Archive for Tasting Notes

Château Paul Mas

Languedoc Value

Saturday, October 21st, 2pm

Château Paul Mas wines showcase the terroir, complexity and style of Languedoc.  Located between Pézenas and Montpellier, about 10km from the Mediterranean, the vineyards are cooled by the Mistral and the Tramontane winds in an exceptional setting surrounded by olive trees and pine forest, oak trees and orchards.  Jean-Claude Mas is the fourth-generation grape grower and first-generation winemaker.  Since taking the helm of the family winery in 2000, he has started sourcing grapes from twelve privately owned estates and premier growers in the Languedoc as well as those from his own vineyard.  This Saturday we’ll have selection of his wines open to try.
 
Coté Mas, Cremant de Limoux Brut “St Hilaire” $17
60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin, 10% Pinot Noir, 10% Mauzac
This sparkling Limoux has an intense and refined nose of honey, acacia and crystallized lemon leading the way to a harmonious palate of citrus fruits. 
 
2015 Picpoul de Pinet $14
The Mas Picpoul de Pinet has delicate scents of white flowers and fresh herbs frame the core notes of green apple and lime zest. Refreshing and easy drinking, ample acidity lifts the melon pith and citrus peel flavors that flesh out the medium-weight palate, finishing clean.
 
2015 Carignan Vieilles Vignes $14
Taken from the highest altitude of the Paul Mas vineyards with a southeast facing slope, this old vine Carignan is all spice and blackberry on the nose with subtle background notes of cocoa and tasty oak. The palate is lush and full with dark fruit and licorice intermingled with velvety tannins.
 
2015 Grenache Syrah Mourvedre $15
35% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre
From Les Cés vineyard in the upper Hérault Valley, this GSM has aromas of blackberry followed by truffle and mocha, violets. It. Blackcurrant flavors on the mid palate and licorice flavors on the finish with full bodied velvety tannins. 
 
2015 Malbec $15
90% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc
This Malbec comes from 19 year-old vines panted in gravely soils.  The wine is powerful and complex with aromas of ripe plum, blackcurrant and mocha combined with spicy notes. Medium to full-bodied, this Malbec reveals ripe tannins supported by a good fruit concentration and layers of sweet spices and vanilla.

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.

Full Fall Weekend

At Madrona Wine we tell the weather by watching the chalk on the A-board in front of the shop.  Crisp means clear, Streaky means showers and Washed Off means rain.  The chalk should be crisp all weekend at Madrona Wine so there is no reason not to walk on up and try some great wines.

Saturday we have a special Spanish lineup of old vine wines.
2016 Huguet de Can Feixes, Blanco Selecció  $15
2014 Familia Montaña, Rioja Crianza  $12
2014 Huguet de Can Feixes,  Negre Selecció   $15
2015 Descendientes de Jose Palacios, Pétalos de Bierzos  $ 22
2014 Hernando y Sourdais, Antidoto, Ribera del Duero,  $25

Sunday we have a pair of wines from Piedmont.
Riva Leone was wine trader who operated in the hills around Alba in the 19th and 20th centuries who was well known in the region as a very extravagant character. Whenever a wine especially pleased him during a tasting, he would shout out “Marca Leone!”, an expression typical for the time meaning “highest or best quality”.  Today’s wines are named in his honor.

2015 Riva Leone, Gavi  $14
Cortesse
The Leone Gavi displays green apple aroma with vanilla flavors and mineral notes.  Crisp and refreshing.

2015 Riva Leone Barbera $11
Fresh, with mature plum scents this easy drinking Barbera is great with dinner or by itself.

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.

Showers, Cloudy, Breezy, Always Sunny

It’s a typical Fall weekend in Madrona.  We have a bit of clouds, a bit of sun, some gusts of wind, and of course some showers.  Throughout all that we will be pouring some very sunny samplings at the shop all weekend.  Stretch the legs and come see what we got.

Saturday is Portugal, and there wines are truly surprising.  The Luis Pato wines are not to be missed.
2016 Luis Pato Vinhas Velahs Branco  $17
NV Luis Pato Baga Bruto Rosé  $15
2015 Casa Santos Lima, Cigarra Tinto  $10
2014 Quinta dos Roques, Vinho Tinto  $15
2001 Porto Rocha, Colheita   375ml $15  750ml $30

Sunday the sun comes out in Washington state.  We’ll be featuring two wines from Jed Steele, made with two unusual Washington varieties.

2014 Shooting Star Aligote  $12
The wine is crisp and clean, a wine with a nice balance of fruit and acidity. Flinty, mineral elements mix with a light floral hint on the nose, followed with the suggestion of tart/sweet apple on the palette.

2013 Shooting Star Blue Franc $12
From the Lemberger grape (an odd name sometimes referred to by its ancient name: Blau Frankisch, literally “blue grape from France) this is a very nice wine, full of berry fruit flavors and great color but with little tannin or harshness.

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.

Portuguese Variety

The two most famous wines from Portugal are Vinho Verde and Ruby Port, but between those extremes there are a variety of delicious offerings.  Stop by this Saturday as we taste through some unique and interesting wines from Bairrada, Dao, and the Douro.  It’s a trip you won’t want to miss.

2016 Luis Pato Vinhas Velahs Branco  $17
40% Bical, 40% Cerceal, 20% Sercialnho
The Pato family has been producing wine at Quinta do Ribeirinho since the eighteen century. João Pato started to bottle the wine from his vineyards in 1970, becoming the first winegrower in Bairrada region after its demarcation. His son Luis Pato took over the winery in.  The Velahs Branco is a very complex Portuguese white produced from Bical grapes in clay-limestone terroir and Cercial and Sercialinho in sandy terroir.  The wine has flavors of melon, tropical fruits, spice and light toastiness, with a still-young acidity.

NV Luis Pato Baga Bruto Rosé  $15
Truly unique, this delicious, subtle pink sparkler is made from the Baga grape .  It has a fresh, fruity nose with a subtle herby edge. The palate is quite zippy but there’s some breadth here.

2015 Casa Santos Lima, Cigarra Tinto  $10
Castelao, Camarate, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Miuda
The cigarra is an aromatic red with lively notes of raspberry, cherry and cassis on the nose and palate. Its four month maturation in oak barriques lends delicate hints of spice making this an easy drinking lighter red.

2014 Quinta dos Roques, Vinho Tinto  $15
50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Jaen, 15% Alfrocheiro, 10% Tinta Roriz
One of the Dao’s leading estates, the Quinta dos Roques’ vineyards are known for a smoky schistose minerality. The Vinho Tinto blossoms with air to reveal notes of cassis, rosemary, cured meat and smoky soil. Aged in used oak for nine months, the Tinto stains the palate with notes of blackberries, game and subtle spice. It finishes long and distinctive with reprises of the smoky schistose minerals.

2001 Porto Rocha, Colheita   375ml $15  750ml $30
In 1850 António da Rocha Leão established his own Portuguese House among the famous British Port Wine Lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River from Oporto. Aged in small casks until they are mature, tawny ports are a golden color with layers of aromas and flavors. The 2001 has exuberant aromas with dried fruits suggestions, especially nuts and soft chocolate notes. The flavor is smooth and delicate with a perfect balance between the dried fruits and the wine’s structure as well as a delightfully long finish.

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 & 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.

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.

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