa and ripe red fruit. In the mouth it is round and full and melted, fine-textured, anchored by bracing tannins. 

2010 Domine les Clos de Caveau, Vacqueyras, Carmin Brillant $32
70% Syrah, 30%Grenache
The red clay, limestone, and the famous galets roulés, or rounded stones, impart a terrific intensity and depth to the wines of Clos de Caveau.  Given the aridity of the soil, the vines here are naturally prone to lower yields, giving the wine its concentration and power.  The Carmin is macerated for nearly three months.  Its impressively perfumed nose offers a suave bouquet of red berries, garrigue, anise and fruit cake. Opulent, sweet, expansive and mouth-filling, the lush red berry fruit builds in intensity before coating the entire palate. These flavors are enlivened by baking spices, herbs and gentle tannins.  “This Vacqueyras Carmin Brillant, is among the most concentrated wines I tasted from this vintage. A singular effort that must be admired, with extracts and density levels off the charts.” –-Robert Parker

Sunday Sippers,

April 20, 2014, 11-5pm

 

The weather has changed again and again and again over the last week. If you aren’t celebrating 420 in a different way, or ieven if you are drop in for that Sunday Sipper. This Sunday we are tasting a French Rosé and a Washington Red.

2012 Domaine Amido Tavel Les Amandines    ($12)
65% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 5% Clairette
Richly colored rosé with cherry, strawberry and a touch of almond flower flavors. Lots of freshness on the palate, and with enough body to match wonderfully with cold pork roast, chicken salad and most picnic fare. Was $17 now $12

2012 Abbey Page Cabernet Sauvignon    ($11)
A fresh and fruit forward Cabernet from Columbia Valley at a great price.



 

New Arrival In The Food Section.

Madrona Wine Merchants is proud to offer a more cost conscious Maraschino cherry for those who aren’t feeling luxurious enough for our Italian Luxardo Maraschino Cherries ($18). From Oregon we are now stocking the Royal Harvest Maraschino Cherries with Stems ($6). Full bodied, mouth filling flavors of a fresh Bing cherry in a light syrup. Made 100% from natural food sources. The robust taste of these Bordeaux cherries are great additions to recipes (think glazes or dark chocolate cakes) or as the perfect cocktail addition.


New Spain,

April 19th, 2pm

Saturday we’re pouring new wines from Spain.  Some are new releases, some are new to town, some are new to the shop.  All express the diversity of Spanish wine making.  Come try these delicious wines from Penedès, Bierzo, Toro, and Navarra.  

Naveran Cava Brut Reserva $15 
50% Xarello, 30% Macabeo, 20% Parellada
The Naveran is an estate-bottled vintage Cava from Organically grown vines. Xarello contributes body, Macabeo gives aromatic intensity and Parellada lends acidity to the wine. This grower Cava that spends 18 months on its lees after fermentation in the bottle to achieve greater depth, complexity and the fine, delicate and long lasting bubbles.  It has strong aromas of yeast and smoke, and a supple, tasty palate, with well-integrated bubbles, good acidity and freshness.

2013 Armas de Guerra Mencia Rosé  $12
From a new farmer’s cooperative in Bierzo, Armas de Guerra has come out of the gate with some great and reasonably priced wines.  Their Rosé has dry floral aromas with crisp, tropical flavors like mango, papaya and lime.

2012 Armas de Guerra, Mencia Tinto $12
The red wine from Armas de Guerra is all Mencia.  It has lots of dry dark fruit and a pleasant finish.

2010 Cal Banca Toro $15
Tinto di Toro (Tempranillo)
Cal Blanca, “white chalk” in English, refers to the chalky, calcareous limestone soils found on the estate.  The vines are head pruned in the traditional manner, dry farmed (no irrigation), and tended using organic viticulture. The wine displays violet and graphite aromas along with cassis, candied plum, licorice and smoky minerals and spicy dark fruit flavors. It finishes sweet and long, with gentle tannins adding grip.

2009 Barón de Magaña  $23
Navarra
35% Merlot, 35% Cabernet, 20% Tempranillo, 10% Syrah

Barón de Magaña comes from a vineyard in Navarra started 45 years ago from cuttings from Château Petrus (yup, that’s Bordeaux).  Southern Navarra has limestone soil that imparts characters of minerality and acidity to the vines in keeping with their heritage.   The Barón possesses a Bordeaux like personality.  The wine was aged 14 months in 70% new oak. It boasts abundant notes of sweet mulberries, white chocolate and black currant fruit, incense, vanillin, mocha and a hint of espresso. It is a complex, modern-styled, Spanish red offering loads of fruit, medium to full body, and terrific balance as well as purity.

Deal or No Deal, Discount Discoveries,

Saturday, April 12th, 2pm

There are many reasons for a wine’s price to drop.  Sometimes it is just the next vintage is on the way.  Sometimes it is that the wine is just bad.  And it is hard to tell the difference without pulling the cork.  Mark & I love a deal and as a result we pull a lot of corks. Stop by on Saturday as we’ll be pouring some our current bargains.  We’ve tried them and think they are pretty good.  But don’t take our word for it.  Come find out for yourself.  Howie Mandel will not be here.

NV Le Cris des Roches Blanc de Blanc Brut  $9
Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Chardonnay
This Cry of the Rocks in made from Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and a little Chardonnay from the southwest and Languedoc.  Secondary fermentation is done in closed vat.  This was created specifically for the local importer so it started at a good price which now gets even better.  Stock up for those brunches, and parties.
Was $12 now $9

2011 Domaine Didier Tripoz, Bourgogne, Vieilles Vignes  $13 
This old vine Chardonnay has a toasty nose, creamy body, light mineral notes and soft apple and citrus fruit. 
Was $18 now $13

2008 Philippe Garrey, Mercury Blanc, La Changnee  $15
From a bio dynamic producer, this crisp and bright Chardonnay wine has light toasty aromas, Meyer lemon and Key lime citrus fruit and a slatey mineral finish.  We have a very small amount of this.
Was $30 now $15

2009 Barone Ricasoli, Campo Ceni  $10
Made from Sangiovese with a small amount of Merlot, aged 6 months in barriques, the Campo Ceni is a light and delicious red from a regarded Classico producer. It has fruity notes of black cherries and strawberries and the spices. The wine is soft, rich, warm and lingering to the palate.  
Was $17 now $10

2007 Quinta da La Rosa Reserva  $20
Touriga Nacional with some Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz, from the older dry stone terraced vineyards at La Rosa.  This is winery’s flagship wine beside their ports.  Extremely aromatic and concentrated, its present tannins are enveloped by sweet seductive, black cherry fruit. We got the last of this.

Was $35 now $20

2005 Bodegas Ramiros Cóndita  $20 
This big and serious old vine Tempranillo is from Eduardo Garcia, the son of Vega Sicilia’s winemaker.  An unmistakable toasty nose with lots of berry and plum fruit, smooth grainy tannins and chocolate and blackberry finish.  It is the last of this one too.
Was $30 now $20

Vive la France Sunday Sippers 11-5

Vive la France! This Sunday we are tasting two French sippers. Come chase your red, white, rose, and blues away.

2011 L’Ermitage Rosé    ($9)
40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 20% Mouvedre
A fresh and fruity Rosé with a little earthy herbaceous note. Was $11 now $9
13% alcohol by volume

2011 Coteaux Des Travers Cairanne    ($13)
60% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah
A rich and silky Village Rhône with Classic garrique aromas, dark berry fruit and a lurking earthiness from all that Mourvedre. Was $18 now $13

Roots & Renegades – NW New Releases,

Saturday, April 4th, 2pm

April Showers bring new wine releases along with the blossoms.  This Saturday we’ll be pouring some new wines from Sleight of Hand Cellars’ Renegade Wines from Walla Walla and Roots Winery out of the Willamette.  It is a fresh and spring-like lineup that will make you bloom.

2013 Sleight of Hand, Renegade Rose $11
79% Syrah, 14% Cinsault, 7% Counoise
The grapes were pressed directly after harvesting, and the juice was drained to stainless steel tanks, where the wine was fermented at a cool temperature to retain the fresh fruit characters of the final product. It has wonderful aromas of fresh pomegranates and citrus, some sweet red berries, and even rhubarb. This wine will be the perfect pairing with a fresh beet salad and crumbled goat cheese, or grilled salmon on your deck. 

2011 Roots, Melon de Bourgogne
Roots is a 7 acre estate in the Yamhill-Carlton district of the Willamette. Run by Chris Berg, Roots is an under the radar star of Oregon Pinot.  Their Mellon de Bourgogne (otherwise known as Muscadet) sourced from Deux Vert vineyard picks up a bit more body than its European cousin, but retains the that crisp freshness that goes great with shellfish.

2012 Roots, Klee Pinot Noir $20
In homage to one of Chris’ favorite artists Klee (named after Paul Klee), is a fresh and imaginative Pinot Noir. The grapes are sourced from various vineyards, and at $20 is an amazing value for the Willamette. 

2012 Sleight of Hand, Renegade Red $11
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot
The Red drinks like a Washington State Cabernet-based blend, with lots of red and black fruits, scents of loamy minerality, and fine grained tannins that are matched with balanced acidity.

2012 Sleight of Hand, Renegade Mourvedre $16
Only 4 barrels, or 98 cases of this wine, were made. Mourvedre is normally a minor blending grape in the Rhone Valley, but here in Washington (especially off The Rocks area in Walla Walla), it is worthy of being bottled on its own.

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