Archive for Tasting Notes

Spain All Weekend

The weather forecast looks like Rain and Wind and Cold and maybe Snow on Sunday here in Madrona.  But this is Seattle so who know how it will turn out.  No matter what the weather, we’ll be basking in Sunny Spanish Wines all weekend.

Saturday we are savoring some full-bodied wines Rioja, Utiel-Requena, Ribera del Duero and Priorat that fill the glass and the mouth with lingering pleasure.  
2014 CVNE Monopole Bianco  $13
2015 Vera de Estenas, Bobal $12
2016 Pago de los Capellanes Ribera del Duero Joven Robles $17
2013 Abadia Retueerta,  Sardon se Duero   $31
2014 Clos Figueras,  Serras del Priorat  $25

Sunday we keep it rolling with two more wines from Rioja.

2015 Carlos Serres Rioja Blanco  $10
85% Viura, 15% Tempranillo Blanco

Fresh aromas of apple and pineapple with subtle white floral characters. Fresh, fruity and lasting finish, a great balance between fruit and acidity in the mouth.
2011 Vina Bujanda Rioja Reserva  $15
Tempranillo
A great price on a Reserva this wine shows deep, spicy aromas of blueberries, leather, mocha and cacao. On the palate, orange marmalade with fir under growth and Bing cherry. Was $22 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.

Savoring Spain

Saturday, February 17th,2pm

This Saturday we are savoring some flavor packed wines from Rioja, Utiel-Requena, Ribera del Duero and Priorat.  These full-bodied wines fill the glass and the mouth with lingering pleasure.   Come have a taste.
 
2014 CVNE Monopole Bianco  $13
100% Viura.
CVNE’s reds have long been a standard in Rioja,  but there entry white is a great value.  All grapes come from the Rioja Alta, where higher altitudes and Atlantic influences make for a moderate climate which is ideal for producing wines of elegance and finesse. Soils are composed of iron-rich clay and limestone. This wine is aged in tank and bottled in January to preserve freshness and fruit. This white is fresh and bright with a firm backbone of crisp acidity that carries pear, McIntosh apple and verbena flavors and a juicy, floral finish.
 
2015 Vera de Estenas, Bobal $12
Founded in 1945 Vera de Estenas is situated at 800m elevation near the mouth of the Estenas river near the foot of the Sierra del Remedio Mountains in the heart of Utiel-Requena.  Summer brings scorching heat, but a cooling wind called the Solano brings relief, and nighttime temperatures can drop substantially due to the high elevation, helping to preserve acidity in the grapes.   This Bobal comes from 50 years old vines.  It shows a mix of bright black and red fruits, spice, and minerals.  The traditional pairing is Gazpacho Manchego, and Valencian paella made with rabbit or chicken, and snails.
 
2016 Pago de los Capellanes Ribera del Duero Joven Robles $17
Tempranillo
Pago de los Capellanes is located near the village of Pedrosa de Duero, deep in the heart of the Ribera del Duero region of Spain.   The Joven Roble is a oak aged young wine with strong black fruit, vanilla, coffee and spicy undertones.  Medium bodied, fresh and fruity. Light tannins, elegant and excellent acidity.
 
2013 Abadia Retueerta,  Sardon se Duero   $31
75% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah
This winemaker use to work for Vega Sicillia until he spun off on his own.  This Duero red has an intense, mature nose with mineral aromas that give way to black fruit, such as blackberry and blackcurrant. The wine has hints of licorice, redcurrant and cherries in liqueur on a backdrop of dark chocolate.
 
2014 Clos Figueras,  Serras del Priorat  $25
Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon
Located on the schistuous slopes of Gratallops, a terroir responsible for the finest wines of Priorat, this second label from Figueras has focused flavors of cherry, berry, vanilla and mountain herb that mingle over light tannins, refreshed by bright acidity. The wine is not muscular but has good energy.

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

A break in the clouds

It looks like the grey is parting (at least for a little bit) here in Madrona.  Mardi Gras is here, closely followed by Valentine’s day. You are going to need a little wine to go with.  It is a good weekend to get out stretch the legs and stop by the wine shop to see what’s pouring.

Saturday it is wines from Friuli & Veneto.
2016 Colutta, Pinot Grigio  $20

2016 Colutta, Ribolla Gialla, Gran Cru  $33
2016 Mauro Maschi0,  Veneto Merlot  $11
2014 Ca Salgari, Valpolicella Classico Superiore D.O.C. Ripasso Vajoi  $24
2013 Ca Salgari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico D.O.C.G  $38
And don’t miss the olive oil.
Petrizzelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mono Cultivate  $18

Sunday we’ll be pouring two great deals from the South of France.

2016 Mont Gravet Cinsault Rosé $10
A dry Languedoc Rosé with aromas of raspberries and pears. 12% alcohol by volume

2008 Clos Saint Georges Cuvée Chevalière $12
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah
A juicy Roussillon Red, with enough age to smooth out the edges. Kirsh, licorice and fine 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

Friuli & Veneto

Saturday, February 10th, 2pm

This Saturday we are featuring wines from the northeast of Italy in Colli Orientali del Friuli and Valpolicella. Colli Orientali is known for its outstanding whites and Valpolicella for its Amarone.  Imported importer Fulvio Longo will be on hand to show off these fantastic wines.
 
2016 Colutta, Pinot Grigio  $20
The Colutta Farm – “Bandut” is named after an ancient piece of land bought by Antonio Colutta in the early 1900s, which now belongs to Giorgio Colutta.  Colli Orientali vineyards are influenced by the breeze from the Adriatic.  This Pinot Grigio has effusive aromas of apple blossoms and quince with underpinnings of bitter almonds. It is intense with rich and refreshing flavors.
 
2016 Colutta, Ribolla Gialla, Gran Cru  $33
Truly unique, Colutta’s Ribolla is elegant, delicate and floral, with notes of jasmine and orange blossom. 
 
2016 Mauro Maschi,  Veneto Merlot  $11
The Maschi is a distinct expression on Merlot from the Northeast of Italy –and it is at a great price.
 
2014 Ca Salgari, Valpolicella Classico Superiore D.O.C. Ripasso Vajoi  $24
Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella and Croatina
The Salgari family’s wine making dates back to 1840, when Luigi Antonio built his manor house with an underground cellar.  It has a historic rural courtyard surrounded by centuries-old cypress trees and is located in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area in the Negrar valley. In February, the Valpolicella Superiore undergoes a light maceration and re-fermentation, mixed with skins and seeds remaining after the first fermentation of Recioto and Amarone to become Ripasso.  The wine is then aged at least 12 months in oak casks.  This Ripasso has a rich range of fragrances with persistent notes of ripe red fruits, tobacco, spices and light vanilla.  It is warm, soft and embracing, with elegant tannins, and a well-balanced structure.
 
2013 Ca Salgari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico D.O.C.G  $38
Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella and Croatina
In September the grapes for this Amaorne are manually harvested, and the best ones are placed in small wooden trays and left to dry for at least 4 months. During this period of natural drying, called appassimento, the grapes lose about 40% of their weight, developing larval forms of noble rot such as botrytis cinerea. This mold naturally contributes to the increase of glycerol concentration, giving a softness and characteristic aroma to this great wine.  A soft pressing and slow fermentation at low winter temperatures follows.  The wine has an intense and complex bouquet of red flowers and fruitiness including notes of cocoa and vanilla. 
 
Petrizzelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mono Cultivate  $18
The Petrizzelli is ade exclusively from the Coratina Olive a very small, low yielding varietal that rewards those who have the patience to work with it. Come taste it.

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

World Wide Weekend

Globetrotting is on the schedule for the weekend here at Madrona Wine.  So grab your umbrella, head to the shop and come along.

Saturday, we have a full Albariño from Spain, a dark Merlot from Chile, a new juicy Bordeaux from France, a concentrated Syrah for South Africa and a big shouldered Sangiovese from Tuscany.
2015 Sin PalaBRAS, CastRoValdES  $18
2012 Tres Palacios, Family Vintage Merlot  $15
2015 Château Guillou, Montagne St. Emilion  $15
2011 La Motte, Syrah  $15
2009 Cacchiano  Chianti Classico Millenio $24

Sunday we are turning the world upside down and sampling two Southern Hemisphere wines — Peruvian Chardonnay and Australian Petite Sirah. Come shift your axis with us all day, opening at 11am, closing at 5pm. 
 2015 Intipalka Chardonnay  $12
A Peruvian Chardonnay with tropical fruit aromas. It is rounded on the palate, fresh with balanced natural acidity. Medium-bodied and a long finish. 13.5% alcohol by volume. Was $15 now $12

2015 De Bortoli Petite Sirah  $11
From Australia, an earthy Petite with dark fruit and spice notes.

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

WINE over POLITICS

World Wine Values

Saturday, February 3rd, 2pm

Value is where you find it.  This Saturday we’ll be showing off some great values that we have found from around the globe.  We have a full Albariño from Spain, a dark Carminere from Chile, a new juicy Brodeaux from France, a concentrated Syrah for South Africa and a big shouldered Sangiovese from Tuscany.  All of them are a lot of wine for the money.  Come taste for yourself.
 
2015 Sin PalaBRAS, CastRoValdES  $18
Albariño
An Upper Case Albariño from Rais Baixais from 75-year-old vines.  Classic Albariño aromas of sea brine, tropical fruits, lees and dust precede a minerally lemony palate with tangy flavors of lemon, lime and gooseberry. This is a fresh clean example with a long stony citrusy finish.

2012 Tres Palacios, Family Vintage Carmenere  $15
The Family vintage is from select blocks of Palacios estate vineyards.  The yields are kept low to achieve strength and fruit concentration. This is a good example of serious Carmenere from Chile with aromas of blackberries and plum with graphite and coal on a masculine nose. The fruit is solid and ripe, with black cherry and chocolate with soft tannins and rich complexity.
 
2015 Chateau Guillou, Montagne St Emilion  $15
75% Merlot,  25% Cabernet Franc
A sister estate owned by the Saby family(who also own Château Rozier, Château Saint André Corbin and Château Hauchat) this St Em satellite packs a big punch with oodles of red berry fruit and mocha character.  It is an excellent value in under-the-radar Bordeaux.

2011 La Motte, Syrah  $15
95% Syrah, 5% Grenache
From the Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Cape winelands, the La Motte Syrah tastes of dark berries and cloves. The finish is long and features clear oak notes.
Was $25 now $15

2009 Cacchiano Chianti Classico Millenio – $24
100% Sangiovese
This is the big wine from a very old estate winery in Chianti.  The Millenio is made only in the best years and ages for 5 years before release.   Juicy and powerfully structured, this vibrant red boasts aromas of underbrush, game and mature plum.  The palate offers cherry marinated in spirits, juicy raspberry, white pepper, clove, tobacco and licorice alongside firm, velvety tannins.
Was $38 now $24

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

French Flavors

Saturday, January 27th, 2pm

Join us Saturday for a taste of the rich explosive flavors of the French countryside.  We’ll be tasting a Pear Cider from Normandy, a mineral white from Touraine, a Bordeaux from each side of the river and a rich Syrah from the Rhone.  There is something for everyone. 
 
Daufresne, Poire (Perry) Cidre Normandy $12
A Perry pear is gritty, tannic and acidic, with tannins that tend to be rounder than those found in cider apples, and the pears used for perry have less malic acid than cider apples, resulting in a beverage that is less tart and more delicate. The Daufresne offers sparkling and persistent effervescence with tastes of fresh pear fruit, hints of melon and citrus, natural sediments in glass, rustic with a clean pure sweetness, balanced by refreshing acidity.
 
2016 Domaine Beausejour, Les Grenettes, Touraine Blanc  $15
Sauvignon Blanc
Beausejour is a 20-hectare vineyard on siliceous soil (sand with clays and flint) which makes for a very pleasing white.  Lemon and spice make this a fruity while textured wine. It tastes like the soil from which it comes, very mineral and flinty.  The palate is supple and fresh, with a good balance.
 
2015 Lamothe Castera, Cuveé Margaux, Bordeaux $15
85% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Merlot
Château Lamothe-Castera, located in the Entre Deux Mers region, 50 miles from Bordeaux and has been producing wine since the 15th century. The vineyards are composed of 30-year-old vines and are farmed sustainably.  The Cuveé Margaux is made in stainless steel tanks.  The nose is of small ripe red fruits, spices, and of vanilla.  The palate is smooth with a good intensity. 
 
2011 Clos du Roy, Fronsac $25 
90% Merlot, Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Clos du Roy is a family owned 20-hectare estate.  Their Fronsac is aged for 12 months in French oak (30% new).  The wine has a fine structure and a wealth of succulent, ripe dark-berried fruit.
 
2015 Châteaumar, Cuveé Vincent Syrah $17
The Vincent is made from 50+ year old Syrah vines growing on two parcels bordering Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  This vineyard is completely sustainably farmed.  The wine is rich and dark with aromas of blackberries, blueberries, and dark spices. Sultry black pepper and black cherry fruit appear on the palate, swirling with earthy notes.

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 Wines

It looks like we have a long stretch of grey and damp here in Madrona, but we have some wines in store that will make the clouds part.

Saturday we are tasting our way through some Italian Varietals that have a bit more going on than first meets the eye.
2015 Vinicola Nera, La Novella Sondrio  $15
80% Nebbiolo, 20% Chardonnay
2016 Francesco Boschis,  Freisa  $ 16
2015 Francesco Boschis,  Dolcetto  Dogliani  $16
2016 Ansitz Waldgries, Santa Maddalena  $ 22
92% Schiava, 8% Lagrein
2011 Tenuta Col Sandago, Wildebacher  $26

Sunday we’ll be pouring two good value reds to drive away the damp and take the chill off the bones. Shake off the blues and stop on in for a sip or two.

2016 Domaine Brunely, Ventoux  $10
50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Carignan
A great value Ventoux with notes of  blackberries and  blueberries with chalky,  peppery spice.

2015 Torre Raone, Lucanto  $13
Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo
A richer than usual Montepulciano with flavors and soft fruit red berries such as blackberry, raspberry, black cherry and plum.

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.

ə-ˈtal-yən və-ˈrī-ə-tᵊls

Saturday, January 20th, 2pm

This Saturday we are tasting our way through some Italian Varietals that have a bit more going on than first meets the eye.  Open your I’s and come join us.

2015 Vinicola Nera, La Novella Sondrio  $15
80% Nebbiolo, 20% Chardonnay
The Nera winery started in 1940.  This Lombardy winery makes this unique white made from red and white grapes.  It has a fruity and intense aroma, typical of Nebbiolo grapes, and a dry taste with hints of exotic fruit, that is very savory and persistent.

2016 Francesco Boschis, Freisa  $16
Mario Boschis manages his estate in Dogliani with his two sons Paolo and Marco. This estate is completely family run and, apart from the family members, there are no employees.  The family prefers to keep their property small and to concentrate on the vineyards which they organically farm.  The Fresia is fresh and pleasant with violet, strawberry, and rose aromas. The taste is dry, round, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

2015 Francesco Boschis, Dolcetto  Dogliani  $16
Boschis’ vineyards stand at 550 meters above sea level at an ideal altitude for Dolcetto. This variety prefers this even climate and mainly calcareous soil.  The wine is dry and intense delivering wonderfully earthy flavors in addition to the classic red fruit. Dark red berries, iron, smoke and leather all inform the superb finish.

2016 Ansitz Waldgries, Santa Maddalena  $22
92% Schiava, 8% Lagrein
Santa Maddalena is the name for wines made in the Alto Adige around Bolzano. Santa Maddalena’s fragrant, light red wines are widely viewed as among the finest the Trentino-Alto Adige region has to offer.  The Waldries seduces by the gust of Mediterranean scents that spread in the glass once poured; brings to mind images of palm trees, olive trees and fig trees in a setting extraordinary dominated by the Dolomites.

2011 Tenuta Col Sandago, Wildebacher  $26
The hillsides of Tenuta Col Sandago contain the only 3.5 hectares of Wildbacher Nero existing in the world.  While Wildbacher Nero is undrinkable at first, after three years of aging in barrels and tonneaux it reveals a tannic flavor and special initial nuances. After five years, although still young, it offers a splendid red having an intense aroma with notes of berries, herbs and sweet spices and an elegant, vigorous flavor. This dark red has enveloping aromas, with hints of wild berries, aromatic herbs and sweet spices. The taste is elegant and vigorous together, well-structured and tannic, with a good acidity in the finish.  It is great to drink now or lay it down.

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.

Northwest Specials

Saturday, January 13th, 2pm

 It’s January and we started looking around for some good deals to quench our post-holiday thirst.  We didn’t have to look too far.  This Saturday we are pouring five wines from the Pacific Northwest that all have special pricing to ease the pain when the Visa bill arrives.  Swing by and slurp up some great values.
 
2015 Kestrel Viognier  $12
Aromas  of lychee, apple, pear, citrus, flowers and rose water.  The flavors echo the aromas, bright fruit with a touch or restraint.  A touch of sweetness is noticeable at first but the high acidity cuts through the viscosity and makes the wine nice and crisp.
Was $20 now $12

2014 J Meuret, Les Chenes Pinot Noir $18
What looks like a French Burgundy is actually an Oregon Pinot from the Maison Bleu folks.  The vineyard is in Hood River.  The wine has aromas of boysenberry, pipe tobacco, fresh morels, cedar and rose petals.  The flavors are of black cherry, anise, red currant, fine grain tannins and a balanced acidity.
Was $45 now $18…don’t ask, just buy it while you can at this price.

2014 Maison Bleue Metis  $15
55% Syrah, 33% Grenache, 16% Mourvèdre
A well balanced red blend from Prosser that  opens with red cherry, rose petals and smoked pork shoulder. This leads to deep flavors of black tea, black cherry, coffee grounds and baking spices. The wine is polished and has a wonderful texture, showing nice opulence from the warm vintage.
Was $30 now $15

2012 Kestrel Sangiovese  $12
This wine is garnet in color with deep red accents at its margins. It possesses aromas of dark chocolate, red cherries, cassis, pomegranate, oak, and dried herbs. On the palate it is extremely well balanced. The fruit flavors are mixed with notes of vanilla, cedar and toast. 
Was $20 now $12

2013 Saviah Cellars, Cabernet Franc  $20
A Walla Walla wine that we got a great deal on — this Cabernet Franc opens with earthy aromas of nutmeg and fresh cracked pepper and bright cherry and bramble berry notes. Supple, well textured tannins support the flavors of red fruit, anise, and blackberry. Smooth barrel spice influences and lively acidity fill the palate and lead to a spice-dusted raspberry finish. 
Was $30 now $20

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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