Archive for Tasting Notes

Pure French

Saturday, May 25th, 2pm

This Saturday’s lineup focuses on pure varietals from the French countryside.  They range from the familiar (Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Noir) to the more unusual (Aligoté &Duras).  And we are throwing in a Bordeaux Blend just because of its good value.  Come taste with us.

2017 Domaine Giraudon, Bourgogne Aligoté  $15
Aligoté  is the other white grape o Burgundy. Marcel Giraudon has six of his 18.5 hectares planted to the grape. The wine goes through a malo-lactic fermentation which adds a lovely middle palate to its vibrant fruity and mineral qualities.  Its crisp, refreshing and offers an off the beaten path alternative as your go-to.
 
2017 Domaine Girard,  Sancerre  $23
Sauvignon Blanc
All Sauvignon Blanc from a small 2.5 hectare parcel. No oak at play here as Msr Girard keeps it crispy and fresh allowing the chalky, limestone soils to shine. The wine is full of stony, citrusy white fruits with a touch of floral lift and that super taut minerality that lingers and washes the palate. 
 
2016 Domaine Girard, Sancerre Rouge  $22
Pinot Noir
Sancerre is known for its Sauvignon Blanc but it also grows some great Pinot Noir as well.  The Girard is more friendly than Burgundy, and more pure pinot character than Oregon.

2017 Domaine Philemon,  Croix de la Bouscarié  $14
100% Duras
Domaine Philémon has been run by the Vieules family since 1804 in the
Gaillac region of southwest France.  Their vineyards are certified organic.  This pure Duras is a robust red with a distinct peppery note. 
 
2016 Chateau Platon, Bordeaux  $13
Jean-Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier farm 10 hectares of vineyards that have been in Christelle’s family since 1907.  The vineyards are planted with 65% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. With vines over 40 years old, grapes have excellent richness and flavor intensity of blueberry and cassis with dashes of plum, loamy earth and velvety tannins.

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.

Italy All Weekend

Saturday we are pouring wines from Piedmont, Italy’s most prestigious wine region. 
2017 La Gustiniana, Gavi di Gavi  $15
2018 Viberti, La Gemella Rosata $15
2017 Francesco Boschis, Grignolino $17
2016 Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d’Alba  $22
2014 Bricco Giubellini, Barolo $42

Sunday we head to the lesser known province of Custoza with two wines from Gorgo.  The Gorgo Wine Estate was established in 1973, a territory belonging to the village of Custoza, municipality of Sommacampagna (Verona). From its original 22 hectares, the estate is now stretching over 50 hectares organic certified almost all part of the “Bianco di Custoza” and “Bardolino” production areas.
 
2005 Gorgo Summa  $14
40% Garganega, 30% Bianca Fernanda, 25% Trebbiano, 5% Riesling
Bouquet of  orange blossom and jasmine, together with peach and ripe fruits, old rose with a hint of vanilla. The palate is broad, savory, with minerals and ripe fruits. Dry without asperity. Organic
2018 Gorgo Chiaretto Rosatta  $12
Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara
Bright, intense pink, almost cherry-like, bright and transparent. Subtle fragrant scent of fresh fruits. Dried and zesty, pleasantly persistent. Organic.

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.

Piedmonte!

Saturday, May 18th, 2pm

This Saturday we are tasting wines from the Piedmont Region of northwest Italy.  We have some great Summer wines to try –like the crisp Gavi, a Nebbiolo Rosé and a lighter styled red Grignolino — along with a richer Barbera and a very tasty Barolo.  It’s not to be missed.
 
2017 La Gustiniana, Gavi di Gavi  $15
Cortese
Gavi di Gavi is the famous white wine region of Piedmont, known for bright, aromatic and elegant wines made from Cortese grapes planted in mineral-rich soils. This one from La Giustiniana displays classis notes of green apple, almond and hints of herb and minerals.
 
2018 Viberti, La Gemella Rosata $15
100% Nebbiolo
Meaning “twin,” La Gemella was created to honor the winemaker’s mother, Maria, who is a twin herself.   La Gemella Rosata has expressive floral tones of wild rose, fresh berries and crushed mineral. The body is crisp and dry, with notes of sweet berries and zingy grapefruit.
 
2017 Francesco Boschis, Grignolino $17
Boschis vineyards in the Dogliani and Pianezzo districts in Piedmont are planted in calcareous soils. This Azienda is completely family run and, apart from the family members, there are no employees.  They farm organically. 10 head of cattle are kept on the property and the manure is used as fertilizer.  Hazelnut trees are grown on the plots with clayey soil. There are also some beehives and as bees are very sensitive to pollution, environmentally friendly practices are strictly followed throughout the whole estate.  They’re Grignolino has a very fruity aroma, bright acidity and notes of pepper, flowers and herbs with good length on the finish.
 
2016 Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d’Alba  $22
Barbera is the most widespread variety in Piedmont. This one from Fratelli Alessandria shows a fresh and fragrant bouquet alternating red fruits and sweet spices. The taste is dry and harmonious, with a medium structure and intensity.
 
2014 Bricco Giubellini, Barolo $42
Nebbiolo
Bricco Giubellini is the highest vineyard (530 m.) in Monforte d’Alba, renowned village of the Barolo area. And it is also the smallest, with not even one hectare of vines which are organically farmed.  Everything is handled with the utmost regard for the environment. No weed-killers or synthetic active ingredients are employed, manuring takes place on alternate years using cow dung compost. Rainwater is used for all treatments. The wine cellar is acclimatized by solar energy. Labels are printed on FSC paper, capsules are colored with water-based inks, only corks from certified plantations are used. No wooden packaging, only cardboard made from recycled paper.  The 2014 is fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated.  Bright raspberry, lavender and violet notes unfold effortlessly in a translucent, nuanced, Barolo loaded with personality.

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.

Mayfair & Mother’s Day

It is a sunny weekend here in Madrona. And Sunday is Mother’s Day so give Mom the bouquet she really wants. Skip the flowers and gather up some fresh Rosés.  We’re stocking the shelves with new arrivals.  Perfect for the sunshine and perfect for Mom.

Sunday is also the opening celebration of our new art show Field Sketches 2008-2019 by Jacob LaBarre. Stop by and meet the artist from 3 to 5pm.

But 1st — Saturday is Mayfair in Madrona.  So, after you have decorated your bike, rode in the parade, and hung out at the play field, you are going to be ready for some wine.  Here’s the lineup:

Saturday we have five lovely wines from France.
2016 Nicolas Idiart, Sauvignon Blanc Touraine  $14
2017 Campuget 1753 Rosé  $15
2016 Mourgues du Gres, Galets Rouge $12
2015 Cap Leon Veyrin, Listrac Medoc $16
2010 Fonplegade Fleur de Fonplegade, St Emilion Grand Cru $45

Sunday we have two delicious Rosés for Mom.
2017 Huber Zweiglet Rosé  $10
Fresh strawberry and lemon entice on the nose of this pretty pale-pink rosé. The palate is juicy and vivid with lemon-zest notes which frame the tender strawberry notions. This is lovely, dry and beautifully light: summer refreshment made manifest. 12% alcohol by volume. Was $17 now $10
2018 Cour Clémentine Rosé  $15
36% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, 20% Carignan, Mourvédre, 8% Syrah, 4% Tibouren
Côtes de Provence  Lighter colored, bone-dry, fruit-forward with white peach, green citrus, and tangy clementine with aromas of spring flowers, lavender, and hibiscus. 13% alcohol by volume

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.

Vins de France

Saturday, May 11th, 2pm

It is no secret that we love French wines.  This Saturday we are pouring five of them that easily earn our affection.  Swing on by the shop and fall in love with them yourself.

2016 Nicolas Idiart, Sauvignon Blanc Touraine  $14
Made from 35-year-old vines planted in sandy clay soils, this Loire Sauv. Blanc has a lovely nose of apples, citrus, tropical fruits and dusty gravel. It is a bright and energetic wine that also carries good texture and finishing length.

2017 Campuget 1753 Rosé  $15
80% Syrah, 20% Vermentino
This upper tier Rosé from Campuget, comes from a vineyard just south of Nîmes near the village of Manduel whose soil is formed of ‘gress’, an accumulation of rounded pebbles that have been rolled by many overflows of the Rhône river thousands of years ago.  The vines also benefit from the Mediterranean sunshine, which bring the grapes to perfect maturity.  The nose is full of grapefruit and exotic fruits. A delicate freshness offers a vibrant and delicate mouth with hints of red fruits. Was $20 now $15

2016 Mourgues du Gres, Galets Rouge $12
60% Syrah,30% Grenache, 5% Mourvédre, 5% Marselan
A very dark and earthy Southern French Red, aromas of cherry, blackberry, and soft spices lingering through the finish. The wine is full-bodied with a good acidity and character with tannins that are persistent, yet smooth.  Organic.
Was $15 now $12

2015 Cap Leon Veyrin, Listrac Medoc $16
55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
We’ve carried different vintages of this wine over the years but none at this good of a price.  The wine is rich, dense and structured. It has plenty of tannins as well as generous black-plum and spice flavors. Wood aging adds light toastiness that smooths out the fruit.   Was $30 now $16

2010 Fonplegade Fleur de Fonplegade, St. Emilion Grand Cru $45
95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
A very classy Bordeaux from 25-70 years old vines.  The full-bodied, powerful 2010 reveals intense, concentrated red and black fruit characteristics, undeniable minerality, a perfumed style and authoritative flavors that linger on the palate. — 94 pts Wine Advocate.  Bio-dynamic.

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.

Weekend Events

It is a busy weekend here in Madrona.  Saturday is the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby (or what we at Madrona Wine like to call “the run for the rosés)  Sunday is Cinco de Mayo so get the sangria makings early.  To celebrate all this we are pulling the corks on some great wines, so stop by the shop and join us.

Saturday is Spain. 
The bubbles pop at 2pm.
Ramon Raventos, Cava  $11
2017 Hiruzta, Guipucoa Txakolina Rosado  $18
2010 Enate, Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon$ $17
2010 Bodegas Lan, Rioja Grande Reserva $25
2014 Cellers Unió, Roureda Llicorella Clàssic Priorat $25
50% Carignan, 25% Garnacha and 15% Merlot

Sunday we are pouring a pair of wines from two lesser-known wine regions around the Mediterranean with two lesser-known varietals.
2016 Jordanov, Rkaciteli  $10
Macedonia
A very old grape varietal originally from the Republic of Georgia, on the palate you find hints of spicy apricot, orange zest, honeysuckle, red apple and a hint of a sherry like quality. To finish it off you will find a slight salinity like an ocean breeze.
2015 Palama, Arcangelo Negroamaro  $12
Since 1936, the Palamà family has been making wine on their small estate in southern Italy in Puglia. This wine is expressive, rich, and robust on the palate, with aromas of steeped plums, cracked pepper, blackberry confit, and cinnamon.

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

Saturday, May 4th, 2pm

This Saturday we are featuring some bold and beautiful wines from Spain starting with a crisp Cava and finishing with a dark and deep Priorat, along with a few delightful sips in between.  Come on by the shop and have a taste.
 
Ramon Raventos, Cava  $11
70% Xarel-lo, 20% Macabeo, 10% Grenache (Blanc de Noir)
A delicate bead with aromas of citrus and fresh green apple. Soft and elegant on the palate with notes of pear and toasted almond.
 
2017 Hiruzta, Guipucoa Txakolina Rosado  $18
60% Hondarrabi Beltza, 40% Hondarrabi Zuri
This classic Basque Rosé is redcurrant-pink in color with rich aromas of red and black fruits, such as strawberries, blackberries and black currants, over a citrus background and fine vegetal notes. Very fresh in the mouth with a balanced acidity accentuated by a hint of carbonic gas, offering a pleasing palate and a long, aromatic finish.
 
2010 Enate, Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon$ $17
A red wine from Somontano, the Enate Reserva has a broad, complex range of aromas: berries (blackberry, redcurrant), balsamic notes (mint) and a subtly spicy background (vanilla, pepper, bay leaf). Its structured palate lines the mouth with high-quality tannins. A long finish in the mouth recalling toast and bright tobacco.
 
2010 Bodegas Lan, Rioja Grande Reserva $25
90% Tempranillo from a selection of the best grapes coming from 30-year-old, low yielding bush vines in the Rioja Alta and 10% Mazuelo.  Lan’s GR is aged 24 months in American oak and French oak barrels, followed by a minimum of 36 months in the bottle.  The wine has aromas of ripe red fruits combined with spicy notes from the aging in oak (vanilla, cinnamon, fennel, licorice root) and tertiary aromas (leather, cigar box) from its prolonged bottle ageing. Full bodied and round, its mouthfeel is elegant and very well balanced.
 
2014 Cellers Unió, Roureda Llicorella Clàssic Priorat $25
50% Carignan, 25% Garnacha, 15% Merlot
Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable. Unio’s Classic has drilling aromas of graphite and balsamic dark fruits.  Roaring berry, chocolate and pepper flavors get brushed aside by the tannic roughness of the finish. Give this plenty of air before pouring; drink through 2024.

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.

Italy Old & New

We are spending the weekend in Italy here at Madrona Wine.   We’ll be starting in the library and ending with some new releases.  Swing by and taste with us.

Saturday we have some older vintages from Sant’ Elana in Friuli.  These wines are amazing values.  Come watch us turn back time.
2013 Sant’ Elena Klodic Pinot Grigio $15
2009 Cabernet Franc $22

2007 Sant’ Elena Cabernet Sauvignon  $19
2001 Sant’ Elena Merlot  $17

1997 Ros di Rol  $23

Sunday we are pouring two new wines from 2017: a fresh Verdicchio from the Marche region, followed by the crowd-pleasing Octopus of Sicily.
2017 Sartarelli Classico   $12
Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi
Straw yellow color with intense greenish nuances. White peach, elder, hawthorn aromas. A well-structured wine, soft on the palate, the characteristic slightly bitter almond aftertaste (typical of this varietal).
2017 La Cantine di Indie Polpo Rosso   $15
Nerello Mascalese
A new vintage of this light Sicillian red, special bottling for a local importer. The red octopus is a tenatious wine with bright acidity, layered cherry flavor and lingering finish. Organic. 12.5% alcohol by volume

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.

Older is Better

Aged Wines from Sant’ Elena

Saturday, April 27th, 2pm

Most wineries due to economics either design their wines to be drunk young or leave it to the buyer to cellar their wines until they reach their peak.  Occasionally we come across a wine that has been cellared for us.  This Saturday we have hit the motherload with the wines from Sant’ Elena.  This 40-hectare estate is located in Friuli-Venezia Giula in the Gradisca d’Isonzo area, where vineyards span out over the highest slopes and lowest valleys. The winery grows some very non-Italian varietals of mostly older vines that only produce 1 bottle per plant.  And they have a fantastic back stock of older vintages that have had time to develop.  Come taste the wine from their cellar.

2013 Sant’ Elena Klodic  $15
Pinot Grigio
Klodic is macerated for thirty-six hours to obtain deep color and then left on the lees for six months. A delicate and complex process usually not reserved for the variety   This Pinot Grigio offers complex varietal fruit laced with perfumed aromatics. This tasty, soft-textured Pinot Grigio possesses excellent balance and poise. An Orange Wine at a great price.
13% alcohol by volume

2009 Cabernet Franc $22
Sant’ Elana has always had Cabernet Franc on the property but mainly blended it into other wines.  Here is a beautiful example of what it can be by itself.  The wine is vinified exactly the same as the other reds, in steel and then 24 months in neutral 20hl botte. The wine is a little more rustic or Friulian in style and more feminine and fruit friendly than the Cab Sauv.

2001 Sant’ Elena Merlot  $17
A 17-year-old Merlot from Friuli that is far from giving up the ghost.  The wine has smooth developed flavors and soft tannin.
13% alcohol by volume

2007 Sant’ Elena Cabernet Sauvignon  $19
This well-aged Cab is showing great without the heavy-handed oak of Napa or Walla Walla.  The strong ruby color introduces elegant aromas of red fruit jam and sweet spice. The mouth is full and long-standing with a fresh finish.

1997 Ròs di Rôl $23
The Ròs di Rôl
is made from their best Merlot grapes.  The wine has an incredibly intense reddish-purple hue. A rich and complex bouquet submerges the drinker with notes of cherry, cocoa and leather. The long and soothing finish completes the wine’s well-founded structure. It is 22 years old and just coming of age.

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.

Locus New Releases

Saturday, April 20th, 2pm

Rich Burton has been very busy.  From the headquarters of Locus Wines, located down on Madrona Drive, he has coordinated all the picking, crushing, fermenting, aging, blending, and bottling that it takes to get a wine to our shop and ready for a glass.  This Saturday Rich will be with us, showing off several of his new creations.  Come join us and see the results. 
 
2018 Modo White $13
60% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc
The Semillon comes from the Dineen Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills.  The Sauvignon Blanc comes from Naches Heights.  The wine has grassy aromas along with papaya and grapefruit.  The mineral palate is full of Meyer lemon and pineapple.
 
2018 Locus Rosé $13
42% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 27% Cinsault
From 7 Mile Vineyard in the Rattlesnake hills, this crisp Washington rosé has aromas of white peach, lavender and Mandarin rrange.  The fruit notes carry through on the palate along with herbal nuance.  It is an easy spring sipper.  Don’t wait for Summer!
 
2016 Modo Red $13
38% Cinsault, 21% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, 14% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon
This kitchen sink blend from seven different vineyards is an easy matchup for most things in the kitchen pizza, burgers, chicken wings, left over pot roast or just Fritos and ranch dressing dip.
 
2015 Locus Red $21
58% Syrah, 23% Cinsault, 11% Mourvèdre, 8% Grenache
The anchor grape in this Syrah heavy red comes from Conley and Strand vineyards in the Naches Heights AVA, blended some from Gamache vineyard.  The rest of the blend comes from 7 Mile Vineyard.  Rhone inspired, the Locus red has aromas of cedar, plum and eucalyptus.  The palate is full of violet notes, plum, tea, and coffee.  The finish is smooth and layered.
 
2016 Locus Sagemoor Barbera, Columbia Valley $35
A departure from their predominately French focus, with the Sagemoor Barbera Locus turns their thoughts to Italy while keeping their eyes on Washington fruit.  On the nose: the wine shows notes of carnations, dried strawberry, anise, peppercorn.  The palate is packed with cherries, tobacco, green pepper.


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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