Archive for October 31, 2015

Guy Saget La Petite Perriere,

Sunday Sippers, November 1st, 11-5 pm

Guy Saget Estates is a family owned and managed Loire Valley winery, now in its 8th generation. Quality and respect of nature have always been the philosophy of Vignobles Guy Saget. Brought up in the vineyards, the Saget brothers; Jean-Louis and Christian, learned from a very young age to love and respect the soil. Vignobles Guy Saget sources two-thirds of the production in the Loire Valley from their estates with the remainder from long-term relationships with families of vine growers.

2014 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Sauvignon Blanc    ($11)
Clean refreshing with a good length the taste is a whirlwind of freshness, complexity, finesse and ends with notes of ripe melon. Ideally pairs with goat cheese or as an aperitif. 12.5% alcohol by volume.

2014 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Rosé                ($14)
Easy going, fresh and clean with a soft, silky texture. Graceful strawberry and melon notes. Made in a round, refreshing style perfect for all day enjoyment.

2012 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Pinot Noir        ($14)
“The result is a delightful and refreshing pinot, with red berry fruit and a hint of tannins and oak. In one respect, it’s almost Beaujolais in style, but without the grapiness.” Wine Curmudgeon 12.5 alcohol by volume

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.

Warm Up This Weekend

It is a wet and windy weekend in Madrona.  But we are pouring a line of wines to keep the damp out and ward off the wind.

Saturday, before the ghouls, ghosts and goblins descend upon us, we’ll be tasting some wines to brace us for the shorter days and longer nights that lay ahead.  We have a Pinot Gris from Oregon’s newest AVA, A complex Sauv Blanc from Sancere, An ancient grape from Alto Adige, a Petit Verdot that is anything but Petit, and a big bold red from Portugal. It starts at 2pm. Brave the weather and come try them.

Sunday, after we turn the clocks back, we are featuring 3 wines from Guy Saget.This 8th generation family run Loire winery make solid wines at affordable prices. That is 11 to 5, with someone to tell you maore about the wines and the winery from 1 to 4.

2014 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Sauvignon Blanc        $11
Clean refreshing with a good length the taste is a whirlwind of freshness, complexity, finesse and ends with notes of ripe melon.

2014 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Rosé                             $14
Easy going, fresh and clean with a soft, silky texture. Graceful strawberry and melon notes.

2012 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Pinot Noir                    $14
A delightful and refreshing pinot, with red berry fruit and a hint of tannins and oak. In one respect, it’s almost Beaujolais in style, but without the grapiness.

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.

Warming up for the Holidays,

Saturday, October 31st, 2pm

Halloween is here, and besides bringing ghouls, ghosts and goblins, it also marks a shift in our thirsts towards richer, fuller wines.  The meals get heartier and the wines need to stand up to them.  Saturday we’re pouring wines to brace us for the shorter days and longer nights that lay ahead.  We have a Pinot Gris from Oregon’s newest AVA, a complex Sauvignon Blanc from Sancere, an ancient grape from Alto Adige, a Petit Verdot that is anything but Petit, and a big bold red from Portugal. 
 
2014 Brandborg, Pinot Gris $15
Brandboug is located in the Umpqua Valley in Elkton (Oregon’s newest AVA) on the main Umpqua River which flows through a valley opening to the Pacific only 36 miles away.  This geography allows for a very strong marine influence with daily sea breezes and fog penetrating into the valley. This gives Elkton its unique climate – cool, maritime and temperate.  The Pinot Gris has fresh fruit flavors; green mango, green apple and pineapple.  The acidity keeps it fresh and crisp.
 
2014 Pierre Riffault, Sancere $20
Sauvignon Blanc
This Sancerre is vinified in tank with the lees being regularly stirred for more body, aroma and favors. A blend of two terroirs; the “caillottes” give fruit and freshness, while flinty soils lend minerality.  The wine shows aromas of fern, hawthorn, flowers, white fruits, and grapefruit zest. The unctuous mouth feel has ripe fruit character with intermingling notes of citrus zest and minerals.
 
2010 Roeno, Enantio Terradeiforti DOC  $15
Roeno is a family estate between Verona and Trento in the Alto Adige.  The grape Enantio dates back in the area to at least the 1st century AD.  The Roeno spends 15 months in oak barrels, 6 month in stainless steel tanks before bottling.  The wine has a complex bouquet of red berries, spices with a soft tobacco and incense notes.
 
2012 Bonair, Petit Verdot $22
Bonair has been “quietly producing fine wines since 1985” in the town of Zilla in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA.  This Petit Verdot is estate-grown. The vines produced a very small crop of highly concentrated fruit with cool nights allowing the grapes to retain great acidity.  The wine was aged 2 years in new French barrels.  Blackberry and cherry aromas greet the nose with layers of vanilla from the integrated French oak.
 
2012 Prats & Symington, Post Scriptum de Chryseia  $26
45% Touriga Nacional, 54% Touriga Franc, 1% other
Chryseia, meaning “golden” in Greek, is crafted by the Symington family (Port producers since 1882) and Bruno Prats (former owner of Cos d’Estournel). The 2012 Post Scriptum de Chryseia is aged for 13 months 400-liter French oak. It has aromas of plums and attractive resinous notes. Lush and mouth-filling with satisfying pure and compact black fruits, displaying undertones of mineral and spice, underscored by fine 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.

Sicilian Sunday Sippers – 11-5

Sicily is calling, are you answering? This Sunday we will have two supple Sicilian for sipping. Since 1500 B.C. wine has produced in Sicily and while the vintages we will open aren’t that old, they are ready to drink today. Stop in for a sip of Sicily.

2013 Fondo Filara Catarratto ($10)
Catarratto is Sicily’s most widely grown white grape. The wine has a fresh and concentrated bouquet with notes of bread crust, honey and a sweet almond finish.
13% alcohol by volume.

2012 Nicosia Frapatto ($10)
Created from an ancient grape variety typical of southeastern Sicily, this wine is distinctive for its pleasantly fragrant bouquet of fresh red fruits, raspberries and blueberries, while its taste is both lively and soft. 13% alcohol by volume

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.

Sunny Climes Saturday and Sunday

It is a bit cooler, but we are having lovely Fall weather here in Madrona.  So to warn off the chill we are heading to sunnier places for our weekend tastings.

Saturday we are sipping our way around Spain, skipping from a light and familiar Rioja to a bold and exotic Extremadura and stopping at sundry places in between.  It starts at 2pm.

Sunday we’ll be sliding into Sicily. Since 1500 B.C. wine has produced in Sicily and while the vintages we will open aren’t that old, they are ready to drink today. Stop in for a sip. 11 to 5pm.

2013 Fondo Filara Catarratto $10
Catarratto is Sicily’s most widely grown white grape.  The wine has a fresh and concentrated bouquet with notes of bread crust, honey and a sweet almond finish.

2012 Nicosia Frapatto $10
Created from an ancient grape variety typical of southeastern Sicily, this wine is distinctive for its pleasantly fragrant bouquet of fresh red fruits, raspberries and blueberries, while its taste is both lively.

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.

Saturday It’s Spain!

Saturday, October 24th, 2pm

Spanish wine making straddles two worlds.  The vineyards have often been tended by the same families for generations, while the wineries are being refitted with modern new equipment.  This Saturday we’ll see how the wines blend the two together as we taste our way thorough Rueda, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat and Exremaddura.  Come taste along.
 
2014 Bodegas Pingón, Carramimbre Verdejo  $12
From Rueda this traditional Verdejo shows true varietal aromas of stone fruit (peach) and the fennel notes. Its flavorsome palate shows white fruit notes and a long and balanced finish.
 
2011 Vina Cerrada Rioja, Crianza $13
95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano
A good introduction to Rioja, the Cerrada Crianza has attractive varietal aromas of red berries, fresh strawberry leaf and some hints of spice. It is rounded and soft in the mouth, with a medium bodied palate stacked with crunchy red berry and hedgerow fruit leading into an elegantly smooth, caressing finish.
 
2012 Valdecampana, Ribera del Duero Crianza $15
Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero plays a darker more tannic foil to Riojas brighter fruit.  The Valdecampana is no exception.  It is a dark and chewy Tempranillo with notes of blackberry, tobacco and roasted vanilla bean.
 
2012 Castell d’ Or, Esplugen Priorat  $19
Garnacha, Cariñena & Cabernet Sauvignon
Castell d’ Or’s estate is centuries- old in Bellmunt del Priorat. The rocky terrain that characterizes the Priorat region, together with the dry climate, generates a wine of great intensity and a rich structure in taste and aromas to the wines.  Ripe fruit aromas, deep and complex fragrances and toast notes lead off this mineraled big structured red.  The wine has good concentration, with a long pleasant finish. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 10 months.
 
2007 Marques de Valdueza, Gran Vino Extremadura $32
38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Syrah, 15% Merlot
The Valdueza 18 hectares estate has been managed for generation by the same family.  Each vineyard is vinified separately before being aged in French oak.  The nose of the Gran Vino is intense, fruity (strawberry, blackcurrant, blackberry cream), floral and resinous (red pepper), spicy (black pepper and cloves) and empyreumatic (coffee, smoked, roasted). It is dense, tasty and with a great balance that highlights freshness. The tannins are silky and well integrated.  It is a wine with personality.

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.

Champagne – Need we say more?

Sunday, October 25th, 5:30pm

$20 plus tax

Fall rolls around and we start stocking the shelves with new bubbles. We’ve picked the ones we liked best, and here’s an opportunity to see which of our favorites might be yours. We’ve got small houses, small growers and vintage Champagnes that you just don’t see everywhere. Space for this tasting is limited so contact us (just reply to this email) to reserve your space. We start at 5:30 on Sunday, have a few snacks to go with and you can still get home for Sunday dinner.

Ellner, Carte Blanche Brut $38
40% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
A small family owned “house” that grows most of its own grapes in Epernay. Very aromatic, with mineral aromas and flavors, plus candied berry and citrus tones matched to a light body, lively structure and intense flavors.

2008 Delahaie, Brut $40
50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir
In 1959, George Delahaie took over his parents’ vineyards in Epernay and set out, using 8 acres of the property, to make his own Champagne. In 1990, having no children of his own, he passed the estate down to his nephew, Jacques Brochet who modified the blends and brought in barrels for aging and conservation of the wines. The Delahaie is aged 4 years on lees before bottling.

Bruno Paillard, Brut Premier Cuvee $55
45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Meunier
The first aromas reveal the citrus character of the Chardonnay, such as lime and grapefruits. Red fruit aromas then come out, including redcurrant, raspberry, morello cherry – typical Pinot Noir. On leaving the wine to open up, candied fruits, even exotic fruits of Pinot Meunier appear with aromas of banana and pineapple. The palate is lively. The nose is confirmed by the first taste, including citrus, almonds, toasted bread and “brioche”… but also redcurrant jelly, and dark fruits like cherry, fig or blackberry. The palate is full, quite long, with a very clean finish.

2006 José Michel, Blanc de Blancs $55
José Michel’s Blanc de Blancs is only produced in the best vintages and sourced from their finest plots. The nose shows notes of peach, apricot and citrus while the palate is complex, layered and long. It is elegant and refined, reflecting the quality of the vintage.

Hubert Paulet, Brut Prestige Cuvee Risleus $80
Hubert Paulet’s Primier Cru Estate in Rilly sells half of their grapes to Billecart-Salmon, and makes their own wine with the other half. The Risleus is composed solely of older wines (around 10 years old!) ensuring excellent roundness and complexity. From 22-year-old vines growing happily with grass between the vineyard rows, this 1er Cru blend of Chardonnay, Pinots Noir and Meunier is mineraled, yet not austere, ripe apples are present on the opening, backed up with fresh bread and crushed sea shell. Now only in its fourth generation, Paulet is practicing biodynamics, leading to a steely purity on this classic, celebration-worthy Champagne.

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.

France, Young and Old,

Sunday Sippers,

October 18th, 11-5

This Sunday we’ll be sampling a youngin’ and one with a little more age on it, both from France, both red, both lower in alcohol content that their American cousins.

2013 Domaine Montrose     ($12)
35% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 30% Grenache
Domaine Montrose is a family wine estate founded in 1701 when the “Three Lizards” coat of arms was given to our ancestor. Montrose is located in the Languedoc region of Southern France. A juicy red from the Côtes de Tongue, that coats the tongue. Full of red fruit, black currant, and cocoa. Sustainable. 12.5% alcohol by volume

2009 Château Bellegrave Medoc    ($11)
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
With flavors of wood aging as well as sweet tannins, this is a concentrated and richly fruity wine. It has the ripe fruit of 2009, sweet berries, the tannins cushioned within the softness. A great value. 13% alcohol by volume

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.

Pure Piedmont,

Saturday, October 17th, 2pm

Nebbiolo is the oldest and most noble native varietal in Piedmont which takes its name from the Italian word for fog, “nebbia”, which is very common in the hills of Alba, especially in early to mid-October when this late-ripening variety is harvested. It is also the grape that transforms itself into Barolo and Barbaresco.  Join us this Saturday as we focus on the wines of Piedmonte where the wines range from great tasting everyday quaffers to elegant and complex world class sippers.  We’ll be sipping Cortese, Dolcetto, Barbera and of course Nebbiolo.
 
2014 Castelvero, Cortese  $10
The Castelvero estate is located near Monferrato.  As the vines are not located in Gavi, the wine just goes by the name of the grape.  It is an attractively herbaceous and clean white with aromas of grapefruit and minerals, with a light-body, and fresh, crisp citrus fruit.
 
2011 Poderi Elia Dolcetto d’Alba $12
Poderi Elia is family run estate established in 1890 in Neive. The estate covers about 9 hectares. The Dolcetto d’Alba comes from 30-year-old vineyards.  The wine has notes of rhubarb, a pleasant toastiness, and bright red fruits with a nice touch of sweet cigar smokiness. Very smooth, with “cashmere” tannins, this Dolcetto is a perfect example of classic Piemonte style for an everyday wine.
 
2013 Vietti Barbera d’Asti, Tre Vigne  $17
Patriarch Mario Vietti made the first Vietti wines in 1919, transforming the family farm, into a grape-growing and wine-producing business. The grapes for the d’Asti Tre Vigne come from vines in the in La Crena and other adjacent vineyards. The wine has ripe red cherry aromas with hints of mineral and vanilla. A dry, medium bodied red wine with refreshing acidity and soft tannins, this Barbera is well balanced with good integration of oak, good complexity and a finish of more red cherries.
 
2012 Damilano, Nebbiolo Langhe, Marghe $20
The Damilano family business dates back to 1890 when Giuseppe Borgogno began to vinify his own estate wines. Giacomo Damilano, the founder’s son-in-law, took over and over time, the winery’s production was transformed into a jewel that was passed down with pride in 1997 to Giacomo’s grandchildren, who run the winery today. “Baby Barolo,” this structured Nebbiolo delivers classic sensations of dark cherry, clove, cinnamon and a hint of orange peel. Vibrant, with fresh acidity balanced by silky-smooth tannins, it’s ready to be enjoyed now. 
 
2010 Damilano, Barolo, Lecinquevigne $35
This Barolo is crafted from Nebbiolo cultivated in five distinct towns in the Barolo DOCG, the vineyards are located in Castellero, located northeast of the village of Barolo with western exposure; Monvigliero, located in Verduno with southern exposure; Fossati, located in La Morra with east-southeast exposure; Ravera, located in Novello with southwestern exposure; and Cavourrina, located in Grinzane Cavour with west-southwest exposure. The Lecinquevigne has an intense bouquet with tertiary notes of rose, leather, tobacco and subtle hints of violet.  The palate delivers ripe Morello cherry and red raspberry accented with baking spices alongside 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.

Changing Seasons

Our sunny Fall weather has taken a turn to the more familiar grey this weekend.  The seasons are changing and here in Madrona the flower baskets are coming down and the Halloween decor is starting to pop up (If you want to take one of the baskets home and put it where it won’t freeze, they’ll be giving them away on  Monday between 1pm and 2pm).  Rain or Shine we’ll be pouring some great wines at the shop this weekend.

Sunday we are featuring two Portuguese wines from Casa Santos Lima.  The Confidential wines are amazing values.  

2013 Santos Lima Confidential Branco      $9
A blend of 10 different local & international grape varieties, this Portuguese white is a  nice lemony citrus wine with notes of thyme and lavender. 12.5% alcohol by volume

2012 Santos Lima Confidential Tinto  $9
A steal of a little Portuguese red that delivers a lot for a little. Nice delicate scents of berries, with underlying tobacco, well integrated acidity with a palate of berries and a soft finish. 13 % alcohol by volume

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.

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