Archive for Tasting Notes

Winners

It is a sports-filled weekend for Seattle.  The Huskies, Sounders and Seahawks will play there games in the rain to poncho wearing crowds.  In warmer climes the Yankees and the Astros battle it out to see who goes to the Wolds Series. Here at Madrona Wine we have a full weekend of winners as well.  Come shake off the umbrella at the wine shop and taste some great wine.

Saturday, we are tasting some great French wines that are under-noticed in world of wine.
2017 Secret de Berticot, Cotes de Duras  $11
Sauvignon Blanc
2016 Adrien Vacher Mondeuse Cuvee Reservee  $13
100% Mondeuse
2017 Château Touril La tour du Touril Angela Rouge Minervois   $11
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
2014 Château Lalande de Gravelong Médoc  $17
50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
2015 Château Franc Grâce-Dieu,  St. Emilion Grande Cru  $32
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc

Sunday, we cross the border into Italy taking two traditional French grapes with us, from Alto Adage in the north to Sicily in the south,
2016 Castel Sallegg, Sauvignon  $12
From Alto Adage — Classic and direct Italian Sauvignon Blanc.  Aromas of grapefruit, peach, freshly cut grass, tomato leaves and nettles. It is moderately heavy, juicy and fresh on the palate with a pleasant mellowness and a good length.  Was $18 now $12
2015 Alcesti, Admeto Syrah $15
This Sicilian Syrah has a rich and mellow bouquet and notes of wild berries in perfect harmony with spicy hints of black pepper and balsamic notes. It has a generous flavor, with a pleasant tannic, velvety and persistent sensation.

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.

Under the Radar French

Saturday, October 19th, 2pm

Saturday, we have collected an array of French wines a bit off the beaten path of wine importing.  We have a Sauv Blanc from Duras in the South West, a Mondeuse from Savoie in the French Alps, a Grenache/Syrah from Minervois in the Languedoc and a pair of small estate Bordeaux, just because we like to drink Bordeaux every chance we get.   It’s a perfect line up for our damp Fall weather.
 
2017 Secret de Berticot, Cotes de Duras  $11
Sauvignon Blanc
The Berticot is a very smooth and silky Sauvignon Blanc.  The nose reveals boxtree, citrus and exotic fruits aromas. The palate is full-bodied and fresh, with grapefruit and lychee notes.  12% alcohol by volume
 
2016 Adrien Vacher Mondeuse Cuvee Reservee  $13
100% Mondeuse from a small Family run winery in the French Alps.  This lighter bodied red has aromas of black fruit (black currant, blueberry, blackberry) with a note of pepper on a nice finish. 
 
2017 Château Touril La tour du Touril Angela Rouge Minervois   $11
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
A friendly and juicy Languedoc  red from this small family estate.
 
2014 Château Lalande de Gravelong Médoc  $17
50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
The vineyards of Lalande de Gravelong are made up of 30-year-old vines planted on it gravel clay soil. The wine has aromas of ripe red fruits, plum and black cherry. Deep and fresh flavors of ripe plum, fruitcake, and black cherries are highlighted by notes of cedar and spice that accent its rich texture and well-integrated tannins. 13% alcohol by volume
 
2015 Château Franc Grâce-Dieu, St. Emilion Grande Cru  $32
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc
A rich and complex Bordeaux with a lot of leathery & mineral richness.

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.

Sweater Weather

We’ve made to the weekend here in Madrona and it is time to settle back, open some wine and enjoy the Fall weather.  Put on a sweater and saunter up to the shop to see what we have open.

Saturday we are bouncing all over the place to pour some of our new (& old) favorite finds.  Slovenia, Portugal, France, Italy, & Spain.
2014 Dveri, Pax Sivi Pinot  $11
Pinot Gris
2016 Orison, Pipa  $12
43% Anao Vaz, 27% Arinto, 20% Roupeiro, 10% Verdelho
2017 La Montagnette, Cotes du Rhone Villages  $14
50% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 15% Mourvédre
2015 La Bioca, Ronchi Barbaresco    $30
Nebbiolo
2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva $44
75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, 5% Mazeulo

Sunday we are pouring two new wines from Bodega el Porvenir
de Cafayate in Argentina.
2018 Bodega el Porvenir
de Cafayate,  Amauta Torrontés $12
The Amauta, in the original cultures of Cafayate, was the great teacher, the wise man. Yellow with bright greenish tonalities, bright and vivacious. Fresh, fruity, tropical; intense with a second aroma of flower along with citric notes. Fresh, young, fruity. Good structure, balanced and with good acidity. 13% alcohol by volume
2017 Bodega el Porvenir de Cafayate, Amauta Tannat $12
Intense ruby red with violet and black notes. Aroma of spices with notes of eucalipt, dark fruits like figs and menthol. Intense mouthfeel and sweet entry due to the ripe tannins. Medium-high structure with balanced acidity and long final. It is an intense wine with freshness and complexity.

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.

Hopping Around

Saturday, October 12th, 2pm

This Saturday we are bouncing all over the place to pour some of our new (& old) favorite finds.  Slovenia, Portugal, France Italy, & Spain — Hop on over to the shop and have a taste.
 
2014 Dveri, Pax Sivi Pinot  $11
Pinot Gris
The Podravje region is Slovenia’s largest and most productive wine region with  extensive wine hills. It shares the same elevation high elevation as Austria and northern Italy of up to 350 meters and wine growing here nets a distinctive ripe, very aromatic style of wine.  The Sivi Pinot has notes of oriental spices, red apples and warm buttery notes and juicy stone fruit. Full bodied and dry Pinot Gris with lots of rich extracts and flavor.  Was $20 now $11

2016 Orison, Pipa  $12
43% Anao Vaz, 27% Arinto, 20% Roupeiro, 10% Verdelho
The 2016 Pipa White wine was fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak. Hand battonage, the process of stirring the lees in-barrel, uniquely influences the evolving texture and profile of the wine, highlighting a depth of mineral and fruit, clean-citrus, melon, and stone.

2017 La Montagnette, Cotes du Rhone Villages  $14
50% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 15% Mourvédre
A non-interventionist CDR. no cultured yeasts, no filtration, no fining, no enzymes, no SO2 on the grapes at harvest (or during the vinification), only a little bit for bottling, just great tasting Rhone wine.

2015 La Bioca, Ronchi Barbaresco    $30
Nebbiolo
A Cru Babaresco with aromas of luxurious dark cherry and raspberry fruit mixed with herbal notes. The palate is intense, with savory fruit, earth notes and fine tannins.
Was $35 now $30

2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva $44
75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, 5% Mazeulo
A remarkable red with no concession to modernity, this Reserva is fermented in 140-year-old wooden vats followed by six years of ageing in oak casks, the rest in bottle. The wine has complex notes of spice, leather, cherries, balsamic and cigar box with a long savoy finish.

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.

Beat the Tariff

Beginning October 18th all French, German and Spanish wine entering the country will have a 25% tariff charged to them. This also applies to olives, virgin olive oil, cherries, oranges and lemons from Spain, pork sausages and roasted coffee from Germany. Italian cheeses like pecorino, Parmesan and provolone. Stilton cheese, sweet biscuits and Scotch whiskies from Britain.  But it does not apply to wine already in the country, or on our shelves.  Come stock your shelves this weekend as we are pouring pre-tariff wine from Spain and France before the prices jump up.  If your cellar is big enough you might want to buy enough to make it to the next administration.  Here’s what we are tasting:
 
Saturday is Spain!  We are featuring five wines from some of the major regions of Spain.  Come belly up to Iberia.
Bohigas, Cava Brut Reserva $13
2016 Sin PalaBRAS, Albareño $18
2016 Protos, Tinto Fino $15
2010 Lan, Rioja Grand Reserva $25
2014 Unio, Licorella Priorat $25
 
Sunday is Basic Bordeaux!  We will be pouring the white and the red of Grand Bateau. Two easy drinking, drinking Bordeaux from Chateau Beychevelle. 
2017 Grand Bateau Bordeaux Blanc  $11
80% Sauvignon Blanc
From well-known Bordeaux producer Château Beychevelle, this Sauvignon Blanc shows citrus and herbal characters with a touch of oak and mineral backbone. Sustainable
2016 Grand Bateau Bordeaux Rouge  $11
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby color. Nose is delicately toasty and opens towards ripe fruit aromas of cassis and prunes, vanilla and spices. On the palate fleshy, soft, and elegant, sustained by ripe and savory 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.

Belly up to Iberia

Saturday, October 5th, 2pm

Saturday we are featuring five wines from some of the major regions of Spain.  It is a blend of a few old friends and a few new faces. Come join us and belly up to Iberia.
 
Bohigas Cava Brut Reserva $13
Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada
The Bohigas family has been growing grapes on their land since 1290. Their vineyards are in the Anoia River Valley, planted in limestone and clay soils, but further upstream at higher altitudes and cooler climates than the Penedes cava producers.  The wine spends 24 months on its lees before disgorgement. Lemon/lime, crushed rock and white currant notes are present in this crisp, elegant, refreshing, zesty, dry sparkler. Hints of wheat thins and brioche add complexity.
 
2016 Sin PalaBRAS, Albareño $18
An Upper Case Albareño from Rais Baixais from 75-year-old vines.  Classic Albariño aromas of sea brine, tropical fruits, lees and dust precede a minerally lemony palate with tangy flavors of lemon, lime and gooseberry. This is a fresh clean example with a long stony citrusy finish.
 
2016 Protos, Tinto Fino $15
100% Tempranillo
“Ribera del Duero” was literally this winery’s brand name until 1982, when Protos gifted the name to the rest of the region, allowing for the creation of the Ribera del Duero appellation. The Into Fino has black fruit aromas, well balances with the oak, bringing sweet spicy and nice toasty notes.  It is tasty, sweet, well balanced, with pleasant smooth tannins and toasty reminders on the finish.
 
2010 Lan Rioja Grand Reserva $25
Bodegas LAN was founded in 1972 and named after the initials of the 3 provinces in the Rioja Designation of Origin: Logrono (now La Rioja) Alava and Navarra. It is located in the heart of Rioja Alta. Their Grand Reserva 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 Unio Licorella 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. 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.

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.

Loire, Provence, Rhone & Lebanon

As Fall fills the air, wine fills our glasses.  It is Mark’s birthday today here at Madrona Wine.  Stop by and wish him “many returns”.  And of course, there are some interesting wines to try.

Saturday come taste some terroir of the Loire, Provence and the Côtes-du-Rhône
2018 Patient Cottat, Le Grande Caillou  $12
Sauvignon Blanc
2018 Miraval, Rosé  $20
Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle
2017 Famille Perrin, Nature Organic Red  $13
Grenache, Syrah
2016 Famile Perrin, Vinsobres Les Cornuds $20
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah
2016 Domaine Les Adrets, Bandol Rouge $21
95% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan

Sunday we have new wines from Lebanon. Over 4000 years ago, the Phoenicians sold Lebanese wine through-out the Mediterranean region, and they were credited with having introduced the flavorful nectar into the Spanish and Italian markets. Today we taste two new ones that have made their way into the shop.
2017 Château Ksara Merwah  $15
100% Merwah
Crystalline bright lemon yellow color, aromatic nose of fresh lemon zest, white peach blossoms and dusty dried baking herbs with just a hint of crushed gravel minerality. The palate is medium-bodied, relatively taut but deliciously vibrant and fresh. There is textural weight and a sleek, seamless mouthfeel with layers of lemon biscuit, Japanese green tea, lemon bon bons, white peach pastille finishing with a juicy green apple crunch. 12.5% alcohol by volume
2016 Château Ksara Reserve Du Couvent  $15
40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet France, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Founded by the Jesuits Fathers in 1857, the grapes are grown on the slopes of the Bekka Valley. This wine with its dark ruby-red color is a fusion of finesse and elegance; with notes of beautifully integrated oak and vanilla enveloped in supple, pure and round tannins and a wonderful persistence on the palate. Hand Harvested

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.

Loire, Provence, & Rhone

Saturday, September 28th, 2pm

Fall is in the air, and French wines are filling our glasses.  So grab your beret and come taste some terroir of the Loire, Provence and the Côtes-du-Rhône.

2018 Patient Cottat, Le Grande Caillou  $12
Sauvignon Blanc
The Fournier family have been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. Le Grande Caillou “the big rock” doesn’t make the cut to be labeled Sancerre, but at this price we won’t quibble.  Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect Loire Sauvignon Blanc for all occasions.

2018 Miraval, Rosé  $20
Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle
Owned by the Jollie Pit “family”  but made by a real life Provencal wine maker, the Miraval rosé is a wonderful blend of fruits aromas and freshness, made on an exceptional terroir in Provence.  Special Fall price.

2017 Famille Perrin, Nature Organic Red  $13
Grencahe, Syrah
Certified organic, Perrin Nature is not only an organic Côtes-du-Rhône but also good wine. Using their experience in organic farming at Beaucastel (one of the first big estates to turn to organic farming 40 years ago), this wine is a beautiful expression of fruit with delicate and soft tannins.  Rich in the mouth, it offers a nice complexity with aromas of spices, garrigue, blackcurrant and white pepper.

2016 Famile Perrin, Vinsobres Les Cornuds $20
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah
Vinsobres, a beautiful village located north of Châteauneuf du Pape  is cultivated primarily on terraces particularly suitable for Syrah. It develops notes of violet, smoked meat and blackberries. The Grenache is also suited to this terroir, full bodied and not heavy, with notes of black chocolate, cherry and typical Garrigue aromas.  Well balanced and complex in the mouth, it offers a nice acidity, freshness and a hint of bitterness reminiscent of limestone.

2016 Domaine Les Adrets, Bandol Rouge $21
95% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan
Les Adrets means “Sunny Side” in French and in practical use refers to a slope soaked by the sunshine. The vineyards that produce Les Adrets sit upon hillsides facing south east, steep enough to require the growers to plant the vines in stone wall terraces called “restanques”. The grapes are from younger vines planted in the five diverse Bandol soil types: rudist limestone, Triassac pebbles, black marl, sandy marl, and red sand.  The wine is unmistakably rich, almost burly with deep, ripe fruit and playful, peppery spice.

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.

Loire, Provence, & Rhone

Saturday, September 28th, 2pm

Fall is in the air, and French wines are filling our glasses.  So grab your beret and come taste some terroir of the Loire, Provence and the Côtes-du-Rhône
 
2018 Patient Cottat, Le Grande Caillou  $12
Sauvignon Blanc
The Fournier family have been farming and producing wines in Sancerre for generations. Le Grande Caillou “the big rock” doesn’t make the cut to be labeled Sancerre, but at this price we won’t quibble.  Clean, bright and refreshing, this is a perfect Loire Sauvignon Blanc for all occasions.

2018 Miraval, Rosé  $20
Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle
Owned by the Jollie Pit “family”  but made by a real life Provencal wine maker, the Miraval rosé is a wonderful blend of fruits aromas and freshness, made on an exceptional terroir in Provence.  Special Fall price.
 
2017 Famille Perrin, Nature Organic Red  $13
Grencahe, Syarh
Certified organic, Perrin Nature is not only an organic Côtes-du-Rhône but also good wine. Using their experience in organic farming at Beaucastel (one of the first big estates to turn to organic farming 40 years ago), this wine is a beautiful expression of fruit with delicate and soft tannins.  Rich in the mouth, it offers a nice complexity with aromas of spices, garrigue, blackcurrant and white pepper.
 
2016 Famile Perrin, Vinsobres Les Cornuds $20
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah
Vinsobres, a beautiful village located north of Châteauneuf du Pape  is cultivated primarily on terraces particularly suitable for Syrah. It develops notes of violet, smoked meat and blackberries. The Grenache is also suited to this terroir, full bodied and not heavy, with notes of black chocolate, cherry and typical Garrigue aromas.  Well balanced and complex in the mouth, it offers a nice acidity, freshness and a hint of bitterness reminiscent of limestone.
 
2016 Domaine Les Adrets, Bandol Rouge $21
95% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan
Les Adrets means “Sunny Side” in French and in practical use refers to a slope soaked by the sunshine. The vineyards that produce Les Adrets sit upon hillsides facing south east, steep enough to require the growers to plant the vines in stone wall terraces called “restanques”. The grapes are from younger vines planted in the five diverse Bandol soil types: rudist limestone, Triassac pebbles, black marl, sandy marl, and red sand.  The wine is unmistakably rich, almost burly with deep, ripe fruit and playful, peppery spice.

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.

Equilibrium

It is the equinox this weekend, which in Madrona means finding a balance between sun & showers.  Fall seems to have settled in, but as we adjust to the new season we have some great wine tastings this weekend to help with our equilibrium.  We’ll start at the end and work our way back.

Sunday Evening we’ll be tasting the well-aged wines of López de Heredia.  This starts at 5:30 pm after we close the shop and costs $20.We have a few spots left if you’d like to join us.
2009 Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva $28
2010 Viña Gravonia Blanco Crianza $27
2005 Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva $45
2010 Lopez de Heredia Viña Cubillo Crianza $24
2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva $44

Sunday from 11 to 5 we’ll be featuring two wines from the Sant’ Elena Winery of Friuli/Venezia in Northeastern Italy. This winery also likes to age its wines a bit before sending them to market.
2011 Sant’ Elena Chardonnay  $12
Bright acidity frames this lively Chardonnay. It offers flavors of stone fruit, Gala apple, almond and citrus zest.
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.

And Saturday, we are going back to nature with Organic & Biodynamic Wines from Italy, France & Portugal. Come celebrate the equinox with these balanced natural wines. This starts at 2pm.
2018 La Staffa, “Mai Sentito” Verdicchio Frizzante $19
2018 Le Fraghe, Garganega Veneto $15
2017 Le Fraghe “L’escluso” Bardolino $16
2017 Les Amethystes, Chiroubles $20
2015 Casa de Mouraz, Dao Tinto $18

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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