Archive for April 30, 2015

Greek Wines

of the Islands & Mainland,

Saturday, May 2nd, 2pm

Saturday we’re tasting some distinct and indigenous wines from Greece.  The grapes Vidiano, Assyrtikos, Agiorgitiko, Moscofilero & Xinomavro aren’t household names here but they are there.  The wines hail from the islands of Crete, & Santorini as well as Nemea & Naoussa on the mainland. Come taste with us.  Sorry, we won’t be pouring Retsina.
 
2013 Alexakis, Vidiano $15
Alexakis –a family-owned-and-run winery– is the largest winery on the island of Crete.  Their mono-varietal of the indigenous white grape Vidiano has aromas of tropical fruits, pear and notes of citrus fruit.  A velvety, unctuous aftertaste, prevails in the palate, supported by the volume and length of high acidity.
 
2013 Santo, Santorini Assyrtkos  $17
Santo is a cooperative winery on the island of Santorini, built on the edge of the caldera ,that operates by gravity flow.  Their Assyrtikos shows white flowers, citrus fruits aromas and intense minerality. Vivid, with full, well balanced body and distinctive long after taste.
 
2014 Domaine Skouras, Zoe Rose $12
70% Agiorgitiko, 30% Moscofilero
Skouras is located in the Northeastern Peloponnese within Nemea.  Their rose has vibrant aromas of ripe cherries, and raspberries coupled with hints of sweet spices and floral, rose petal notes. On the palate it has a medium body, moderately-high acidity and the slightest suggestion of very ripe tannins.
 
2012 Domaine Skouras, Saint George $18
Agiorgitiko an indigenous grape that also goes by the name St. George.  The wine has fine grained tannins, intense raspberry fruit and sweet spices. The color is bright, deep crimson. The nose reveals aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and ripe strawberries with just a touch of anise and spices such as clove and cinnamon. It is medium bodied with a graceful texture, balanced acidity and very ripe elegant tannins. The finish is moderately long, full of red fruits with a touch of sweet vanilla and black pepper.
 
2011 Domaine Karydas, Xinomavro  $28
The Karydas family grows Xinomavro on a tiny holding just south of the town of Naoussa in the center of the appellation in Macedonia.  The vineyard is a sandy, clay hillside while the winery thoughtfully sits right in the middle.  The philosophy is simple yet painstaking; grow nothing but the absolute best fruit nature can allow and then have a minimalist winemaking style.  They make an old school, traditional Xinomavro; no new wood, very little intervention.  The wine has fantastic spicy fruit with middle texture and power with integrated but firm tannins.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.

Sun, Showers, & Pouring

It is another weekend of the Spring mix of Sun and Showers, but bright or dark we’ll be pouring some great wines at the shop.

Saturday at two we have a spectacular Spanish tasting with a blend of old stalwarts and new faces from Spain’s wine scene. Don’t miss the 2005 Frontaura Aponte Reserva!!

Sunday, we’ll be pouring two new arrivals from the South of France.

2013 Château Teulon, Costières de Nîmes  $10
Organic Roussanne
Mango, creamed pineapple and Cavaillon melon. Exuberant and perfumed, with notes of marmalade, buttered citrus and orange rind.

Cave Jamet, Sang du Peuple, Vin de France $12
A non-vintage Grenache, Syrah blend from the Côtes du Rhône, and the house wine for the cafe that is part of the wine cellar. The wine is ripe, rich and unpretentious.

Grab your umbrella and stroll on by.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Spain Old & New,

Saturday, April 25th, 2pm

Spanish Wines are a fine blend of old winemaking tradition and modern winemaking process.  This Saturday we will be tasting both the old and the new ranging from a crisp Catalan Cava from the oldest sparkling winery in Spain to a 2005 from a modern young winery in Toro.  Come taste the past join the present.

2010 Mont-Ferrant Brut Reserva  $15
40% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeo, 25% Parellada, 5% Chardonnay
Mont Ferrant , the oldest sparkling wine maker in Spain, is located in Catalonia.  All of their bottlings are crafted utilizing true Méthode Champenoise, from estate grown hand harvested grapes.  The 2010 was aged for 24 months before disgorgement.  It is complex, toasty and yeasty.  12% alcohol by volume

2013 Cune, Monopole Blanco Rioja  $13
100% Viura
CVNE (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) is one of the most renowned and historic bodegas in all of Spain. Founded in 1879 by the Real de Asúa brothers, it is now run by 5th generation descendants.  Their Monopole has a highly aromatic bouquet evoking ripe pear, peach, melon and white flowers, with honeydew and pit fruit flavors that expand with air. It shows good energy on the finish, picking up a bright citrus quality.

2009 Cune, Viña Real, Rioja Crianza  $15
Tempranillo
“Hand-harvested from their vineyard in  Rioja Alavesa and aged 14 months in used barrels, the 2009 Crianza has a luscious, joyful bouquet that brims with succulent kirsch and Morello fruit. The palate has a crisp cranberry and raspberry driven entry with fine, edgy tannins and a lovely crisp minerally finish. The Cune is a very fine Crianza that should age nicely over the next decade.”

2006 Reseva de la Tierra, Vega Escal Priorat $18
60% Cariñena, 30% Garnacha, 10% Syrah
Tthe fruit for this wine is grown in  Gratallops with its warmer daytime temperatures.   The vines range in age from 10 years for the Syrah to 50 years for the Carinena. The Vega Escal offers smoky red berry and black currant aromas on the nose with a touch of lavender. The palate is ripe with lush black cherry fruit, toasted oak, round tannins and a long finish.

2005 Frontaura Aponte Reserva      $32
Tempranillo
The Flagship wine from the ultra-modern Frontaura winery in Toro, the Aponte is made from 100-year-old vines and aged for 22 months in new French oak.  The wines aromatic complexity stands out with a cornucopia of fruit, spice and herb notes.  The mouthfeel is smooth and expressive with a broad deep aftertaste.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Weekend Wineing

It looks like wonderful weather this weekend here in Madrona.  So get out and stroll to the shop where we’ll be pouring some beautiful wines to match the beautiful weather.

Saturday, starting at 2, we’re tasting some antipodal wines from down under.  Don’t miss the chance to try these delicious wines from Australia.  Chances are you’ll find the perfect wine for that barbeque that you should be planning.

Sunday, we’ll have a new Spanish white and a red to match up to the sunny weather.
2010 Castro Pequeño Chamelín, Verdejo ($9)
Aromas soft citrus, followed by crisp and light mouthfeel with a mellow richness from its notes of honey citrus & apple. Was $15 now $9

2012 Valdecampaña,  Ribera del Duero Crianza    ($15)
A dark and chewy Tempranillo with notes of blackberry, tobacco and  roasted vanilla bean.

 

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Australia,

Saturday, April 18th, 2pm

The buds are breaking out here, but it is harvest time in Australia. The grapes are being crushed and the must is fermenting.  This Saturday we’ll be tasting some antipodal wines from McLaren Vale and Langhorn Creek where Shiraz is king.  Come have a taste from the other side of the world. 
 
2012 Shadow Chaser, Chardonnay  $12
The grapes for the Shadow Chaser come from 4 vineyards across the McLaren.  Altitude ranges from 71 to 175 meters above sea level, and soil types vary greatly; biscay, clay, sand, silt & ironstone. This variation from vineyard to vineyard helps to give the wine complexity.  “Vibrant lemon and lime zest on the nose, with deeper pear and chamomile qualities in the background. Juicy citrus fruit flavors show good depth and tangy cut, with a gingery nuance kicking in on the back half. Bright, focused and tangy on the finish, which shows a hint of tarragon.”
 
2012 Imprimata, Grenache $17
The Imprimata is grown on a tough Ironstone laden hillside in McLaren Vale. The vines appear to float above the valley and the sea below, braving the winds off of the Southern Ocean and keeping yields achingly low, thus producing a profound Grenache of delicate balance. The wine is “Lush, expressive aromas of fresh raspberry and cherry compote, with a spicy topnote adding vivacity. Silky and sweet, offering intense red berry, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that gain weight in the glass. Finishes silky and long, with resonating spice and floral notes.”
 
2013 Spring Seed, Scarlet Runner Shiraz $23
Spring Seed Wines are made with organically grown, single vineyard grapes that express the unique characteristics of the McLaren Vale foothills. The label is inspired by vintage flower seed packets.  Only 8% new French oak is used in the winemaking, keeping the emphasis on pure fruit flavors. “Dark berries, cherry and candied flowers on the nose. Plush and open-knit, showing sweet dark berry and candied violet qualities and a hint of bitter chocolate. Finishes on a spicy note, with good length and fine-grained tannins that add structure.”
 
2010 Winners Tank, Velvet Sledgehammer Shiraz $22
Winners Tank is a vineyard in the Langhorn Creek .  The name refers to an old water tank that sits in the corner of the vineyard. A strong rivalry exists between the three neighboring towns in the local Australian Rules Football competition. Each year the winning team heads out to the vineyard to paint the tank in their team colors. The Sledgehammer is picked a week later than their other shiraz giving it extra richness.  “Blueberry liqueur, cassis and hints of violet on the nose. Sweet, full and expansive, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors and a jolt of bracing acidity on the back half. Finishes with dusty tannins, appealing sweetness and lingering spicecake and floral nuances.”
 
2012 Flegenheimer Reserve Red  $27
85% Shiraz, 15% Petite Sirah
Flegenheimer’s McLaren Vale vineyard consists of ironstone and clay over limestone and benefits from cool maritime breezes each afternoon. The wine “exudes aromas of warm blackberries and crushed black plums with hints of mulberries, black pepper, tree bark and charcoal. Very big and full-bodied, it fills the palate with warm berry preserves flavors and just a touch of pepper that is offset by chewy tannins and up-lifting acidity.”


Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Santa Cruz By Northwest,

New Releases from the West Coast,

March 12th, 11-5PM

This Sunday we’ll have two new arrivals open for tasting – a Rosè from California, and an Italian-style blend from Oregon. Come give them a try.

2014 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare       ($15)
35% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, 12.5% Roussanne, 8% Carignane, 16% Grenache Blanc, 8% Cinsaut, 1.5% Marsanne, 1% Couniose
“The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; its charms are seductively subtle. Discreet nose of alpine strawberry, evolving into a refreshing mintiness with additional air and warming. On the palate, a beautiful natural crispness and a great sleek and savory texture, in virtue of the extended lees contact/bâtonnage the wine received.” Sustainable. 13% by volume

2011 Memaloose York’s Reward    ($13)
46% Primativo, 42% Barbera, 12% Dolcetto
Named after Louis and Clarke’s unappreciated slave, this is a palate-cleansing blend of Italian varietals from a cool vintage. The grapes were grown in Idiot’s Grace Vineyard in Mosier, OR, and aged in neutral oak. The wine is fruity and tart, well suited for standing up to most dishes and opens up as it breathes.
12.5% by volume. Was $20 now $13

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Spring Bouquets

The weather is mixing it up this weekend in Madrona, but rain or shine we’ll have our nose in a glass smelling the rich bouquets of Spring.

Saturday, we’ll be pouring some of our new discoveries from Portugal, Italy, Slovenia and France whose aromas just jump from the glass. That starts at 2.  Come get a jump on it.

Sunday, we have two West Coast blends that are nothing to sniff at.

2014
Bonny Doon
Vin Gris de Cigare       $15
35% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, 12.5% Roussanne, 8% Carignane, 16% Grenache Blanc, 8% Cinsaut, 1.5% Marsanne, 1% Couniose.
“The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; its charms are seductively subtle. Discreet nose of alpine strawberry, evolving into a refreshing mintiness with additional air and warming. On the palate, a beautiful natural crispness and a great sleek and savory texture, in virtue of the extended lees contact/bâtonnage the wine received.” 

2011 Memaloose York’s Reward $13
46% Primativo, 42% Barbera, 12% Dolcetto
Named after Louis and Clarke’s unappreciated slave, this is a palate-cleansing blend of Italian varietals from a cool vintage. The grapes were grown in Idiot’s Grace Vineyard in Mosier, OR, and aged in neutral oak. The wine is fruity and tart, well suited for standing up to most dishes and opens up nicely as it breathes.  Was $20 now $13

They’ll be open all day so stop on in.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Fresh Spring Wine

Saturday, April 11th, 2pm

The warm moist air of Spring awakens our taste buds and we look around for fresh wines to quench our thirst with.  Saturday, we’ll be pouring some of our new discoveries from Portugal, Italy, Slovenia and of course a couple of French reds.  Come refresh your palate.
 
2014 Alianca, Vinho Verde  $8
Vinho Verde or “green wine” comes from the Minho province in the far north of Portugal.  The green refers not to the color but the age.  It is meant to be drunk young and fresh.  The Alianca is crisp with a good body and that wisp of effervescence to match its lime , green melon and saline notes  It is about as refreshing as a wine gets, and it’s only 10% alcohol makes it a great afternoon sipper.
 
2014 Bisson, Glera Frizzante $21
Glera is the grape of Prosecco, and Bisson’s dry sparkler is a fine example. The wine is incredibly refreshing with sundry hints of saline, minerals, citrus and herbs along with dry Mellon / lemon, yeasty notes.  The traditional crown bottle cap closure provides easy access for outdoor patio or beach dining.
 
2012 Domaine Ciringa, Fosilni Breg  $20
Sauvignon Blanc
From Slovinia, this rich Sauvignon Blanc come from Fosilni Breg (Fossil Mountain) vineyard.  It jumps out of the glass with aromas of peach, pear and gooseberry and a fine acidity along with a pronounced mineral character from the limestone fossil soil. Thanks to the Euro it is now only $20.

2012  Château Les Arromans, Bordeaux $13
75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc
A small château run by two brothers produces this solid, straight forward, and correct Bordeaux without much fuss.  The grapes are from 35-year-old vines. And produce a wine with pleasant plum, blackberry and cassis notes flecked with a hint of tobacco and smooth, chalky tannins.  Organic.

2013 Château Massiac, Minervois Rouge  $18
75% Syrah, 25% Carignan
Chateau Massiac (which dates from 1667), sits in the heart of Minervois. Bernard Boudouresques and his family recently revived the domaine, planting vineyards and converting the estate to organic viticulture.  The site is exposed to both the winds that sweep up from the Mediterranean and the cooling northwest wind coming from the mountains which consistently dries the vineyard and makes it less vulnerable to the maladies of the vine.  The Minervois Rouge is structured and balanced with intense, concentrated notes of dark fruit and spice backed by rich earth and minerals. As the wine ages, the fruit flavors give way to light herbal notes of juniper, rosemary and thyme as well as the savory flavors of wild berries and a hint of the “animal”.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Sunday Sippers —

New Wines from the Old World

The Easter Bunny loves Grüner

April 5, 11-5

This Sunday we’ll have two old world wines open for sampling – a Grüner from Austria, and a Tempranillo from Spain. Come give them a try.


2012 Höpler, Grüner Veltliner    ($13)
A tasty Grüner with notes of grass, roses, apricot and lime. 13% by volume

Was $15 now $13

 

2012 Valdecampaña
Ribera del Duero Crianza    ($15)
Tempranillo
A dark and chewy Tempranillo
with notes of blackberry, tobacco and roasted vanilla bean.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

Weekend Wines

It is an Eating & Drinking weekend here in Madrona, with Passover today followed by Easter on Sunday, and here at Madrona wine merchants we don’t pass up any occasion for a good meal or a fine bottle.

Saturday, somewhere between the sun and showers, we’ll be pouring a delicious line up of French wines that will inspire awe and bring out ahhs!.  That they go well with food goes without saying.  That starts as 2 and goes as long as the wines last.

Sunday we are OPEN, and Mark will be hunting for eggs around the shop and biting the heads off of chocolate bunnies, while sipping on two old world arrivals that have just rolled into the shop.

2012 Höpler, Grüner Veltliner   $13
From Austria, this tasty Grüner has notes of grass, roses, apricot and lime and is on special. Was $15 now $13

2012 Valdecampaña, Ribera del Duero Crianza    $15
From Spain, this dark and chewy Tempranillo has notes of blackberry, tobacco and roasted vanilla bean.
WE have it on good authority that the Easter Bunny loves Grüner. 

Hop in and check them out.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5. No matter what day you stop by we always have something open to sample.

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