Archive for Tasting Notes

Year Of The Rat

Happy Chinese New Year! Here in Madrona Wine we are taking a break the week’s events and celebrating by just watching the rain fall and drinking some very tasty wines. Come start the Year of the Rat in a laid back fashion.

Saturday we are pouring the Synergistic Wines of L’Archetipo from Puglia. Synergy is the next step in Bio dynamic farming, paying more attention to the ecological balance in the vineyard.  The taste tells all.
2016 Marasco Brut Nature $23
100% Maresco (Apulian indigenous vine).
2017 Greco Bianco $18
2017 Fiano $20
100% Fiano Minutolo
2016 Litrotto Rosso $19
30% Montepulciano, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Primitivo, 10% Susumaniello.
2016 Niuru Maru $20
100% Negroamaro

Sunday, we continue celebrating with two more Italian wines starting with a Sicilian White and ending with Amarone’s little brother Ripasso. Stop on by and welcome the New Year.
2018 Firriato Altavilla Della Corte Grillo   $13
A Sicilian white with delicate scents of white spring flower and citrus. On the bright, linear palate, fresh acidity supports peach and lemon zest while a hint of saline picks up the finish. 12.5% alcohol by volume
2016 Cesari Mara Ripasso  $17
75% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 5% Molinara
The Mara has notes of ripe fruit, fruit preserve and cherries.  Its incredible persistence is striking: it lingers on the palate, where it opens in all its power with a warm, elegant body.

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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.

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.

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.

New Year’s Countdown

We are pulling the corks from now until New Year’s.  Swing on by the shop and say good bye to 2019 and hello to 2020.
 

Saturday, December 28th

Champagne at 2pm

Gonet-Medeville Brut Tradition 1er Cru  $40
70% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Meunier
An appealing mix of wet chalk, honey, light barley sugar and hay alongside apple, pear, citrus fruit and lemon-cream notes – this is at a lovely stage of maturity. The palate is both creamy and fresh, with lively but gentle mousse and terrific length.  Was $52 now $40
 
2017 Tenuta Santa Maria Pragal  $17
60% Corvina, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah
The Pragal has an engaging bouquet with alternating hints of red fruit preserves, dried roses and black cherry with subtler tones of dark spice, tobacco and black pepper.
 
2011 Bergadano Barolo Sarmassa  $40
Nebbiolo
Founded by Enrico Bergadano in 1974, this estate is now managed by son Piercarlo who farms two hectares of vines in Barolo, Monforte and Novello. This is the family’s top wine, with fruit harvested from the celebrated Sarmassa cru. It shows incredible density and elegance with bright aromas of wild berries, white truffle and licorice. The drying tannins are tight and firm.  Was $50 now $40
 

Sunday, December 29th

 
2015 Château Les Hauts de Plaisance Haut Medoc  $15
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
This second wine from Château Pontoise Cabarus has a complex aromatic nose of red fruit, berries, coffee, and spice. The palate has a delicious balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity this wine tastes of cherry and blackberry, with a hint of coffee and chocolate.
 
2016 Argiano, Non Confunditur  $19
Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Syrah
The innate gentleness of Merlot creates a bridge between the evident earthiness of Sangiovese, the aromatic blackcurrant flavors of Cabernet and the warm red berries of Syrah.  NC is a wine with a decisive, full-bodied character, smooth tannins and a persistent finish.
 

Monday, December 30th

 
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.
 
2015 Sierra Cantabria Crianza  $19
Tempranillo
Intense Cherry. Fine toasted notes (cocoa and coffee) and ripe fruit with definite expression. Powerful palate, smoky with well-balanced toasty notes of oak and fruit.
 

Tuesday, December 31st 
New Year’s Eve

 
2015 Bernard Stehelin Cheval Long Sablet  $20
70% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah
A charming cuvée with a slightly macerated fruit nose followed by a mouth sweet, fresh and licorice in attack, backed by friendly tannins. The very example of “pleasure wine”
 
And a surprise (even to us) wine. Come toast the New Year..
 

Wednesday New Year’s Day Closed!

Time is Running Out On 2019

As the 2019 draws to the end we look back and pull a few corks to finish the year off right.  We’ll be pouring some winter delights from now until New Year’s Eve.  Stop by the shop and see what’s open.
 

Thursday, December 26th

 
 

2017 Giá Langhe Rosso $18
Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo
The Giá is an easy going Langhe Rosso in a liter bottle meant for everyday enjoyment. The wine has red fruit and violet aromas with ripened plums and cherries. The palate is fruity, and smooth with a focus on dark red fruits. ONE LITER

2014 Barao de Vilar Statement  LBV Porto  $20
This unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage is aged over 4 years in oak barrels before bottling. It has a great variety of flavors, a strong wine with an attractive bouquet.  Strawberry jam, medium-bodied and sweet with refreshing acidity and gentle tannins.
 

Friday, December 27th

 
2001 Sant’ Elena Merlot$17
A 17-year-old Merlot from Friuli that is far from giving up the ghost.  Smooth developed flavors and soft tannin.  13% alcohol by volume
 
2017 Tenuta Santa Maria Pragal     $17
60% Corvina, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah
Engaging bouquet with alternating hints of red fruit preserves, dried roses and black cherry with subtler tones of dark spice, tobacco and black pepper.

Better Watch Out

Santa is Coming!

We are counting the days until the fat man in the red suit slides down the chimney.  While we wait, we are opening some tasty wines to help with the holiday spirit.  Get your rain gear out and stop by the shop and see what’s open.  We are Open both Monday and Tuesday this week ‘cuz it’s the season.

Saturday, December 21st

 2014 Domain Pignan Château Neuf du Pape Blanc  $30
40% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 20% Roussanne, 10% Bourboulenc, 5% Picpoul, 5% Picardan
A smart wine with an aromatic complexity. The wine has aromas of peach, white flower, pineapple and a touch of butter and toast notes as well as floral notes, including acacia and lime.  Was $37, now $30

2015 Château Haute-Serre Cahors Malbec  $25
90% Malbec, 10% Merlot
From Cahors, Malbec’s home on France’s beautiful Lot River, 2014 Château Lafleur de Haute-Serre Selection des Sommeliers Malbec is a brilliant dark red in the glass with fine aromas, concentrated fruit, and soft tannins on the palate. The 63 hectares of vines grow on slopes with clay limestone soil at an altitude of 300 meters–one of the highest vineyards in the appellation. Very fine nose. In mouth, it shows its soft tannins. The concentration of flavors reminds one of redcurrant jelly. Fine structure and elegance –a very feminine wine.

2016 Gaja Ca’ Marcanda Promis  $52
55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 10% Sangiovese
Aromas of dark berries, licorice and sandalwood following through to medium-to-full body with firm tannins. A juicy and delicious finish.

Sunday, December 22nd

2016 Billaud Simon, Peiti Chablis, $20
Charrdonnay
Generous nose, frank and lively. Notes of lemon and white flowers on a mineral content. The attack on the palate is young and frisky. The mellowness is slightly behind the liveliness of the fruits, lemon, apple, fern, combined with iodized mineral. Was $30 now $20

2017 Beaucastel Coudoulet Rouge  $32
30% Grenache, 30% Mourvédre, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault
The vineyard for the Coudoulet lay just outside of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation and the wine drinks much more like a Châteauneuf than a Côtes du Rhone. The nose evokes aromas of red fruit, blackberries, black cherries and licorice. In the mouth one finds hints of wild thyme and a finely structured wine that shows very good length.

Monday, December 23rd

2016 Tomas Cusine, Geol         $26
60% Samsó, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
From older vines in trellised vineyard parcels with naturally low yields on stony calcerous limestone and gravel plots. Think forest fruits like mature blackberries and plum compote. Cedar, eucalyptus, dark chocolate, balsamic, licorice and black currants with elegant and sweet wood in the nose. Wide and silky entrance, with rounded tannins, powerful, structured, deep and persistent finish. Organic

2016 DeLilleCellars D2  $45
59% Merlot and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon along with pinches of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Blackberry, plum seed, black raspberry, toast, graphite and licorice aromas lead to light but ripe red and black fruit flavors backed by grainy tannins.

Tuesday, December 24th

2017 Viberti Chardonnay  $22
Piedmont
Tropical fruit flavors of banana and star fruit are complemented by crisp golden apple aromas, notes of acacia further enhance the bouquet.  90% stainless steel tanks, 10% new oak. Sustainable

2009 Louis Latour Château Corton Grancy Grand Cru  $125
Pinot Noir
Côte de Beaune
Part of the Louis Latour empire, this Grand Cru is a beautiful red with ruby highlights. A complex nose revealing an earthy mix of red fruit, spice and licorice. Rounded in the mouth with the same juicy flavors as on the nose rounded out with hints of coffee. Harmonious with supple tannins.

We are closed Wednesday, December 25th, Merry Christmas.

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