Archive for In The Beginning

Stock Up For The 4th

Just a reminder that we are closed Monday and Tuesday as per our regular schedule, but this week we are also closed Wednesday, July 4th.

Saturday, we have some Summer Favorites
from Spain, France and Italy
.
2017 Avinyo Petillant Blanc  $16
2016 La Rabotine Sancere  $22
2017 L’ermitage, Costieres de Nimes Rosé  $12

2016 Lucchetti, Lacrima di Morro d’ Alba  $11
2016 Domaine Durban, Gigondas  $30

Sunday, July 1st is Canada Day and
we are pouring two wines at $12. Mark will explain how our neighbors to the north celebrate.
2013 Parejas Wysling Marsanne $12
A full-bodied dry wine with aromas of nuts, white peach and spiced pears which all contribute to richly layered flavors that coat the palate with weighty texture and a lengthy mouthfeel. 103 cases made. 13.5% alcohol by volume. Was $15 now $12
2017 Chateau Rivière Minervois $12
Syrah, Grenache
A smooth and dark Languedoc red with notes of macerated cherries, black currants, raspberries lingering with white pepper spice, garden herbs and soft tannins.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2pm until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5pm.

Stock Up For Your Pride Parties!

While a big chuck of the city is walking or watching this year’s Pride Parade, I’m behind the counter with what you need for your pride celebration in all hues – red, white, pink, bubbles, cider, vermouth, stickies (and the English say). Stop on in, we are open until 5PM.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2pm until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5pm.

Picnics & Art

June starts off with a sunny Saturday here in Madrona.  And at the wine shop we have some summery wines to help it along.

Saturday, It is Picnic Time.  To the first person who buys a mixed case of wine, we are offering a free picnic basket or a 6 glass set of Lustau Sherry glasses and a bottle of their Puerto Fino Sherry.  Or, buy two cases and take them both home.    We’ll also be tasting a lineup of great wines to fill out your picnic basket, barbeque or Saturday afternoon.  Congratulations to Beth, who was standing in line waiting for the shop to open to snag the picture basket! We still have the Sherry/Glasses set.
2016 Illahe, Viognier  $18
2013 Christian Ninot, Bourgogne Blanc “Les Pellans”  $20
2017 French Pool Toy Rosé $10
2010 Castello di Monsanto, Monrosso  $14
2012 Monteabellon, 14 meses en Barrica Ribera del Duero $20

Sunday we will be pouring two soulful wines in honor of Fred Birchman’s Artist Reception for his show, 24 Grams, from 3-5pm. 24 grams is the weight of the soul. Just over 24oz of wine in a regular bottle. Coincidence? We don’t think so. If you can’t wait until three, we’ll have the bottles open all day starting at 11am.
 2016 Bermard Magrey Blue de Mer $11
Sauvignon Blanc
Vin de Pays d’Oc
Bright color, intense fruity and lively aromas. Serve as an aperitif, or pair with seafood, grilled fish.
 2017 Hecht & Bannier Languedoc Rosé   $12
40% Syrah, 35% Cinsault, 25% Grenache
Floral and spicy expression with ripe raspberry, a round palate with flavors of cherry and lifted by bright pineapple. Strawberry, watermelon and pomegranate nuances abound in this delectable crispy and dry wine.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2pm until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5pm.

Woodward Canyon This Saturday

Woodward Canyon was founded in 1981, that’s pretty old by Washington standards.  They quickly made a reputation for making outstanding Washington wine.  They get their fruit from their estate, as well as Champoux, Sagemoor, and a few other select vineyards.  This Saturday we will be pouring three of their wines along with a couple of other Washington contenders to even things out.  Stop in and see us.
 
2016 Nelms Road Chardonnay $16
In 1998, Woodward Canyon Winery began producing wines under a second label, Nelms Road, from young vineyards and surplus lots of Woodward Canyon Winery production.  The Nelms Road Chardonnay has flavors of pear, pineapple, and white peach are melded together.  It is smooth and supple and surprisingly complex with neutral oak and bright acidity.
 
2016 Long Shadows Poets Leap Riesling $20
Another Walla Walla, Long Shadows winery founded in 2003, makes a wide variety of award winning wines with their bevy of winemakers. The Poet’s Leap is an off-dry Riesling with expressive, spicy aromatics and generous, lively flavors. Fresh melon, honey, ripe apricot and a hint of citrus jump on the palate leaving a vibrant, racy impression and a long, clean finish.
 
2013 Robert Karl Claret $20
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17%, Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and Malbec.
Robert Karl Cellars is a boutique, Spokane winery producing handcrafted wines.  The grapes for the Claret are from Horse Heaven Hills (AVA) of the Columbia Valley.  It has pleasing aromas of baking spice, cocoa and vanilla lead to a well-proportioned palate, full of dark-fruit flavors that show a reserved styling.
 
2015 Nelms Road Red Wine  $26
53% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, & the balance being other Bordeaux varieties.
Woodward Canyon Estate is the predominant vineyard for this red blend.  The very warm 2015 vintage gave beautifully ripe yet balanced fruit with enticing flavors of black cherry, mocha and baking spice. Complex aromas of roasted meat, black fruits and tobacco integrate, leading to a soft generous finish. The wine has lovely texture; and though it was bottled early to retain fruit, is quite enjoyable now. 
 
2014 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon $50
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot  
Fruit for this wine comes from Champoux, Sagemoor, Woodward Canyon Estate and Summit View vineyards. Each produces fantastic wine in their own right; when blended they produce extraordinary wine with a complex nose of baking spice, black olive and graham integrated beautifully with aromas of ripe black fruits.  In the mouth the wine is rich and elegant, showing subtle notes of herb and black berry.  Integrated tannins enhance the texture and give proportion; the finish is complex, generous, and long.  While this wine can be enjoyed now it will benefit greatly from additional cellaring and, with proper storage, should develop for ten years or more.

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.

All French, All Weekend

Madrona is grey and cloudy so we are spending the weekend in France.  Stop by and find something to brighten your palate. 

Saturday 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.
Daufresne, Poire (Perry) Cidre Normandy $12
2016 Domaine Beausejour,  Les Grenettes, Touraine Blanc  $15
2015 Lamothe Castera, Cuveé Margaux, Bordeaux $15
2011 Clos du Roy, Fronsac $25 
2015 Chateaumar, Cuveé Vincent Syrah $17

Sunday Mark will be rolling his R’s with wines from the Rhone and Roussillon. 

2015 Château Bizard Blanc d’Amour $13
40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Viognier, 10% Marsanne, 10% Rousanne
A full and resinious Rhone white with lots of pear and apple notes.

2014 Domaine La Vista Grains Mélés  $12
Co-fermented Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre
A dry smooth dark Rousillon red with notes of black cherries, plums and layers of spice on the nose. The palate opens up into savory tannins and a chewy finish. Organic. Was $15 now $12

Wednesday January 31st: Plan ahead.  St Clouds is having No Corkage Night. Stop by the shop and grab a bottle and head over to dinner.

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.

Tuscany

Saturday, December 2nd, 2pm

Tuscany is known for Sangiovese, a grape that expresses itself in wide array of character ranging from fresh and light to richly complex.  This Saturday we’ll be exploring a few examples of this multi-charactered grape as well as a few other specimens of Tuscan Terroir.  Stop in and join us.
 
2016 San Felice, Vermentino Perolia  $13
85% Vermentino, 15% Sauvignon Blanc
Vermentino from southern Tuscany – blended with a little Sauvignon Blanc to add aromatic complexity.  The Perolia is an incisive white with crisp apple, citrus and gently herbal characters. The palate has good body and a creamy texture, with lemon, lime, floral notes and a pleasing minerality.
 
2014 San Felice, Chianti Classico$16
Sangiovese, Colorino, and Pugnitello
This medium-bodied Chianti Classico offers complex, long-lingering aromas, with nuances of dark cherry, raspberry and sweet violets. Appealingly dry, it is smooth, rounded, with a well-balanced and savory palate.
 
2015 Campogiovanni, Rosso di Montalcino $20
Sangiovese
Savory and spicy from the start, this Rosso di Montalcino offers a unique bouquet that is a notch more complex than your standard Rosso. Along with the cherry and blackberry tones you should expect, you also get a licorice, cola and balsam herb that give the wine its authentic Sangiovese personality. The Palate has ripe fruit flavors of raspberry and blackberry jelly.
 
2013 Barone Ricasoli, Brolio, Chianti Classico Riserva $30
80% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Barone Ricasoli is one of the oldest wineries in Italy, starting in 1141. This wine is made from a selection of estate vineyards.  The lands vary much one from another from sandstone to marl, marine deposits, and limestone.  The wine has delicate spicy notes of wild berries, cherry and hints of vanilla. The palate has sweet and harmonious tannins in balance with the acidity with a plush mix of black cherry, plum, licorice, tar and tobacco aromas and flavors. 
 
2013 Tenuta Argentiera, Poggio ai Ginepri, Bolgheri Rosso   $20
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 20% Merlot & 5% Petit Verdot
Bolgheri is located in the west of Tuscany close to the Lugurian Sea and favors Bordeaux varietals. The Ginepri has a broad and deep olfactory landscape.  On the nose, it shows fruity aromas of cherries, plums, fresh blackcurrants with hints of white flowers and typical Syrah pepper notes.  The Palate is soft and complex with sweet tannins and an enjoyable freshness and an enjoyable fruity flavor with a spicy underpinning.

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 Feast for the Palate —

Post Tday Tasting

Saturday, November 25th, 2pm

December is soon upon us and that calls for some full-body wines to wet the tongue and warm the soul. Shake of that tryptophan turkey hangover and come feast on these delicious wines.

2013 Christian Ninot, Bourgogne Blanc “Les Pellans” $20
Chardonnay
This White Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune has lively aromas of flowers, ripe fruit and nuts. The wine is full-bodied and round with nice acidity and a long finish. Who doesn’t like Chardonnay?

2014 Christophe Pichon, St. Joseph $27
Syrah
Christophe Pichon owns four hectares of 35-year-old Syrah in St. Joseph, which he hand harvests. It has a lovely crispy bacon and hedgerow fruit nose, while the palate is very intense yet remains juicy and supple, with precise black and red fruits. There is a good oak structure to the wine, with black pepper and vanilla on a powerful and long finish.

2013 Quinta da Romaneira “R de Romaneira” $15
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Syrah. Tinto Cão
Quinta da Romaneira has been making Port from their estate grapes in the Douro for 260 years. In 2004 the estate was taken over by new owners who branched out in to dry wines. Their R has a fine and delicate nose and soft ripe red fruits on the palate. The Syrah gives extra perfume and spice to this rich wine.

2015 Ken Wright Cellars, Tyrus Evan, Claret “Ciel du Cheval” $18
43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot
Made from one of Washington’s best vineyards, Ciel du Cheval, by one of Oregon’s most famous winemakers, Ken Wright. After more than a decade making Ciel du Cheval Claret, Ken decided to focus even more on Pinot Noir. He canceled his fruit contract with Ciel du Cheval. This is the last vintage. Opening with black cherry and red berry fruit exhibiting nice polish, picking up hints of tobacco, sage and black currant through the finish, which adds subtle grip.

2011 Quinta da Romaneira, Late-bottled Vintage Porto $26
40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Tinto Cão
This LBV ages for 5 years in wooden vat to give it the character of an aged port. The wine has intense aromas of crushed berries and red fruits. It is rich and elegant on the palate with spice, raisins and red fruit flavors and a velvety but firm tannic structure that’s leads to a luscious long finish. It is ideally served as an accompaniment to rich cheese, dessert, or on its own at the end of a meal. This wine is unfiltered and will continue to develop in the bottle. As a result, it may throw a light deposit and need decanting.

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.

Date Change for Barolos

Too many people were out of town or busy this coming weekend, so we are moving the date for our Barolo Tasting to December 3rd. Let us know if you want to come.

Barolo & Barbaresco Tasting
Sunday, December 3rd
5:30pm
$25 (plus tax)

 
Looking to warm up the dark nights. Come join us for our Special Barolo & Barbaresco Tasting. We’ll be pulling the corks on Five Nebbiolo kingpins and seeing how they stack up. The tasting starts at 5:30 after the shop closes and we’ll have some tasting appetizers to match the wines. It’s a great way to recover from Thanksgiving. Space is limited so contact us to reserve a spot.
 
2013 Pasquale Pelissero Barbaresco Cascina Crosa $25
This single vineyard Neb from a small family estate has earthy aromas of leather, truffle, violet, ripe black cherry and a funky whiff of game on this. The approachable palate offers fleshy dark cherry, cranberry, clove and a hint of licorice. And it has an incredible price. Was $32 now$25

2012 Podere Ruggeri Corsini, Barolo “Bussia” $40
This single vineyard Barolo is from Monforte d’Alba. Ripe berry, violet, leather and menthol aromas lead the nose. The firm palate offers mature cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and sage alongside assertive, tightly wound tannins that need to unwind.
 
2013 Luigi Pira , Serralunga Barolo $37
Pira’s Serralunga racked up a lot of points from the critics for the money. “The 2013 Serralunga is a gorgeous Barolo from Pira in this vintage. Attractive aromatics of fresh strawberries and cherries are laced with spices and floral nuances. Balanced, focused and beautifully structured with a lovely polished texture and wonderful length on the finish. This impresses from start to finish, and as always the standard Serralunga Barolo from Pira is simply outstanding”. 93pts IWR
 
2009 Schiavenza di Pira, Broglio Barolo $50
Broglio is a village of Serralunga d’Alba with south east exposure with loamy ground, and slimy deeply calcareous soils. A combination of cherry, licorice, leather, spice and tobacco notes gives way to solid tannins. All the elements are there, and the long finish picks up a black tea accent.
 
2008 Borgogno, Barolo Le Teorie $80
A special bottling of the 2008 Barolo, the le Teorie is from Cannubi, Liste, Fossati and San Pietro delle Viole vineyards. After at least four years aging, it is bottled and labelled and is ready to stimulate intellectual reflection. A wine which at table can stimulate discussion of the most refined topics. 6 different labels take your pick or get the set. The regular labeled 2008 got 92pts from Vinous.

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.

The Corners of Italy

Saturday, October 28th, 2pm

This Saturday we’ll be hopping from the far north of Italy in Trentino to the far south of Sicily with a few stops in between.  The wines are as diverse as the countryside that produces them.  Come join us. 

2014 Noelia Ricci IGT Bianco Forli Bro $18
93% Trebbiano Romagna’s typical clone, 7% Pagadebit
Trebbiano cultivated on the sloping hills that look out at the Adriatic Sea and vinified with the skins of Pagadebit grapes. This delicious white wine exposes the nose to delicate fruit, lemon zest, floral, and citrus notes. The palate is graced with flavors of pear, lemon, citrus, and slight herbal notes. Nicely balanced with a crisp medium finish.12% alcohol by volume.
 
2015 Tenuta La Pergola Monferrato Rosso “Il Gocetto”   $12
75% Brachetto, 25% Barbera
This unusual Piedmont red  is made by Alessandra Bodda at Tenuta La Pergola from a total of 1.6 hectare parcel. “Il Goccetto” is Italian for “A little nip”. It is from a single vintage, but Vino Rosso can’t have the vintage on the label.  The principal grape is Brachetto, and check out the exuberant perfume it bestows: a heady, ample fragrance of juicy ripe cherry and flowers seems to leap out of the glass. A bit of Barbera adds some flesh and bright acidity. 
 
2013 Noelia Ricci, Sangiovese Superiore Romagna, Il Sangiovese  $18
Noelia Ricci focus has been to showcase Sangiovese in the best possible light with minimal wine making intervention.  From the best performing vineyards in the estate, managed by Noelia’s grandson, Marco, the entry level Sangiovese showcases a wasp indicating that it has a fiery personality that should be drunk young   Delicious and refined aromas of raspberry and pomegranate. This wine sees no oak but still maintains a subtle herbaciousness with crisp minerality. 
 
2013  De Vescovi Ulzbach Teroldigo Rotaliano $18
The Vescovi family has been tending vines and farming apple orchards in the Piana Rotaliana area of Trentino since the 18th century.  Teroldego is the regions finest native red wine grape, to produce robust, richly colored reds with a layered bouquet of crushed blackcurrants.  This medium-body wine has the aromas of dark berry fruit, on the nose with floral and mineral hints which continue onto the palate.
 
2014 Cos, Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG $40
60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Frappato di Vittoria
COS was founded in 1980 by three friends.  They have 36 ha of vineyards of calcareous and silica based clay tufa soils in the farthest southwest tip of Sicily in Vittoria. The wine comes from 25-year-old vines in red soil formed of limestone silica sands, organically farmed, spontaneously fermented on the skins and aged in glazed cement tanks for Frappato and Oak botti for Nero d’Avola together they are blended to form the Cerasuolo a medium-body wine that obtains the floral and perfumed notes from the Frappato and a robust structure and flavor from the Nero d’Avola.

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.

Spain: Old Vines, Good Wines

Saturday, October 14th, 2pm

This Saturday we continue our tour of the Iberian Peninsula with five wines from Spain.  These wines come from longstanding vineyards with gnarled old vines that produce concentrated fruit.  And thanks to the Euro, they are a fantastic value. 
 
2016 Huguet de Can Feixes, Blanco Selecció  $15
Chardonnay, Parellada, Macabeu, Malvasia
This estate founded in 1768, is over 400 acres of mountainside terrain and is the highest vineyard estate in the Penedès region at over 1400 feet.  Organically farmed, the Blanco has an intense lemon-oil aroma with firm acid structure.  It has apple, melon and apricot notes along with wet stone flavors that reflect its gravelly soils.
 
2014 Familia Montaña, Rioja Crianza  $12
97% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano
The Montaña ages for 12 months in French oak instead of the more common American barrels. The wine’s spice and leather complement the deep blackberry fruit and ferrous minerality of Rioja’s red soils.

2014 Huguet de Can Feixes,  Negre Selecció   $15
70% Tempranillo, 30% Merlot
From the same vineyards as their white, Can Feixes’ round red Negre offers juicy cherry and licorice flavors, with notes of smoke and mineral. Its lively orange acidity imparts focus, while light tannins lend enough structure for balance.  The wine is juicy yet mineral with hints of tobacco, and a lingering fresh plum and cherry finish – and of course organic.
 
2015 Descendientes de Jose Palacios, Pétalos de Bierzos -$ 22
Mencia
During the late 1980’s, Alvaro Palacios travelled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers in his travels he got the idea of making great wine from old-vine Mencía.    From old hillside and hilltop vines from across Bierzo’s western edge, this excellent example of Mencia shines. This is such a tight and beautiful red with dark berry, stone and limestone character. Medium body focused and refined. It has a linear and very long finish and is a standard bearer for the region. Organic
 
2014 Hermando & Sourdas Antidoto, Ribera del Duero  $25
Tempranillo
The Antidoto is meant as an antidote to the many Ribera del Duero wines that substitute heavy-handed winemaking for a sense of place and variety.  The wine comes from 80-year-old vines in the cooler part of Ribera del Duero and is un-filtered and un-fined and aged in neutral barrels.  The wine has red fruit flavors, a racy acidity and considerable minerality on the palate.

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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