Archive for January 31, 2012

Winter Colors

Photography by Kevin Wildermuth

February 1st through March 30th

Need a break from winter’s gray skies? Drop in to see Winter Colors; photography by Kevin Wildermuth. Kevin shoots everyday scenes and details with an eye for the colorful artifacts of contemporary life. Arranging the jewel-like images in grids, he creates prints with a kaleidoscopic effect. And if the sheer pleasure of all that color doesn’t do it for you, he bolsters the work with some serious intellectual underpinnings, offering these views up as antidote to the prefab fantasies of a world saturated in commercial media. The artist asserts that this imagery has more to say about our culture and what we truly value than all the letters to editors, stump speeches and viral cat antic videos combined. This is hearty food for thought, with a sweet spread of red jam on top, or inversely like drinking an opulent Syrah and finding its underlying structure lingering in your mouth on the finish. 

For more images check out:

Artist Reception February 19th, 3-5pm

February 2012 Madrona Wines Monthly Selections

6-bottle Red Wine Club Selection

2009 Château Blouin Bordeaux                        $10
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
From the right bank of the Gironde, the Blouin is tasty and unassuming. Stainless steel fermented, nice dark fruit, and a medium body.

2008 Marchesi Poggio alle Sughere                    $13
90% Sangiovesse, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Morellino di Scansano
A good deal on this Sangiovesse blend from Maremma. Pretty versatile food wine.

2009 Chateau Saint Nabor Domaine des Santonilles            $13
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan
Côtes du Rhône Villages
This quality village level CDR gets an even better price.

2010 Erste + Neue Edel Vernatsch                    $11
Süditrol – Alto Adice
A lighter north Italian Red, Edel Vernatsch is the grape. A refreshing alternate for lighter fare.

2010 Charles Smith The Velvet Devil                    $11
Columbia Valley Merlot

A good rich Washington Merlot at an everyday price.

2009 Trivneto Amado Sur                            $13
73% Malbec, 15% Bonarda, 12% Syrah

The Bonarda and Syrah add more complexity and elegance than you normally get in a straight Malbec at this price.

Mixed Red and White Wine Club Selection

2010 Labbé Abymes                            $12
100% Jacquère

Vin de Savoie
A dry white from Northern France at the foot of the Alps. It has a blend of melon and citrus notes. The perfect wine for Fondue.

Toffoli Prosecco Frizante Sur Lie                        $10
Colli Trevigiani I.G.T.

Dryer than most Prosecco and with just half the fizz the Toffoli is great as an aperitif.

6 more Reds for the Full Case Club members

2009 NW Vine Project Cabernet Sauvignon                $14
Columbia Valley
A lightly oaked Washington Cabernet from Badger Mountain (just across from Red Mountain). Good flavors of licorice, black current and touch of forest floor.

2007 Villa da Filicaja Chianti Superiore                    $11
90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, and 5% Merlot

A nicely aged Tuscan Sangiovese.

2010 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône                    $13

Layers of dark plum, anise and crushed blackberry fruit, with black tea and graphite notes through the finish.

2008 Rivière Rayos Uva                            $13
Tempranillo, Grenache

A big Spanish blend takes a big drop in price as it switches distributors.

2008 Quinta de Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada                $10
Alfrocheiro, Tinot Roiz, Touriga Nacional

90 points Wine Spectator and #42 in Top 100 Wines of 2011: “A well-structured, muscular red, with a touch of Asian spice to the wild plum and dried raspberry flavors. Beef and mineral notes mark the finish. Distinctive, with a very sauvage allure. Drink now through 2015.” — And only ten bucks.

2010 Domaine Lafond Roc – Epine                    $14
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah

Côtes du Rhône
This family run vineyard consists of 8 hectares of rocky, sandy soil with a mix of pebbles and lime and clay. The grapes are all hand-picked, and let to macerate for 14-20 days before pressing. It is aged in cement and stainless steel tanks then racked into new oak for 3-4 months before bottling. The Lafond has aromas of ripe fruit, cherries, black currents and undergrowth followed by deep red fruit and dark berry flavors.

The Wines of Veneto and the secret of Amarone, Saturday, January 28th, 2-4pm

Located in the Northeast of Italy, in the shadow of the Alps, Veneto is best known for Amarone della Valpolicella, a classic full bodied powerful red wine from Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Molinara. From the same grapes it also produces Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso. The difference is all in the winemaking. Stop by this weekend and taste through the process. But first, we start with a little Prosecco.
Vincenzo Toffoli, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG extra dry $15
100% Prosecco
Vincenzo grew up working the vineyards until 1964 when he was able to buy some of them and start making his own wines. Now most of the work has passed on to his sons. Their Prosecco is clean and fresh with a nice sparkle.
2009 Vaona Valpolicella, $14
40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara
Vaona is a family farm with ten hectares of vines in Valpolicella. They have a long history of farming and tending these vines, but only recently have started making their own wine from them. Their Valpolicella is aged for 6-7 months before bottling in a blend of stainless and neutral casks. It is fresh and fruit forward with elegant notes of ripe raspberry, cherry and plum accented with hints of vanilla and clove.
2009 Cantina di Negrar Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso Le Roselle $15
65% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella
Cantina di Negrar started as a winemaking collective in 1933 about the time that the Amarone process was developed. Their Ripasso is made similarly in the beginning to the Valpolicella and ages in stainless steel tanks until February when the skins from the pressed Amarone (it is coming) are added to it for a second fermentation. It is then repressed and ages 2 years in barrel and 6 months in the bottle before it is released. The Le Roselle has complex aromas of red fruits, spices along with a full-bodied, well balanced flavor and smooth, harmonious tannins.
2008 Cantina di Negrar, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico $35
70% Corvina Veronese, 15% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella
In Amarone the same grapes as a Valpolicella are dried on racks for 3 months before the wine is made. This appassimento process shrivels the grapes and concentrates sugars, color and flavor. The dried grapes are de-stemmed and crushed in early February. The maceration lasts for 30 days before the wine is pressed. The wine is then aged 18 months in barrel and a further 6 months in bottle before release. The wine is rich, concentrated and truly complex. The bouquet swirls with hints of black cherries and prunes, floral notes and sweet spice aromas. The flavors are full-bodied and rich, backed by structured, yet velvety tannins.
2008 Cantina di Negrar, Recioto della Valpolicella DOC Classico $24 /500ml
70% Corvina Veronese, 15% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella
The Recioto is made in the same method as Amarone except that the fermentation is stopped at 12% leaving residual sugar. The wine has an intense fruity and fragrant bouquet, with generous, sweet and with velvety tannins.

Deathcake 2012 Wine Pairings

Where: Cupcake Royale
When: Thursday, Jan 26th, 5‐7pm
What: Enjoy samples of Deathcake Royale, Stumptown Coffee and specially selected wines from Madrona Wine Merchants!

2009 Cadence, Coda $25

Red Mountain, 34% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
The 2009 vintage was warm but not hot with a stunning September to finish up ripening. Coda fairly bursts with lip-smacking berry goodness. Plums, blueberries and a touch of Red Mountain spice lead the aromatic profile. The palate is juicy, fresh and just plain delightful. Tannins are definitely present at the level that begs for food with which to play. There is so much intensity and balance that it can defiantly go past the main course and into desert.

Gonzales Byass, Solera 1847 Oloroso Duce $18

75% Palomino, 25% Pedro Ximenez
This rich Spanish Sherry spent an average 8 years in the Solera. It has full concentrated flavors of sweet raisins and figs with a velvety palate and a touch of nuttiness on the finish. It can stand up to but not over power any number of deserts. And best of all you don’t have to finish the whole bottle. Due to the Solera process it keeps open for months.

Port – Its Styles and Flavors

This Sunday we will have a very special tasting demonstrating the varied styles of Port wine. Jennifer O’Neil will be here to discuss the differences between Ruby and Tawny, Vintage and Colheita, Late Bottled and Reserve styles. If you have always wondered what the different names of port meant, this is a tasting not to miss. If you love port already and just want to taste some really fantastic wines, you shouldn’t’ miss it either. The discussion starts at 5, and we’ll have you home in time for dinner.

We’ll be tasting:
Kopke, Special Reserve                            $11/375ml           $18/750ml*
2005 Rocha, Late Bottle Vintage             $14/375ml        $21/750ml*
2007 Rocha, Vintage                                        $30/375ml        $50/750ml*
Kopke, 10 Year Old Tawny                      $15/375ml        $25/750ml*
This Tawny would qualify as a 15 year old if that classification existed.
1988 Kopke, Colheita Tawny                     $28/375ml         $51/750ml*
24 years old, this appealing tawny delivers a rich mouthful of deep caramel backed flavors of ripe cherries, hazelnut, sweet fruit tea and orange zest with an enduring and memorable finish. 
Vintage Colheitas make excellent birth year presents.

*750ml bottles available for all these wines by special order, they will be in the following Thursday.

Buy or order any of these ports during the tasting and get 10% off the purchase.

The forecast for this weekend is rain with a couple of bright spots.


Spanish Wines

from Eric Solomon

2-4pm free




Its styles and flavors

5pm $5

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Spanish Wines from Eric Solomon: Saturday, January 21st from 2-4pm

Eric Solomon made a name for himself ferreting around the corners of Spain, finding little known wineries, emphasizing their distinct terroir and bringing them to the world’s attention.   His wines are known for good quality and good value. This Saturday we’ll have four of them open for tasting. Stop by and sip the Spanish countryside.

2010 Rafael Palacios, Sabrego $15
100% Godello
The organic vineyards of this Godello grow on non-irrigated terraced hillsides of the right bank of the Bibei Riverd in the Valdeorras region. Sabrego comes from granite soils known locally by that name where the vines are planted. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel. “White fruits, mineral, and spring flowers inform the nose of this spicy, concentrated effort. Nicely proportioned and smooth in the finish.” — WA 88pts
2008 Bodegas Castaño, Hécula $12
100% Monestrell
From the ancient Roman name for the region Yecla, the Hécula comes from organic and sustainably farmed vineyards or 35-60 year old vines, aged 50% in tank, and 50% in French oak barrels. “Purple-colored, it offers up a compelling nose of underbrush, pepper, and blueberry.” — WA 89 pts
2008 Tomàs Cusiné, Vilosell $17
Costers del Segre
43% Tempranillo, 18% Syrah, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Samsó and 3% Garnatxa.
Named after its village, Vilosell is located within Costers del Segre. Their flagship blend comes off as a great balancing act of varietals. The wine has wide aromatics of red fruits, raspberries, blueberries, spices like white pepper and clove, cocoa, and noble wood. Intense and voluminous in the mouth, with sweet round tannins, and notes of matured forest, licorice, and ink. Long and persistent with a final sweet fruit explosion.
2006 Bodegas Izadi, Rioja Reserva $20
73%Tempranillo, 15% Graciono and 12% Granacha
Small but not small, Izadi produces its wine out of over 100 different plots of old vine vineyards averaging a hectare each. The Reserva was sourced from 60+-year-old vines and aged 14 months in American oak. “It offers up a lovely perfume of violets, spice box, incense, mineral, and blackberry. Elegant as well as structured on the palate, it has the balance to evolve for another 2-3 years and will deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2021.”-WA 90pts 

We Are Open Today.

No snow day for Madrona Wine Merchants. We opened a half an hour late due to stalled busses on Union, but we are open and tasting some delicious wines. Stop on in (but drive carefully).

Globetrotting Values

Saturday, January 14th


We’ve searched the world over to find this selection of distinct wines at fantastic prices!!! OK, we didn’t really, but we talked to a few people and tried numerous wines and pulled together this line up of good wines at good prices. Stop by on Saturday when we will be showing them off. Take a world tour without leaving the neighborhood.

2010 Yealands, Sauvignon Blanc $13

From Marlborough, New Zealand, Yealands is a sustainably farmed estate winery that uses sheep instead of tractors and wind turbos for power. The exposure to high sun and wind, coupled with cool nights and low rainfall produce a smaller, thicker skinned berry with intense fruit flavors.  The wine has fresh grass, herbal aromas along with citrus, guava flavors and wet stone minerality.

2010 Leyda, Pinot Noir $13

Leyda Vineyards is located in the coastal mountain area of Chile about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The wine’s bright fruit-driven bouquet boasts plum, cherry and soft smokiness followed by cherry, spices flavors with soft sweet tannins. More similar to California than Oregon, the Leyda is still better than most Pinot at this price.

2009 Chateau Roc Meynard, Brodeaux Supierur $15

90% merlot, 5% Cabernet, and 5% Cabernet Franc

A smaller (29 hectare) estate winery located right next to Fronsac “separated by only a small dirt alley”. So close but they can’t put the name on it. The Roc Meynard is a full bodied, robust Bordeaux in a modern style with lots of red ripe fruit, black current notes and darker spices.

2008 Kangarilla Road, Shiraz $15

Kangarilla comes from McLaren Flat vineyards located at the northern part of the foothills where the grapes ripen later than other surrounding sub-regions resulting in “cooler climate” spicy aromatic dark berry driven wine with intense mid to back palate presence and an abundance of soft velvety tannins. The wine has aromas of spicy mulberry followed by a smooth mix of earthy black and red berry fruits on the mid and back palate.

2007 Domaine du Crampilh , Madiran, l’Originel $20

70% Tannat, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Located in the Southwest corner of France where the small hills start to climb into the Pyrenes, lays Madiran where the dark tannic grape Tannat is king. At Domaine du Crampilh, 4th generation winemaker and owner Marie Oulie, blends in Cabernet to soften up wine along with some micro-oxygenation before it rests for 8 to 12 months in barrel. The result is a robust wine with notes of blackcurrants and Morello cherries. l’Originel possesses an elegant structure, with round and spicy tannins. The finish is long and suave.


Swing By And Grab That Bottle For Dinner.

Swing on by and pick up that bottle for dinner, and sample what we have open. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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