Archive for January 23, 2020

L’Archetipo

Synergistic Wines from Puglia

Saturday, January 25th, 2pm

Francesco Dibenedetto, farmer from birth and later also agronomist, in the 80’s began to convert his land to organic farming, but he observed that the vitality of his lands was not like he anticipated.  In 2000 he implemented biodynamic farming, but after few years of biodynamic he realized that there was still something more that could be done. Francesco studied Masanobu Fukuoka’s thought and implemented a sustainable agriculture, in which all synergies in the ecosystem are linked.  This incorporates organic and biodynamic agricultures, but it deletes plowing, which disrupts the balance of the land. On the family farm in Puglia, Francesco farms native vines such as Primitivo, Aglianico, Negroamaro, Fiano and Greco and rediscovering forgotten vines such as Maresco, Marchione, and Susumaniello. The wines are grown without chemicals, unfiltered, unfined and with minimal SO2 added.  Come taste the Synergy.
 
2016 Marasco Brut Nature $23
100% Maresco (Apulian indigenous vine).
Made Ancestral method the Marasco has fine and quite persistent bubbles; intense fruity notes of peach, apple and pear and floral aromas. The taste is soft, tasty and very fresh.
 
2017 Greco Bianco $18
The Greco has floral aromas with notes of green apple, pineapple and honey.  It is medium-bodied, balanced, with a soft, fresh taste, and a mineral finish.
 
2017 Fiano $20
100% Fiano Minutolo
The wine has a fine floral, fruity and grassy nose. Medium-body, soft and very fresh.
 
2016 Litrotto Rosso $19
30% Montepulciano, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Primitivo, 10% Susumaniello.
The Litrotto spends 36 months in steel tanks. It has a fine and quite intense fruity and mineral nose. This red blend is balanced, quite tannic, fine and quite tasty.  1 liter bottle
 
2016 Niuru Maru $20
Negroamaro
An authentic Negroamaro with a fruity nose (black cherry and plum), with clove aromas. It is smooth and balanced, quite tannic, fine and elegant.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Dry January

One look out the window tells you that it is not a dry January in Madrona.  One look at the weekends tasting lineup will tell you that it isn’t a fry January at Madrona Wine. Stop by and get wet.

Saturday, we’ll be swimming our way through Abruzzo, Molise. Campania, Puglia, and Veneto.
2017 Tombacco Pecorino Terre di Chieti  $12
2014 Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva  $14
80% Montepulciano, 20% Aglianico
2017 Tombacco Aglianico del Beneventano  $14
2016 Piantaferro Primitivo di Manduria  $14
2014 Scoula Grande, Amarone  $38

Corvina, Molinara

Sunday we have two Languedoc values from Domaine
Ferrandière.  In their unusual vineyard, the vines are planted on the old saltwater marsh of Marseillette and on the hillsides of Saint Frichoux. Deep beneath the clay soils lies a bed of salt that protects the roots from Phylloxera.

2018 Ferrandière Malbec  $11
The Malbec is lighter than most Argentinian Malbecs, but with an ample red fruit profile. Fresh and clean, with good balance and bright acidity.

2018 Ferrandière  Syrah $11
The Syrah has beautiful floral overtones, black olive tapenade, and black fruit. Punches well above its weight, an excellent wine for the price.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Hopping Around Italy

Saturday, January 18th, 2pm

Cantina Tombacco started 100 years ago as a peach orchard.  They quickly expanded to grapes and 100 years later are sourcing grapes from diverse areas of central Italy to make their wines.  Join us Saturday as we hop through some of their vineyards from Abruzzo, Molise and Campania.  We’ll follow that with a Primativo from Puglia and an Amarone from Veneto.  It’s a lot of ground to cover.  
 
2017 Tombacco Pecorino Terre di Chieti  $12
From Abruzzo, the Pecorino has a fruity (pear, apple) and floral aromas. Medium-bodied with a more noticeable earthy minerality with a slight buttery note. Sweetness still delicate and sitting nicely overall and balanced well against the acidity.
 
2014 Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva  $14
80% Montepulciano, 20% Aglianico
Biferno is a tiny appellation in the center-south of Italy in Molise. The Riserva has appreciated after time spent aging in both barrel and bottle and the result is an aromatic and seductive wine with cherry and floral lift, but a deep, plum and licorice richness of fruit and silky texture, the tannins mellowed into a gentle, rounded wine. Let it sit in the glass a few minutes (or decant) before drinking.

2017 Tombacco Aglianico del Beneventano  $14
From Campania in in Southern Italy, Tombacco’s Aglianico is big, rich, warming and smooth. Hints of cherry and red berries, with a marked vanilla and spicy note lead into an excellent mouth feel, elegant and warm, sapid and full-bodied with some spice on the long finish.

2016 Piantaferro Primitivo di Manduria  $14
An oaked Primitivo It is a single varietal Primitivo, from a small vineyard parcel in the heart of the superior Manduria DOC in the heel of Italy. This is a fine example of Primitivo: full-bodied, jammy, with tones of chocolate and raisins. Really meant to be drunk young, those that love fruity wines will not be disappointed.

2014 Scoula Grande Amarone  $38
Corvina, Molinara
Amarone is the king of the Veneto.  The Scoula Grande has deep, dark, intense, with pleasant slight granite shades. A sequence of perceptions of cherry, plum, and black cherries under liquor and toasted almond; interesting final notes of coffee, tobacco and cocoa.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Winemakers, Bargains, & Art

It is a soggy weekend here in Madrona, as we prepare for Snowmageddon.  But here at Madrona Wine we have a full weekend of events to keep you warm. 

Saturday, legendary local winemakers Erica Orr and Linn Scott will be on hand pouring their personal pet projects from 2 to 4.
Erica Orr has like Baer, Mark Ryan, and Guardian rack up 90+ point scores.  In 2013, she made the inaugural and limited release of her Old-Vine Chenin.
Linn Scott spends most of his working hours as the winemaker at Sparkman Cellars.  In his spare time he and a couple of friends make a few small lots of wine respectfully modeled after wines that that they love to drink.
2016 Six Atmospheres, Blanc de Blancs  $32
2016 Wild Type, Dionysus Vineyard Riesling  $16
2018 Orr, Old Vine Chenin Blanc  $25
2018 Orr, Columbia valley Grenache  $25

Sunday we’ll be pouring a couple of Winter Bargains. We’ve got some bubbles to go with the salad course, and a medium-weight red to go with the main.
Rive Della Chiesa Pinot Grigio Frizzante  $10
Light and apple-driven, and clean. The flavors are like lime lollipops and orange juice, which may sound unappealing but that’s not the case.
2013 Lapostolle Casa Greand Selection Merlot  $10
Clean aromas of ripe red fruit dominate with sweet spices and notes of herbs of Provence and rosemary towards the finish. Medium-body with pleasant tannins in balance with a good freshness. Was $14 now $10

Sunday is also our Artist Reception for our new show of photographs Scenes from Italy 2017 to 2019 by Fred Birchman.  Stop by from 3 to 5 and check out the art, Fred will be on hand to explain the photos deeper meanings. 

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Winemaker’s Wines

Saturday, January 11th, 2pm

Unless they have a lot of resources, winemakers typically work for someone else making wine to suit the winery’s style.  Occasionally they make little bits of interesting wines in their own style– more a labor of love than income boosters.  This Saturday we’ll have two such winemakers in the shop pouring their small batch love childs.  Erica Orr and Linn Scott will be here from 2 to 4.  Come meet them and taste their creations.

In 2005, Erica Orr moved to Washington State and started an independent winemaking consulting and enology business in Woodinville, where she helped wineries like Baer, Mark Ryan, and Guardian rack up 90+ point scores.  In 2013, she made the inaugural and limited release of her Old-Vine Chenin. 
 
Linn Scott spends most of his working hours as the winemaker at Sparkman Cellars.  In his spare time he and a couple of friends make a few small lots of wine respectfully modeled after wines that that they love to drink.
 
2016 Six Atmospheres Blanc de Blancs  $32
Chardonnay
The Six Atmospheres is a Washington State Method Champenoise sparkler.  The fruit is from a special part of Bacchus Vineyard where the soil is deeper and the Chardonnay attains the right sugar and acidity for sparkling wine: The fruit is hand harvested, pressed whole cluster and fermented in neutral oak with traditional champagne yeast. Malolactic fermentation is blocked with sulfur addition following fermentation.  The secondary fermentation was done in bottle as traditionally is done for sparkling wines and the wine has rested on the yeast lees or ‘en tirage’ for 24 months prior to degorgement.  It is crisp and delicious.
 
2016 Wild Type Dionysus Vineyard Riesling  $16
The fruit for the Wild Type comes from an old-vine (1970’s era) block of Riesling at Dionysus Vineyard. This is a terrific vineyard within the Sagemoor Farms family of vineyards farmed by Lacey Lybeck and Kent Waliser. These gnarled old vines are slow to ripen and hang a fairly light crop with excellent air-flow and fruit exposure which keeps disease pressure (particularly from botrytis) very low. The wine is a very smooth and creamy Riesling.
 
2018 Orr, Old Vine Chenin Blanc  $25
Hand-harvested from vines nearly four decades old, this fresh, dry, 100% Chenin blanc was fermented naturally with native yeast. This Chenin is green-gold in color and has a nose of fresh lime zest, pineapple, and honeydew melon rind. It’s lively, bright, precise and a tiny bit saline in the mouth with a hint of cucumber peel and wet sidewalk in the finish.

2018 Orr Columbia Valley Grenache  $25
91% Grenache,  7% Mourvèdre, 2% Syrah
Rustic and approachable, this hand-picked Grenache was fermented with a touch of Mourvèdre and Syrah and aged in mature French oak. The color is violet ruby and the nose is full of fresh raspberries, pomegranate, plum and black tea. It’s vibrant and lively all the way through to the lifted and mouth-watering finish.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Fred Birchman Artist Reception

January 12th – 3-5PM

SCENES FROM

Italy

 

2017-2019

FRED BIRCHMAN

Selected scenes from travel to Rome, Naples, Puglia and Sardegna

January 5 thru March 1, 2020

reception: Sunday, January 12 3pm to 5pm

Weekend Bargains

If you are like us here at Madrona Wine you are decompressing from the holiday high.  To help us come down we have some low-priced wines open for tasting to match our new year’s budget.

Saturday, its DiStefano Discounts
We start the New Year off with a tasting of discounted wines from DiStefano.  These three reds are marked down to less than half of their usual price.  Why?  Because the winery is sitting on a lot of back stock and wants to move it.  Skeptical?  Come taste for yourself.  Get them while you can, these prices won’t last long.

DiStefano was established in 1983 being one of the first 5 wineries in Woodinville.  The winery does not own its own vineyards, but relies on long-term relationships and contacts with existing well know vineyards, such as Willard and Roza Hills in Yakima Valley, Bacchus and Dionysus in Columbia Valley, Rosebud and Weinbau on Wahluke Slope, and Alder Ridge in Horse Heaven Hills that grow classic varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

2012 DiStefano Domenica  $15
80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon,10% Cabernet Franc
The large amount of Merlot makes this wine soft but very full. This wine shows off black cherry, currant and sage notes, with wonderful texture and deep color. It is full in the mouth with a nice marriage of oak, balanced with tannin and good acidity. Was $34 now $15
2013 DiStefano Meritage  $15
64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petit Verdot, 12% Cab Franc
This traditional Bordeaux blend is full bodied and masculine. This wine is enticing with molasses, black cherry tobacco and brown sugar aromatics. The tannins are packed tight with the rich black cherry and cocoa flavors seductively showing on the finish. Was $32 now $15
2012 DiStefano Cabernet Sauvignon  $15
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Delicate aromatics of violets, caramel, with hints of licorice and clove. On the palate, the spice and bing cherries are backed by refreshing acidity and medium tannins. Was $34 now $15

Sunday we’ll be pouring a couple of European wines with lesser varietals with big taste. 
2015 Intorchia Vignemie Perriconne 
$9
This Sicilian Red varietal has distinct notes of red fruits such as cherries, plums and redcurrant, as well as pleasant herby and earthy aromas. Intense and balanced, it is smooth and warm on the palate. On the nose, it offers equally good sensations, with a surprisingly fresh and highly persistent aroma. Was $12 now $9
2018 Clos des Lumineres Petit Verdot Les Cypres  $11
Dark fruit and floral (violets, lilac) aromas. Flavors of black cherry, plum, and sage engulf the palate. Full-bodied with slight spice on the dry finish.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

More Tariffs

For the wine industry the New Year is starting off on a poor note.
 
As you may know if you haven’t been totally overwhelmed by the coverage of the Impeachment hearings, last Fall the government imposed a 25% tariff on wines under 14% abv (alcohol by volume) from France, Spain & Portugal.
 
Now (while our suppliers are still trying to adjust) the Trump administration is threatening to expand the tariff to 100% on all European wines. If enacted this tariff will have devastating effects on the wine industry.
 
Madrona Wine, a small shop in the scheme of things, buys our wine from maybe 20 small importers/distributors, 6 or so mid-sized ones, and 2 of the 3 big ones in Seattle. The tariffs over time will most likely force the small importers out of business, the mid-sized ones will struggle to adjust their business model and the big ones will ride it out, probably benefiting in the long term from the demise and problems of their competitors.
 
So, what does this mean?
First off it is a loss of local jobs. Take 20 small importer/distributors with 6 to 24 employees each just in Seattle, then expand it out to the rest of the country and you get an idea of the immediate impact. These are local domestic jobs.
 
The same will be true for the European wineries effected by this. At Madrona Wine we carry a lot of wines from small family operations that are not wealthy but have managed to make a living between farming, grape growing and winemaking. A number of these wineries will not make it. The mid-sized ones will struggle to adjust, and the large corporate wineries will benefit benefiting in the long term from the demise and problems of their competitors. See a pattern?
 
All of this will result in less choices and higher prices on our shelves. The good value wines that we pride ourselves on finding will disappear. Yes, the $15 Côtes du Rhone or Chianti that you like to have with dinner will cost more like $25 to $30.
 
For those of you who want to act on this, you can:

 
A last note is that none of these tariffs have anything to do with the trade of wine. They are mainly retaliation for subsidies to Airbus on behalf of Boeing and possibly for a threatened software tax on behalf of big tech. Again, small businesses being thrown under the bus for the benefit of large corporations.

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