Archive for In The Beginning

Spain: Old Vines, Good Wines

Saturday, October 14th, 2pm

This Saturday we continue our tour of the Iberian Peninsula with five wines from Spain.  These wines come from longstanding vineyards with gnarled old vines that produce concentrated fruit.  And thanks to the Euro, they are a fantastic value. 
 
2016 Huguet de Can Feixes, Blanco Selecció  $15
Chardonnay, Parellada, Macabeu, Malvasia
This estate founded in 1768, is over 400 acres of mountainside terrain and is the highest vineyard estate in the Penedès region at over 1400 feet.  Organically farmed, the Blanco has an intense lemon-oil aroma with firm acid structure.  It has apple, melon and apricot notes along with wet stone flavors that reflect its gravelly soils.
 
2014 Familia Montaña, Rioja Crianza  $12
97% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano
The Montaña ages for 12 months in French oak instead of the more common American barrels. The wine’s spice and leather complement the deep blackberry fruit and ferrous minerality of Rioja’s red soils.

2014 Huguet de Can Feixes,  Negre Selecció   $15
70% Tempranillo, 30% Merlot
From the same vineyards as their white, Can Feixes’ round red Negre offers juicy cherry and licorice flavors, with notes of smoke and mineral. Its lively orange acidity imparts focus, while light tannins lend enough structure for balance.  The wine is juicy yet mineral with hints of tobacco, and a lingering fresh plum and cherry finish – and of course organic.
 
2015 Descendientes de Jose Palacios, Pétalos de Bierzos -$ 22
Mencia
During the late 1980’s, Alvaro Palacios travelled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers in his travels he got the idea of making great wine from old-vine Mencía.    From old hillside and hilltop vines from across Bierzo’s western edge, this excellent example of Mencia shines. This is such a tight and beautiful red with dark berry, stone and limestone character. Medium body focused and refined. It has a linear and very long finish and is a standard bearer for the region. Organic
 
2014 Hermando & Sourdas Antidoto, Ribera del Duero  $25
Tempranillo
The Antidoto is meant as an antidote to the many Ribera del Duero wines that substitute heavy-handed winemaking for a sense of place and variety.  The wine comes from 80-year-old vines in the cooler part of Ribera del Duero and is un-filtered and un-fined and aged in neutral barrels.  The wine has red fruit flavors, a racy acidity and considerable minerality on the palate.

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.

Summer Specials,

Saturday July 15th, 2pm

At Madrona Wine we love finding great bargains. Come by Saturday and see what some of our distributors have marked down to move out. Supplies are limited but the prices are great and the wines out of the ordinary.

2014 Natalino, La Caplana Gavi di Gavi $10
Smells of orchard blossoms and orange peel, light-bodied with good acidity. Citrus flavors, from orange peel, lemon oil, tangerine notes, with hints of lime and grapefruit. Was $13 now $10

2013 Parejas Cellars Garnacha Blanca $12
This WA grown, Spanish-styled white has aromas of ripe green apples, white stone fruits and citrus and herbal nuances which combined with lively acidity, and a refreshing finish. Was $15 now $12

2014 Adriano Finado Pinot Bianco $12
An Alto Adige Pinot Bianco with a fruity bouquet of apples and pears, soft and full flavors with a good finish, elegant body, and balanced acidity. Was $18 now $12

2010 Chateau Berneuitlh, Bordeaux Superieur $10
50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
A great everyday Bordeaux with some age to round out the edges. The wine shows aromas of ripe fruit, cherries and blackberries. On the palate, a frank attack with roundness in the mouth supported by a silky tannic structure. Was $12 now $10

2012 Paternoster, Sorso $12
Aglianico
From Bastilicata, this fresh less chewy Aglianico has dusty cherry notes, smooth dark fruit, kirsch and a dry tannic finish of bitter chocolate. Was $16 now $12

2012 El Petit Carlania, Conca de Barbera $12
Trepat
A light-bodied Spanish red varietal usually reserved for pink Cava, lively and fresh, with ripe red plum aromas and winsome blue floral and herbal notes; a sip communicates cherry, appetizing bitterness, and tannins with a slight chew. Was $15 now $12

2012 Pulenta, Estate Malbec $15
Elegant aromatics lead with floral notes of rose petal and lilac to a core of black plum, cassis and huckleberry. The palate is dense and weighty, with graphite and pencil shavings underlining the ripe black and red fruits. Was $27 now $15

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.

Going Coastal

Saturday, March 11th, 2pm

March 11 is deep in the Pisces. Neptune is all over that day so we are hitting the beaches and tasting an array of old world costal climes. Come coast along with us and see how the salt sea can influence a wine as well as the imbiber.

Digby Fine English NV Brut $46

40% Pinot Noir – 35% Chardonnay – 25% Pinot Meunier

In West Sussex “the sunniest spot in the U K” where coastal temperatures are moderated by cooler sea breezes, Digby’s vineyards are a blend of chalky and sandstone sites. The Bruts’s 12 grams dosage, is balanced by its 10 gram tartaric acid. The wine is toasty, spicy with aromas of Rainier cherries and lemon verbena. The palate adds honeyed almond and not quite baked apple pie flavors. It is fine and elegant with an incredible amount of finesse and charm.

2015 La Canna Albariño $16

Rías Baixas is on the northeastern Spanish coast just above the Portuguese border where the Atlantic Ocean cools the vineyards. This pure, chiseled Albariño has lime and stone aromas. Crisp yet comfortable, the palate delivers nectarine, apple and white-fruit flavors. It has a stony finish with crisp acidity and a leesy accent is lasting and attractive.

2015 Bargemone, Rose $16

Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault

Created by Knights Templar in the 13th century, the Bargemone estate now consists of 160 acres of sustainably farmed vines in Coteaux d’Aix, on the coast of the Mediterranean. A benchmark, dry rosé for which Provence is famous, the Bargemone offers classic aromas of wild strawberries and red currants, with a light, floral character and a crisp, bone-dry palate, This wine has a strong sense of structure, with a zesty tang as well as tannins that enhance the fruitiness of this intense and juicy wine.

2014 Mas de Gourgonnier, les Baux de Provence, Rouge $22

The Cartier family’s estate in Provence has 47 hectares of vines and 20 hectares of olive trees. Far from any pollution and having the advantage of a very hot, dry and windy climate, the Mas of Gourgonnier uses biological farming methods, following the “Nature and Progress ” laws which forbid any use of chemical fertilizer, weed killer and insecticide. The wines aromas suggest lavender, thyme and rosemary, with plums and black raspberries enlivened with a pinch of white pepper. The mouth delivers spiced cherries and plums, with hints of ginger and bass notes of dark chocolate.

2014 Caravaglio, Rosso di Munti, Isola di Salina, Sicily $25

100% Corinto Nero

The Caravagio family started making wine on the island of Lipardi off the coast of Sicily more than 500 years ago. Grapes on these wind-swept hills have always been cared for naturally, cleansed by the sea-salty air of the Mediterranean and protected from Phylloxera by the island’s mineral soils. Caravaglio’s Corinto Nero comes from these pre-phylloxera vines, many of which are more than 150 years old. This red grape is an ancient And somewhat forgotten variety. Today Caravaglio is the sole winery to make a pure Corinto Nero. The wine’s aromas of black and red raspberry, mulberry, and currants mingle with scents of roasted bread, wild sage, fennel, mint, and a kind of smoky, humid, turned-earth quality. The palate is ripe, lush, warm without feeling any excess alcohol heat or jamminess. Its herbal, scrub-brushy notes give it a ‘Mediterranean’ personality. Biodynamic and organic.

Bold and Unresolved

The temperature has warmed back up this week in Madrona, bringing a little life back to the winter dreariness.  Earlier this week a friend sent us this note:
We were on the wagon for a few days.  Then we were kind of peddling with one foot while one leg was on the wagon. And then we were waving goodbye to the wagon with our filled wine glasses.
Stop by Madrona Wine this weekend and toast the wagon as it disappears into the distance.  We’ve got a nice line up of wines to sample.

Saturday we are pouring some bold wines from Italy to shake off the gloomy corners of January. 
2015 Terresacre, Falanghina  
2012 Luccarelli, Negroamaro 
2013 Fattoria Uccelliera, Ginepraia  
2007 Ca’ Salgari Amarone
Cantina Quisello, Lambrusco

 Sunday, we are tasting a couple of French wines to match up with the Sunday dinner. 

2015 Château de la Cantrie Muscadet $10
A fine Muscadet to go with the seafood from across the street or just cheese and bread.

2014 La Florane Visan $11
90% Grenache, 10% Syrah
A Fleur de Pampre seduces with its perfect balance and ripe fruitiness with yet supple tannins —  blood orange meets dark cherry with a spicy topping. Good for those more roasted dishes.  Was $15 now $11

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.

Open til 3 on Turkey Day

I’m in the shop until 3pm for those last minute wine emergencies!

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.

Vermouthapalooza!

Five Open Until Five

We’re pouring these five bad boys until five – get out, enjoy the sun, sip a little Vermouth! These aren’t your grandmother’s Martini and Rossi. Great on their own, on the rocks, with a twist, or in a top shelf cocktail.

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.

Super Wine Weekend

The Super Bowl arrives this weekend, and while it won’t see the Seahawks out on the gridiron, it will have all the over the top commercials and Lady Gaga and light shows and fireworks and maybe even some football.  Of course to celebrate we are pouring some Super Wines all weekend at Madrona Wine.

Saturday, we have a fine line up from the Loire and the Rhône that offer up some tasty exceptional value.
2013 Pierre Chainier, Château de la Roche, Touraine  $12
2014 Pierre Chainier, Les Hospices Sancerre  $19
2013 Charles Thomas, Côte du Rhône  $11
2012 Alain Jaume, Haut de Brun, Côte du Rhône  $15
2012 Pierre Chainier, Roc de Chateauvieux, Chinon $21

Sunday, we’ll be showing off a couple of wines from Italy.

2014 La Jara Pinot Grigio Rosé  $9
After the tide of summer rosés you sometimes find the gems in the receding surf.  The La Jarra blossoms with rose petal and red fruit, lots of blood orange and lively goodness. And due to the season it is now $9.  Was $12 Organic  12.5% alcohol by volume

2013 Contini Tonaghe  $12
Cannonau di Sardegna
Sardinian Grenache that taste like it comes from nowhere else. Intense, with a well-defined vinosity and a hint of ripe plums and blackberries, lovely grippy tannins; warm and full-bodied with blackberry notes and juicy, ripe plum flavors.

Slip in and join us.

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.

New Arrivals January, 24th 11-5pm

The new boats of 2016 are arriving loaded with wine. This Sunday we’ll be welcoming two new arrivals to the shop — One from Corsica, and one from Spain. Stop by and greet them.

2014 Domaine Petroni, Corsican Red $12
50% Niellucciu, 35% Syrah, 15% Grenache
A good versatile red for Corsica, the wine has aromas of red fruit (strawberries, blackcurrant and raspberries) as well as delicate spice and a light minerality. It is supple on entry to the palate with red fruit flavors and subtle roasted notes. 12.5% alcohol by volume

2014 Tarima, Monastrell $10
This is your brain on Monastrell –Red raspberries, cooked cherries, and mulberries show in this wine’s expressive nose and mouth; the middle and finish also offer black plums and black raisins. Spices, herbs, and chocolate mark the finish as well.

Bubble Up!

As New Year’s Eve draws near celebratory bubbles come to mind.  Is it because like bubbles, time is fleeting?  Or is it something in the POP of a Champagne cork that bodes well for a start of the New Year?

While we ponder that, Madrona Wine Merchants will be OPEN from NOW until New Years. So if you have bubbles in mind or need anything else to usher in the new, swing by and pick some up.

We will be closed New Year’s day, but open again on Saturday with a new start.

If you want a little reading material Eric Asimov has a good article this week on Grower Champagnes in the NY Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/dining/new-champagne-brands.html 

Madrona Wine stocks a great selection of Champagne made by the people who grow the grapes.  And if you want something really special, we have
the largest selection of Special Club Champagnes in Seattle.

Happy New Year
from Jim & Mark

The Shop Is Going To The Dogs

Got a well-mannered mutt? We have treats for them and treats for their owners.

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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