The Romans called the southwest of France Aquitania, land of waters. The area is given its contours by impressive natural boundaries. East is the central Massif Central mountain range that gives rise to the Dordogne, the Lot and the Tarn rivers, which flow westward toward the Atlantic Ocean. South is the Pyrénées, the source of the Garonne River whose northern route passes through Toulouse and Bordeaux. The west edge is the Atlantic Ocean. This Saturday we’ll be tasting wines from this diverse and wide ranging region. The wines are true to place and truly distinct. Stop in and join us.
2012 Philemon Perlé Gaillac Blanc $13
60% Loin de L’Oeil, 20% Muscadelle, 20% Sauvignon Blanc
Philémon is located in Villeneuve-sur-Vere, a small village on the Vere river the Gaillac appellation. The Vieules family has had land in Villeneuve since 1804 where they grow organic wheat, sunflowers and grapes in equal proportions. The wheat and sunflowers are grown organically and the vineyard is in transition to being certified organic. A good proportion of the vines are more than fifty years old. Because of the low yields this wine fills the palate with a wonderful concentration of flavors while retaining a freshness that is underscored by mineral and citrus notes.
2012 Domaine Philemon, Croix d’Azal Gaillac Rouge $13
The cuvée Croix d’Azal is produced entirely from Braucol, the name used in Gaillac for the Fer Servadou grape. It is a wonderful expression of this grape variety with all of its typical spiciness and woodsy floral aromas. The word braucol in Girondin patois signifies the bull. The Croix d’Azal is no raging bull but one who lives peacefully in the pasture content to smell the flowers.
2011 Domine Roumagnac Fronton Authentique $15
50% Négrette, 25% Syrah, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc
Roumagnac is in the Fronton appellation, just outside of Toulouse on a slightly inclined series of terraces between the Garonne and Tarn rivers. The primary and indigenous grape variety of the region is the fragile Né1egrette which is found rarely outside of Fronton where it thrives in the warm and dry “continental” climate of the area. The expression is intense: fresh red fruit (currant and cassis) mingle with delight licorice palette The Cabernet Franc gives rhythm to mouth and freshness, Cabernet Sauvignon brings balance and good structure, Syrah brings sweetness and gives aromatic echoes the Négrette’s licorice note.
2011 Chateau La Bourrée, Cotes de Castillion $17
75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc and Malbec
Chateau La Bourrée extends over 10 hectares where the upper river plain meets the first hillsides on the eastern border of St Emilion. The grapes are brought to a sorting table before entering the winery allowing only the best fruit to be vinified. Fermentation lasts for three weeks after which the wine is aged in used barrels for a year. It is a structured Bordeaux with firm minerality, tannins up front followed by rich, full flavors of red cherry and currant and a lingering finish. We just had to slip this in.
2009 Laffite Teston Madiran Vielles Vignes $23
Madiran is situated among the northern foothills of the Pyrenées in the heart of Gascony. Teston’s Vieilles Vignes cuvee is 100% Tannat and is produced from 80 year old vines that have particularly low yields. The juice stays in contact with the must for 21 days during which period the juice is pumped over the cap twice a day obtaining great extraction. The wine is aged in new and one year old barrels for 13 months. It is full and rich with lots of tannic structure.
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.