Archive for September 30, 2017

Argentina & Amarone

It’s cloudy and cool this weekend in Madrona which is quite a change from the recent 80 degrees last Thursday.  To help you adjust to the changing season, we have some big reds to taste over the next two days with plenty of warmth to offset the showers.

Saturday we have a full line up from Argentina.
Pascual Toso, Sparkling Brut $11
2013 Don Valentin, Bianchi Lacrado $10
2011 Valentin Bianchi, Cabernet Sauvignon $17
2015 Pascual Toso Estate Malbec $15
2013 Paucual Toso Reserve Malbec $25

Sunday we are pulling out the big guns with two Valpolicella reds
from Marchesi Fumanelli. The Marchesi Fumanelli family have been cultivating grapes and producing prestigious wines in Valpolicella since 1470. The Squarano estate is located in the heart of Valpolicella, on a gentle hilltop surrounded by vineyards, cherry and cypress trees. Stop in and sip on this world class Amarone

2014 Marchesi Fumanelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore  $20
40% Corvina, 40% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella
Hints of wood smoke and spice enrich the black cherry coulis, orange zest and cocoa powder notes in this fresh, medium-bodied red, which is not a powerhouse, but the light tannins firming the finish recommend it to food. Bring out the salami. Drink now through 2020.

2011 Marchesi Fumanelli Amarone della Valpolicella  $77
40% Corvina, 40% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella
The Fumanelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 is a rich red wine that shows a wealth of fruit aromas and flavors. A vivid garnet red color in the glass, this wine shows intense aromas of ripe cherries, wild berries, and hints of sweet spice, cinnamon, tobacco, and chocolate. These opulent flavors continue onto the palate, which is luxurious and rounded. Flavors include baked red fruit, and the texture is full-bodied, with 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.

Argentina —

Pascual Toso & Valentin Bianchi

Saturday, September 30th, 2pm

This Saturday we are featuring two old school Argentinian wineries — Pascual Toso & Valentin Bianchi.  When in the mid-1880s Pascual Toso set out towards Argentina from Piamonte, Italy, he settled in Mendoza and established his first winery in San José, Guaymallén. At the beginning of the 20th century, he decided to expand his business and acquired vineyards in Maipú.   Bodegas Valentin Bianchi was founded in 1928 and now the 4th generation of the family runs the winery.  Come by on Saturday and try the new accomplishments of the old stalwarts.

Pascual Toso, Sparkling Brut $11
Chardonnay
Paul Hobbs consults on this project at the winery.   This sparkling wine balances yeast with the essential characteristics of Chardonnay. On the palate, it is soft, fresh and easy to drink — pleasant, fresh and velvety in the mouth.

2013 Don Valentin, Bianchi Lacrado $10
34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Malbec, 33% Merlot
The Bianchi Lacrado exhibits robust intensity and a great, perfume-like nose. The palate is velvety-smooth, with a complex display of flavors. It has a medium-long, pleasing finish.

2011 Valentin Bianchi, Cabernet Sauvignon $17
This Cab shows an enjoyable nose offering spicy aromas, as well as cassis, licorice, herbs and berry notes.  The palate has an elegance to it, while flavors of berry fruits, cassis, chocolate and fig finish smooth and long.

2015 Pascual Toso Estate Malbec $15
This Estate Malbec has a fruity nose filled with plum and quince aromas and a slight touch of elegant oak. The mouthfeel is full with blackberry and licorice fruit and has a rich and lingering finish with smoky accents of vanilla and lingering oak.

2013 Paucual Toso Reserve Malbec $25
This Reserve is produced using grapes grown in their estate located in Las Barrancas, Maipú considered one of the best wine growing areas in Mendoza.  The wine shows silky notes of cinnamon, allspice, violets and black cherry and offers savory flavors, plenty of fruit and consistent 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.

Winemaker Dinner

with Buty Winery

at Red Cow

Red Cow + Buty Winery
Wednesday, September 27th
Red Cow is hosting a dinner with
Nina Buty of Buty Winery


Doors @ 6:00

4 Courses with wine Pairings

Rosé & Charcuterie upon Arrival

Wednesday evening Nina Buty will be showing off her wines paired up with Red Cow’s excellent cooking. All the wines have complexity and elegance with great terroir and purity of fruit.  All the food is delicious.

$120 per person
(tax and 20% service charge not included)

Call  206-454-7932 for details & reservations
or email johnny@redcowseattle.com
1423 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Meet & Greet
2016 Buty Rosé of the Stones
Grenache, Mourvèdre

House-Made Charcuterie
Croutons, pickled vegetables, mustard.

First Course
2014 Buty Blanc
Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle

Dungeness Crab Salad
Citrus, avocado, watercress, fennel.

Second Course
2013 Buty Rockgarden Estate

Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache

Parisian Gnocchi
locally foraged mushrooms,
roasted tomatoes, bacon, marjoram.

Third Course
2014 Buty Connor Lee Vineyard
Cabernet Franc, Merlot

Double R Ranch Ribeye Steak
Grilled seasonal vegetables, pommes frites & aioli,
house-made sauces.

Fourth Course
2012 Buty Rediviva of the Stones
Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre

Bleu d’ Auvergne & Smoked Fromage Frais
House preserves, croutons.

==========

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.

Bubbles All Weekend

We have beautiful Fall weather here this weekend in Madrona.  And we have some beautiful wines to go with it, including sparkling wines both Saturday and Sunday.  Come have a great weekend.

Saturday, we have a distinctly French line up that will make the transition to Autumn a pleasure.
Moncontour Sparkling Vouvray Tete de Cuvee  $20
2015 Michel Vattan, Sancerre Cuvée Calcaire  $23
2014 Vignerons des Monts de Bourgogne, Bourgogne Rouge  $18
2011 Chateau Le Bourdieu Medoc  $22
Dumangin, Ratafia Champenois  $40

Sunday, we are celebrating the European Union with a sparkling wine from Piedmont and a rich red from Corbieres.  Both have special pricing.

Borgo Maragliano Brut  $12
Chardonnay
From the Piedmont this is a non-prosecco bubbles. Fresh with bright acidity and steady effervescence. The aromas are of citrus fruit, almonds and the aromas of freshly baked bread.
Was $15 now $12

2010 Château Trillol, Corbieres, Cucucnan  $12
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Still drinking great. Aromas of red fruit, redcurrant, blackcurrant and a hint of oak. The front-of-palate is silky, evolving over the top of discreet but well-structured tannins. 
Was $14 now $12

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.

Distinctly French,

Saturday, September 23rd, 2pm

Just when you think you know what to expect from a type of wine, along comes one that surprises you with a delightful difference.  This Saturday we are pouring five French wines that transcended our expectations and brought a smile to our lips.  We think they will to yours too.
 
Moncontour Sparkling Vouvray Tete de Cuvee  $20
100% Chenin Blanc
From 30 year old vines this Loire Bubble is aged for 18 months on its leas.  Nut and toast aromas lead to a smooth palate, with creamed apple and delicate orange zest flavors. Behind the crisp acidity, there is a mature feel, giving roundness to the delicious aftertaste.
 
2015 Michel Vattan, Sancerre Cuvée Calcaire  $23
Sauvignon Blanc
From a limestone vineyard of 30-year-old vines, the Vattan has racy aromas with mineral accents, citrus and blackcurrant leaf. Its well-integrated palate is supported by fine freshness, seductive fullness, succulence, precise, delicate aromas and drive.
 
2014 Vignerons des Monts de Bourgogne, Bourgogne Rouge  $18
Pinot Noir
This is a great little Pinot Noir from a cooperative.  Nothing fancy here just a bouquet of red fruits a crisp silky mouthfeel and a crisp finish. 
 
2011Chateau Le Bourdieu Medoc  $22
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot
A good Bourgeois: very pure and feminine on the nose with crisp red berries, redcurrant and candied orange peel. The palate is full but not cloying with layers of red fruit, leading to a solid finish.  You can watch a Sommelier blind taste this here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snPRPusaB-8  or you can try it on Saturday.  We won’t be spitting.
 
Dumangin, Ratafia Champenois  $40
78% Pinot Meunier, 22% Pinot Noir
Very unique Ratafia Champenois (Ratafia de Champagne) is made from grape must ‘fortified’ with Champagne distilled spirits  It is made with 4 simultaneous types of aging of different durations: Traditional barrel 6 years, Solera barrel 5 years, Vino Santo barrel 7 years, Vat 3 years.  Made by a great Champagne maker this liqueur has wonderful fruity aromas as well as a very distinguished wood note.  18% 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.

Organic Equinox Enology

Fall has slipped into town this weekend here in Madrona.  The evenings are arriving earlier and there is a fresh feel to the air.  We might even get a touch of rain.  It is a perfect time to enjoy some good wine and we have two great opportunities this weekend at the wine shop.

Saturday we are featuring wines from Illahe Vineyards an organically farmed winery from Oregon that makes some distinct whites and some fabulous Pinot Noir.
2016 Gruner Veltliner $18
2016 Pinot Gris $18
2016 Viognier Willamette Valley $18
2015 Estate Pinot Noir $23
2014 Project 1899 Pinot Noir $ 68

Sunday, we are pouring a pair of organic wines from the Ovieto region in Italy.  Altarocca is at 350m above sea level, higher than its neighbors, and consequently has a longer ripening season.  The grapes are all farmed organically and the wine made in a straight forward fashion.   

2015 Cantina Altarocca Orvieto Classico  $11
Grechetto, Procanico, Malvasia
Delicate and pleasant, with notes of fresh fruit and flowers. Refreshing, fragrant and persistent, with a hint of acidity and minerality.

2015 Cantina Altarocca Librato — Ovietano Rosso  $14
70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Canaiolo
Intense and harmonious in the nose, rich with notes of red fruit and a vegetable scent. In the mouth is full and balanced, with elegant notes of fruit and smooth tannins. No oak is used during the wine making to highlight the fruit.

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.

Illahe Vineyards

Saturday, September 16th, 2pm

Illahe Vineyard has 60 acres of vines with seven varieties.  The vineyard is one nine vineyards situated in the Mount Pisgah area, with silty clay loam soil unique to this area only.  Illahe makes wine as naturally as possible from the soil to the bottle. This requires working by hand on small lots with age-old techniques and materials.  Besides being organically farmed, they don’t use enzymes or additives, and don’t fine or filter their Pinot Noir. One of Oregon’s few horse-powered vineyards, they use a team of Percheron drafts to mow and deliver grapes to the winery at harvest.  The Project 1899 Pinot Noir is made entirely by hand with no electricity or mechanization.  Does that make a difference?  Come and see.
 
2016 Grüner
Veltliner $18
This Grüner Veltliner has aromas of dried peach, honey crisp apple, and fresh cedar board. The wine is fermented partially in acacia barrels which offer herbal flavors and complex texture. The palate contains flavors of red grapefruit, graham cracker, and white nectarine.
 
2016 Pinot Gris $18
Illahe’s Pinot Gris is layered with complex fruit and starts with notes of crisp granny smith apple, bright lemon zest, and hints of clove, paired with light notes of papaya and starfruit.  Neutral oak aging adds creaminess and texture with lingering flavors of almond butter and a spicy finish of cardamom. 
 
2016 Viognier Willamette Valley $18
The Viognier leaps from the glass with expressive stone fruit, and floral aromas of apricot, tangerine, honey blossom and wet stone. The palate is layered with peach compote, banana peel, and lavender with a touch of uncrushed peppercorn. The wine is steel-fermented to preserve the grape variety’s food-friendly acidity and an off-dry palate. 
 
2015 Estate Pinot Noir $23
The aromas of the Estate Pinot Noir begin with strawberry, tamarind, and blackberry then broaden along the palate to include chalk, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and earth. The acid supports a complete yet not overwhelming tannin balanced between skin and oak. The wine retains its velvet mouthfeel through a process of clarification by racking. For an entry level pinot, this wine is a great value and will last 6 to 12 years under the best conditions.
 
2014 Project 1899 Pinot Noir $ 68
The 1899 Pinot Noir was made without the use of modern winemaking equipment or electricity. This wine is hand-picked and brought to the winery by horse, hand destemmed and placed into wooden fermenters. It spontaneously fermented on its own.   It is hand pressed in a wooden basket press, bicycle pumped into barrel, and encouraged through malolactic fermentation without inoculation. It is corked it by hand, and applied the label by hand. The 1899 never touched dry ice, canned nitrogen, enzymes, stainless steel, forklifts, packaged yeast, electric pumps, or filters. The wine goes to the river by stagecoach and canoes 90 river miles down the Willamette to Portland to the distributor’s warehouse. The wine shows aromas of burnt caramel, dried red fruits, blackberry jam, chocolate with brioche toast and earth with 5 spice and cinnamon. 

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.

Chateau Beaucastel

Chateauneuf du Pape Vertical

A chance to taste the past

Chateau Beaucastel is one of the most renowned winemakers in Chateauneuf du Pape. They tend their vineyard organically and each year produce their top blend of roughly 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and the balance other nine permitted varietals. We recently received a limited amount of some of their past vintages, we are offering a vertical set to take you back in time. All notes & scores below are from Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate.

4 bottle vertical $450

Add a bottle of the current 2013 release for $95 more.

This is a very special gift for any wine lover or would make a great focus for a special gathering. Again this is very limited and first come first served.

1995 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
The 1995 will have three decades of longevity, but it will not be approachable before 2006. It exhibits a deep dark ruby/purple color, and a provocative (probably controversial) aromatic profile of animal fur, tar, truffles, black cherries, cassis, licorice, and minerals. A medium to full-bodied wine, with a boatload of tannin, considerable grip and structure, and a weighty feel in the mouth, this appears to be a classic vin de garde –93pts Wine Advocate

2000 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
The opaque ruby/purple-colored 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape offers a profoundly sweet perfume of melted licorice, blackberries, and black cherries backed up by loads of glycerin, full body, and moderately high but sweet, well-integrated tannin. There is a seamlessness to the 2000 that will make it accessible early in life, and thus atypical for Beaucastel. The 1985 behaved in this manner when young, but the 2000 possesses even more stuffing. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025. 94pts Wine Advocate

2007 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
An inky/ruby/purple color is followed by a glorious nose of blue and black fruits, truffles, pen ink, licorice, and meat juices as well as glorious levels of acidity and sweet tannin, buttressing the fruit’s fabulous freshness and vibrancy. This full-bodied effort still displays considerable tannin, no doubt because of the relatively high Mourvedre content. It should resolve its tannins in 2-4 years, and last for 25 or more. 96pts Wine Advocate

2009 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
The 2009 is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. Made from this estate’s classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth. If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years. –94pts Wine Advocate

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.

Weekend Values

It is supposed to cool off a bit this weekend here in Madrona.  We might even get a bit of rain to clear the air.  But after this break it looks like Summer is going to stick around for a bit longer.  Rain or shine (and most likely rain and shine) we got a full line of great value wines to taste.  Everyone looks for value and all you have to do is stop by the shop to find it.

Saturday we have wines from Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Abruzzo, and Apulia out of such grapes as Pigoletto, Caprettone, Falanghina, Greco, Montelpulciano, Susumaniello and Negroamaro.  Some of these grapes are a bit obscure, but they are all delicious.
Colli Bolognesi Pignoletto “Spazzavento Torre dei Nanni” $15
2016 Iovine, Lacryma di Christi del Vesuvio Bianco $14
2016 Sanvito, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $9
2015 Tenute di Rubino, Oltreme Susumaniello $14
2014 Tenute di Rubino Miraglio Negroamaro $14

Sunday we are tasting two French wines that show excellent value.  Lots of wine, little money.

2015 La Folie Douce   $10
Sauvignon Blanc
Many would think that a South African Wine Company like Origin Wine travelling to the South of France to make a stunning range of ultra-modern style French varietals would be “sheer madness” or La Folie Douce.  Some gooseberry and lemon notes, crisp and fresh with lime and kiwi flavors on the palate and a hint of tropical fruit on the finish.

2011 La Fleur Bibian Listrac-Medoc  $12
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot
La Fleur Bibian is made from a selection of young vines grown on several distinct parcels at Chateau Bibian. The combination of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon results in a smooth wine with a lot of juicy red fruit aromas and flavors and light tannins.
Was $14 now $12

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.

Italian Value

Saturday, September 9th, 2pm

Value is where the quality of the wine intersects with the price.  One would be hard pressed to find country with better wine value than Italy.  Stop by this Saturday as we pour a few such gems that will get you back to school or just into September and ready for the equinox. We have wines from Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Abruzzo, and Apulia out of such grapes as Pigoletto, Caprettone, Falanghina, Greco, Montelpulciano, Susumaniello and Negroamaro.  Some of these grapes are a bit obscure, but they are all delicious.
 
Colli Bolognesi Pignoletto “Spazzavento Torre dei Nanni” $15
Alberto and Cristina Fiorini, brother and sister, are the fourth generation of a family that has produced Lambrusco wines since 1919 with holdings in the province of Modena in Emilia-Romagna.  Pignoletto is a white indigenous varietal of the area.  The nose is delicate, but intense and aromatic. Full in the mouth the wine has a pleasant bitterish finish
 
2016 Iovine, Lacryma di Christi del Vesuvio Bianco $14
Caprettone, Falanghina, Greco
The members of the Iovine family have been viticulturists and have produced wine for four generations since 1890. They own approximately 15 hectares of vineyards in the Sorrento Peninsula, in Campania.   The soils (made up of volcanic deposits from eruptions of the Vesuvius) give this blend its distinct character.  It is an elegant, floral wine with a slightly acidic, lovely freshness.
 
2016 Sanvito, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $9
Sanvito’s modest Montepulciano shows full smooth structured tannins that support notes of ripe cherries and blackberry notes with a solid backbone of acidity that “pops” the fruit notes on the palate and keeps it fresh.
 
2015 Tenute di Rubino, Oltreme Susumaniello $14
Made from Susumaniello grapes grown in Apulia in the warm south of Italy.  Characterized by an intense ruby red color with purple hues. It presents a bouquet of fragrant and fresh red berry fruit notes, among which stand out cherry, pomegranate, raspberry and hints of ripe plum. At the palate, it gives off a fruity flavor, mineral, round with pleasant and soft tannins that make it particularly pleasant to drink.
 
2014 Tenute di Rubino Miraglio Negroamaro $14
The Rubino is ruby red, its aromas express ethereal notes of red fruit in spirit, plum, blackberry and currant, and spices. Syrups of licorice, thyme and rosemary open to a warm and elegant taste, full and round.  Its tannic texture is smooth and velvety, it closes with a finale that stands out for persistence.

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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