Archive for Tasting Notes

Saturday Wine Tastings are Back!

Well, sort of. . .

While we still can’t pour for you at the shop, we can send you home with sample to taste in the comfort of your own home.  Here’s how it works.  Preorder your “tasting set” of 2-ounce samples (enough to share with your partner unless you want the 2-ounces all to yourself) starting Thursday morning, until our sets are sold out. Pick up your samples on Saturday along with a copy of the tasting notes, go home and have at it  We will take orders for the wine you want more of and they be ready for pick up the following Saturday.  The “tasting set” is $5 (plus tax).

So, join us for our First Ever virtual wine tasting featuring the wines of Pala Estates in Sardinia. You can taste along with Mario Pala direct from the island on YouTube ( or watch the embedded video below. Speed up or slow down as you feel or check out their website at

Sardinia is one of the oldest emerged lands in the Mediterranean area … geographically it is part of the French massif, while the rest of the Italian peninsula belongs to the African bloc.

The Azienda Agricola Pala was founded in Sardinia, Italy, in 1950.  Mario Pala is now the third generation of the family taking care of the vines.  The estate is comprised of eight different vineyards.  The vineyards stretch from the town of Serdiana, where Pala has its cellar, and the municipalities of Ussana and Senorbì where the rolling hills are limestone and marnes, to the municipalities of Uras, Terralba and San Nicolò d’Arcidano on the central western coast of the island, where the vineyards are planted in white sand.

2019 Vermentino di Sardegna I Fiori $21  Special Tasting Price $19
100% Vermentino
Vermentino grows in a lot of places but this one has a distinct Sardinian bent.  From 35-year-old vines, the white has an intense, persistent floral and vegetable aroma with note of lime and balsamic. On the palate the vegetable notes are predominant, smooth and full with good depth and well balanced, with a long persistent aftertaste.

2018 Isola dei Nuraghi Silenzi Rosso $14  Special Tasting Price $13
Carignano and Monica
20-year-old vines. Lively ruby red color, violet reflections. Intense aroma with notes of red fruits. Dry and soft taste with good lingering notes.

2018 Monica di Sardegna I Fiori $21  Special Tasting Price $19
100% Monica
Monica is a local varietal that comes from 30-year-old vines. Intense ruby red color with violet hints, very clear. Very intense, with vegetable and spicy hints, light licorice nuance. Dry and smooth to the palate, enjoyably fresh, well-balanced and harmonious, good nose-palate persistence.

2018 Cannonau di Sardegna I Fiori $21  Special Tasting Price $19
This Sardinian version of Grenache comes from 35-year-old vines. Very intense, fresh and immediate aroma with notes of ripe red fruits and vegetables. Dry and smooth to the palate, good structure and nose-palate persistence.

The video below will walk you through the tasting with Mario Pala. It is a little over 18 minutes long:

Just a reminder that our Fall Hours are:

Wednesday to Sunday
Noon to 6PM


Rojo: Spanish Reds


2016 4Kilos Wines 12 Volts Tierra de Mallorca $24
60% Callet-Fogoneu, 20% Syrah, 10% Cabernet, 10% Merlot
12 Volts is a smooth red wine with aromas of ripe red fruit entwined with aromatic Mediterranean plants and a wet soil background. On the palate it is complex, flavorsome and balanced. The fruity flavor and balsamic notes stand out. The finish is lingering and very pleasant.  Organic Was $32 now $24

2014 4 Kilos Tierra de Mallorca  $35
70% Callet, 20% Cabernet, 10% Syrah
This cuvée is aged in new French oak barriques for 14 months. A composed, silky, blue/black fruit density, there’s richness and dryness to this, but the sweet core of fruit and beautifully composed texture and balance of the finish is superb. A wine has aged gracefully, but still has a flesh, substance and fine, savory freshness. Organic  Was $50 now $35


2014 Vina Cerrada Rioja Crianza  $12
95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano
A good introduction to Rioja, the Cerrada Crianza has attractive varietal aromas of red berries, fresh strawberry leaf and some hints of spice. It is rounded and soft in the mouth, with a medium bodied palate stacked with crunchy red berry and hedgerow fruit leading into an elegantly smooth, caressing finish.  Was $15 now $12

2016 Beronia Rioja Crianza  $13
91% Tempranillo,8% Garnacha, 1% Mazeulo
Beronia’s Crianza is aged for 12 months in mixed oak barrels and one year in bottle.
The wine has aromas of tobacco, vanilla and dark fruit, with smooth tannins and a spicy toasted finish.

2014 Frontaura Domino de Valdelacasa Cosecha  $16
From Toro the Domino is very intense on the nose, red fruit aromas, strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry are predominate with dairy and well-integrated wood. Touches of eucalyptus, velvety licorice and mineral notes come out. It is smooth, balsamic and very long. It is a structured and complex wine.

2016 Lar de Maia “5”  $17
75% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache
Lar de Maía was founded in 2010 in Castilla y León by María Burgoa and Raúl Tamayo practicing organic viticulture, and original, natural winemaking.   The “5” has intense red fruit aromas (cherry), blended with hints of vanilla, coconut and licorice that continue through to the finish.  Organic

2016 Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel Resalte Ribera Del Duero  $18
100% Tempranillo
A crisp, intense and fresh wine which delivers an abundance of vibrant fruit flavors with background notes of spicy oak. The palate is round and beautifully balanced with a deep fruit flavor through to a long-lasting finish.

2015 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva  $20
80% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo, 2% Garnacha
Estate fruit, 18 months in American oak. Ripe-blackberry, licorice, smoke and bourbon notes.  Stained labels, better price!  Was $28 Now $20

2009 Siglo, Rioja Grand Riserva  $20
Tempranillo – with a bit of Garnacha & Graciano
Cool and foresty in tone, this wine feels integrated, with a lovely weave to its tannins and fruit. The wine melds tannins from oak, fruit skin and seeds in notes of caraway and walnut, with a vegetal anise scent adding complexity. The texture is plump and silken, with a ping of fruit that accelerates those tannins into a savory power drive. Classical Rioja.

2014 Cune, Rioja Reserva  $22
85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo.
Floral aromas and very fruity with forest fruits intermingled with the sweet aromas of the spices from the aging in barrel during 18 months. When tasting it is a soft wine but marked by a silky tannin and fresh finish which gives us a long and complex aftertaste.

2011 Lopez de Heredia Rioja Viña Cubillo  $27
65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacho, 5% Mazuelo, 5% Graciano
From the vineyard Viña Cubillas, whose vines average 40-years of age. The soil is from the tertiary age and is a mixture of clay and limestone. The wine ages for three years, being racked twice per year before release.

2016 Muga Rioja Reserva  $30
70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo & Graciano
A traditional-styled Rioja, aged for 6 months in wooden vats before spending 2 years in 60% new French and American oak. Rich layered fruit that is smooth-textured and concentrated.

2007 Lopez d’ Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva  $45
75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, 5% Mazeulo
A remarkable red from a Rioja icon, López de Heredia. There’s no concession to modernity, with fermentation in 140-year-old wooden vats plus six years’ ageing in oak casks, the rest in bottle.  Spices, leather, cherries, balsamic and cigar box.  Very complex spice and berry fruit, with a long savory finish.

Monastrell, Garnacha and Other Varietals.

2016 Campos de Risca Jumilla  $10
90% Monastrell (Mourvédre), 10% Syrah
From the sunny arid part of SE Spain known in Spanish as the ‘Levante’. Intense and a deep-red Bordeaux color. The nose shows aromas of dried and some fresh fruits, red berries but also dried figs and prunes. The palate is explosive but full of soft fruit and tannins.  Organic Was $13 Now $10

2018 Nekeas Cepa por Cepa  $11
Crisp and fruity with loads of delicious red fruit. This bright and juicy red strikes a brilliant balance between texture and vibrancy.  Sourced from extremely old clones and vineyards.

2015 Viña Século, Mencia  $12
25-year-old vines from Bierzo in Northwestern Spain. Medium-body, cherry red, with aromas of of ripe fruit, vanilla, and spices. Ideal paired with chicken, grilled meats, or pasta.

2019 Xiloca  Calatayud Garnacha  $12
Intense blackberry color and aroma are captivating. Freshness and integrated tannins invite a second sip. The intensity continues in a mouth filling palate and a lingering fruit/mineral finish.

2017 Cesar Langa, Frenesi  $13
35% Shiraz, 35% Garnacha, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
The Langa family owns more than 70 hectares of vineyards spread over two Biodynamic farmed estates. The Frenesi has a very minerally aroma with spicy notes such as clove, cinnamon, pepper and vanilla. It has s ripe, even jam-like black fruit, beautiful tannins, a silky and round, muscular body.   Organic

2017 Anadas Care Granacha Nativa  $14
A juicy and delicious garnacha with crushed-berry and chocolate character. Full-bodied yet tight and balance with a balance of ripe tannins and flavor.  Vegan

2018 Can Blau Montsant  $15
40% Mazuelo (Carrignan), 40% Syrah, 20% Garnacha
From average 35-year-old vines. “Wood smoke, spice box, incense, lavender, black cherry and plum aromas are followed by a mouth-filling, round, dense wine with outstanding grip and length. It over-delivers in a big way.” WA 90pts

2017 Juan Gil Monastrell  $15
From the Gil Estate in Jumilla, these old vineyards’ chalky and stony soils with poor nutrients are ideal for the growing of the Monastrell. This big shouldered old vine Monastrell sees 12 months in French oak barrels. It is rich without being jammy, structured, without being too tannic. Aromas of ripe currant, red berries, and smoked note, with a huge mouthful of crème-de-cassis concentration.

2017 Jimenex-Landi Bajondillo  $17
Garnacha with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a light, fresh, easy to drink red. The grapes are sourced from La Dehesa vineyard, in the vicinity of the winery:.  The wine, which is fermented and aged briefly in concrete tanks, displays strawberry and herbal notes.  Organic

2016 Feix Negra Priorat  $18
50% Garnacha, 50% Carineña
Red fruit aromas are topped with oaky, spicy scents of vanilla and clove. A fresh, high-tension palate features dry tannins and roughness, while plum, wild berry and oak flavors conclude on a smacking, zesty finish.

2010 La Antigua Rioja Classico Reserva  $20
60% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
Ripe red berries, violet and cracked pepper on the nose; a vanilla nuance emerges with aeration. Seamless in texture and appealingly sweet, offering pliant raspberry and cherry flavors and a hint of mocha. Closes smooth and fruity, with subtle tannins coming in late.

2016 Costers del Priorat “Petit Pissarres”  $22
60% Garnacha, 40% Samsó
Petit Pissarres is derived from the word “Pizarra” which is “slate” in Spanish, and this delicious Priorat is almost revelatory in that it’s not nearly as massive as most reds from this fast-rising region. Intense red with purple tones. It has a very fresh aroma, full of flowers and red fruits sensations that are confirmed in the palate and finishes cheerful and lively!

2011 Vina Magaña Baron de Magaña Navarra  $23
35% Merlot, 35% Cab Sauvignon, 20% Tempranillo, 10% Syrah
Abundant notes of blackberries, crème de cassis, camphor, and flowers, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, tremendous lushness and purity, and a beautifully textured, round, generous finish.  It’s a layered, medium to full-bodied, pure, luscious and heady wine

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 calcareous 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

Our Fall Hours

Wednesday to Sunday
Noon to 6PM

Bianco: Spanish White Wine

This week we’re taking a look at what we stock from Spain.  We’ll start with the white wines.

2019 Bodegas Shaya, Arindo Verdejo  $12
A nice little wine with lemon, peach and fragrant floral aromas, a refreshing lemon pucker and notes of pear, melon, and apples.

2018 Lagar de Condesa, Shania Bianco  $20  3 liter Box
Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia
A floral crisp white with notes of apple peel, wild herbs, white peach and melon.  That is $5 a bottle by the box.

2018 Viladellops Penedés White Wine  $13
100% Xarel-lo
From very old Xarello vineyards, this Spanish white is fresh with notes of white fruit and aniseed.  Was $15 now $13

2017 Oinoz, Verdejo  $13
The Oinos displays tropical, fruity aromas and floral notes of white flower, hay and fresh grass, which mingle with elegant aniseed touches. It is structured on the palate, striking a perfect balance between acidity and volume which lends it a notable freshness.

2019 Rexabal ,Txakoli  $15
Hondarrabi Zuri
Light color with slightly green hue and a slight spritz upon opening. Aromas of lemon, green apple, bright acidity and lower alcohol.

2018 O Fillo de Condesa, Albariño  $11
Made from 100% Albariño grapes from in Galicia for centuries. Bright yellow color, good structure in the mouth, well-integrated acidity with aromatic intensity and hints of floral.

2017 Sin PalaBRAS CastRoValdES, Albarino   $18
An Upper Case Albariño 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.

2017 Bodegas Ontanon, Akemi Rioja Blanco  $15
A collaboration between Michelin starred Kiro Sushi restaurant and Onaton.  It is a very dry version of Viura with lots of Asian pear flavors and saline note.  What a surprise! — this would go great with sushi.

2018 Pazo Señorans, Albariño  $20
Pazo Señorans lies in close proximity to the sea on acidic, sandy soils created by the natural decomposition of the granitic bedrock below. The Pazo takes Albariño to a whole new level. The wine is wonderfully perfumed with round viscous body packed with a cornucopia of citrus flavors.

Just A Reminder

Our Fall Hours Are
Wednesday to Sunday
Noon to 6PM

The Two Hemispheres of Malbec

Malbec is another secondary blending grape in Bordeaux, but it finds its own limelight in the Southwest of France in the region of Cahors, where it makes a dry minerally red.  It also rules the roost in Argentina where it makes a dark juicy wine.  Which hemisphere you prefer?  Here are some of our selections.

2018 Bousquet, Malbec  $10
A big wine, punchy and grapy on the nose, this bright Malbec feels edgy. Flavors of spicy black cherry and kirsch finish solidly, with a hint of chocolate flavor.  Organic
13% alcohol by volume

2015 Bousquet, Malbec  $20
A big bottle of big wine, punchy and grapy on the nose, this bright Malbec feels edgy. Flavors of spicy black cherry and kirsch finish solidly, with a hint of chocolate flavor.  Organic  1.5 liter
13% alcohol by volume

2017 Mystic Andes, Reserva  $11
Blackberry, plum, and black cherry, nuances of cocoa powder, leather and a sweet tobacco finish from the oak.
13% by volume

2017 Funckenhausen, Malbec Blend  $15
65% Malbec 20% Bonarda, 15% Syrah
A juicy, intense, well balanced and vibrant wine.   *Malbec: plums and berries, soft and silky tannins, roundness – elegant!  *Bonarda: color, red fruit, structure and volume – juicy!  *Syrah: mint and spices, good acidity fresh finish – turns the blend more alive!

2018 Andeluna, 1300 Malbec  $14
1300 is meters above sea level.  A high altitude Malbec with lots of dark fruit and toasty nuance.

2017 Duriguti, Malbec  $15
Fragrant bouquet with floral notes, sweet spices and smoke — and more black fruit (black cherry) than red fruit. This wine is intense, supple, dense and powerful.

2017 Château Eugénie, Cahors Traditional  $14
100% Malbec
A very traditional Malbec from the Southwest of France with more mineral and tannin to balance out the fruit.
12.5% alcohol by volume

 2016 Château Haut-Monplaiser, Cahors Tradition  $18
100% Malbec
Tradition is made and raised primarily in concrete vats, with 30% raised in neutral barrels. Aromatically intense, with rich spicy mineral fruit, this is a long, earthy rendition of Malbec.

2018 Lafleur de Haute Sere, Cahors  $18
90% Malbec, 10% Merlot
Aromas of fleshy black cherries and stables. Full-bodied on the palate with Piquillo peppers and a hint of animal spice.  Young and concentrated full of ripe fruit and velvety tannins.
12.5% alcohol by volume

 2016 Clos de Gamot, Cahors Malbec  $25
Fruits noirs, mûres, pruneaux et mentholé,  Bouche: belle fraîcheur, harmonie, équilibre et longueur en bouche.  Classic.

2013 Château Eugénie, Haute Collection – Cahors  $38
This is the Couture family’s top-of-the-range wine from Eugénie. It is dense and layered with wood, blackberry fruits and a complex structure of tannins, smoky flavors and acidity.

Just A Reminder Of Our NEW HOURS:

Wednesday to Sunday

Allow us to present our selection of Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, Most famously in the Loire.  Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Complex reds result, with aromas of raspberry, bramble, and bell pepper.  At the moment at Madrona Wine we have six examples from the Loire, two from Friuli, and one from Washington state.

2017 Domaine les Pins, Bourgueil  $15
Rich ruby red with notes of violets and red berry fruits, this Cabernet Franc is nicely layered on the palate with brightness running throughout and just a touch of smoke mixed in with some purple fruits. Soft waves of mineral with a nice soft tannin make this a true delight to drink. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations.

2018 Château Minière, Bourgueil  $16
Red wine of young vines, made in stainless steel, the nose is very expressive with aromas of red fruits. On the palate the wine is very soft but well structured. Long and very aromatic finish with hints of red fruits and pepper.  Organic

2018 Mélaric, “le Tandem”  $19
60% Grolleau, 40% Cabernet Franc
Mélanie and Aymeric Hilaire established their young property in the outer ring of the Saumur, near the new appellation of Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame. This is where the dark volcanic soils of the Loire begin their shift to bright limestone, and the Mélaric wines stylistically sit in Saumur-ness and the Anjou wines to the west. It makes the best of its mix of relaxed Grolleau fruit and tensile, spicy Cabernet Franc. Fresh, vivid and grippy with tight raspberry and cherry, and some pepper notes.

2019 Arnaud Lambert, Saumur Clos Mazurique  $19
Rich cab franc showed ripe fruit flavors of berry and cassis with hint of spice. Lovely with wild boar Ragú. Balanced in the mouth, soft tannins and nice finish.

2016 Domaine Nerleux, Saumur Champigny Clos des Chatains  $18
Amélie Neau is the 9th generation of Domaine de Nerleux (Black Wolves in Old French) . Her Clos des Chatains shows a beautiful nose of black fruits, blueberry, elderberry, cherry with brandy. In the mouth there are lots of flavors of kirsch, elderberry and a slight bitterness. A traditional style in a generous vintage.

2015 Le Grand Bouqueteau, Chinon Reserve  $20
Fuller with a bit more barrique the Reserve has good density of fruit tannins – dried fruit, spice and perfumed Blackberry – soft tannins with a full body and a long finish.

2017 Couluta, Cabernet Franc  $20
Don’t let the Cabernet on the label fool you– this is Cabernet Franc from Friuli.  The fragrance grassy with a hint of raspberry and blackberry. The flavor is grassy, dry and tangy, vanillaed.  Very pleasing.

2009 Sant’ Elana, 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 Cab Sauv.

2016 Tranche, Cabernet Franc  $35
Floral and herbaceous on the nose with lifted aromas of rose petal, lilac and sage. The wine plush and dense on the palate, layered with dark, seductive flavors of blueberry, licorice and cassis. Herbaceous notes of fennel, black tea and tobacco combine with soft, fleshy tannins and a graphite-like minerality.

Our Current Hours

Wednesday to Sunday
Noon – 4PM

Stay tuned for our expanded fall hours!

Off Balanced Equinox

Maybe it was the week of smoke, or maybe it was the way yesterday’s rain seemed to flip the switch between Summer and Fall, or maybe it is 2020 with its continually astounding, endless mess of Pandemic and Politics that will have us clenching our teeth ’til November if not beyond — but somehow the end of September finds us just a bit off-kilter.   Tonight, we’re going to take home a nice bottle of wine and sip it while we listen to the rain and imagine that everything will balance itself out.  Care to join us?  It could be one of these nice bottles.

2018 Corsini, Langhe Nebbiolo  $19
From two different vineyard sites—one is within the Barolo appellation and the other is just outside the appellation limits. This wine has red fruits, pretty florals and spicy aromatics dominate the nose while the palate is well-structured with a nice fruitiness through the middle. The palate has a light hit of blood orange in addition to minerals and a forest floor note.

2014 Cune, Rioja Reserva  $22
85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo.
Floral aromas and very fruity with forest fruits intermingled with the sweet aromas of the spices from the aging in barrel during 18 months. When tasting it is a soft wine but marked by a silky tannin and fresh finish which gives us a long and complex aftertaste.

Current Hours

Wednesday to Sunday
Noon to 4PM

Stay tuned for our updated fall hours.

Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Bolgheri!

Tuscany Part Two

Sangiovese along with its variants Sangiovese Grosso and Prugnolo Gentile is the heart of Tuscan wine making. We continue our tour with two of its more classier parcels, then head out to the coast to Bolgheri where Cab, Merlot, and Syrah play a leading role.


2016 Svetoni Rosso di Montepulciano  $14
95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino
A good value Rosso with dry cherry notes and a tea and leather finish.  An old school Sangi.

2018 Della Seta Rosso Di Montepulciano  $16
Ripe red-berry and fragrant blue-flower aromas lead the nose while the juicy savory palate offers crushed raspberry, wild cherry and baking-spice notes. It’s already accessible, with supple tannins

2018 Nottola Rosso di Montepulciano  $17
85% Prugnolo Gentile, 15% Merlot.
Aromas of resin, crushed herb and red plum lead the nose. The subdued palate seems evolved in terms of fruit richness, offering a suggestion of dried cherry and clove alongside dusty tannins.

2015 Il Conventino Vino Nobile di Montepulciano  $33
80% Sangiovese, 15% Colorino, Canaiolo, and Mammolo
A quality Nobile this wine has a refined bouquet of violet, iris and baking spices. The palate delivers a core of dark cherry and raspberry flavors with white pepper and a hint of herbs. It’s elegant, with a bright, silky palate and nice length.  Organic

2013 Riello Delle Balze Vino Nobile di Montepuciano Reserva  $20
Vino Nobile di Montepuciano Riserva aged for 24 months in oak barrels, the wine has a persistent red berry and spice notes. On the palate is sapid full and soft with a perfect amalgam of tannins and acidity. A wine with great structure and layers.

2011 Nottola Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Reserva  $29
80% Prugnolo Gentile, 20% other red varietals.
Full-bodied aromas that have hints of ripe fruit, splashes of spices, coffee and touches of violet.  Rich taste and well-balanced with a dose of elegant tannins that linger.


2017 Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino  $20
The vintage has developed frank, clean, fragrant aromas. There’s good blue fruit to this with violets, bilberries and spices. Medium body, undertones of fresh citrus and a medium-chewy finish with a strong acidic shoulder that guarantees a long aging.  Organic

2014 Sassetti Livio Rosso di Montalcino  $21
Lots of earth and richness to this rosso with plums, mushrooms, violets and dark fruit. Full body with soft, velvety tannins and a long finish. This is masterful Rosso. From one of the top producers of Brunello.  92 pts James Suckling.  Was $30 now $21

2012 Uggiano Brunello de Montalcino  $45
Charred soil, espresso, used leather and game aromas carry over to the lean, firm palate, joined by dried black cherry and licorice flavors. The wine finishes abruptly, steeped in raspy tannins.

2013 Il Poggione, Brunello di Montalcino  $45
This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint.   96pts Parker.  Was $60 now $45

2011 Fossacolle Brunello de Montalino  $50
Its color is intense ruby and the aromas are of mature fruits, sustained in the palate by great complexity. The tannins are noteworthy, silky and oily, persistent. A wine of optimal equilibrium, elegance and complexity, it will increase its bouquet after a moderate time in bottle.

2013 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino  $50
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”—94pts Parker

2010 La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino  $74
Offers terrific aromas of strawberry, currant and medicinal herbs, revealing hints of anise, tobacco and earth, all backed by a firm, vibrant structure. Stays focused and long, with a succulent finish. Best from 2019 through 2036. — 95pts Wine Spectator

Super Tuscans

2016 Erik Banti Carato  $15
60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet, 20% Merlot
This mini Super Tuscan is a Sangiovese-based blend from the Tuscan coast that tastes like it should cost much more because of its full, smooth, flavorful palate presence and excellent balance. This is bright, clean and savory with loads of sweet berries and ripe cherries and a dusting of roasted herb

2016 Carpineto Dogajolo Red  $13
80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
A young “Super-Tuscan”, Dogajolo was named after the Italian word doga, meaning “stave” — the narrow strips of wood used to form oak casks. The wine is fresh and forward with a fruity and fragrant bouquet, along with some long-lasting flavors of dark berry and spice.

2017 Petra Zingari Toscana  $13
25% Merlot, 25% Sangiovese, 25% Syrah, 25% Petit Verdot
This little super Tuscan made Wine Spectator’s top 100 in 2019.  A well of dark cherry, black currant and blackberry fruit makes this red sumptuous and inviting. Fresh earth, thyme and rosemary accents add depth. A mineral element emerges on the long finish. Shows fine balance overall.

2018 Baracchi O’ Lillo!  $15
25% Merlot, 25% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah
From Cortona, the O’ Lillo has a fruity nose of cherry and blackcurrant. Pleasant and light notes of black pepper, tobacco and forest floor. Easyto drink, fresh, full body and soft tannins. Fruity aftertaste. A very fresh and drinkable blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel vats to preserve all their fruity notes and drinkability. Their union gives different characteristics to the final wine.  Was $20 now $15

2016 Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio  $29
40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
Bordeaux meets Bolgheri!  There is a lot of meat on the bones of the 2016 Bolgheri Rosso Il Seggio. The wine opens to spice and bramble with dark fruit nuances, surrounded by thick layers of spice, tobacco, tar and resin. This wine offers a specific and unique mouthful that is full and dense but also creamy and luscious. It makes a particularly glossy or shiny impact in terms of mouthfeel.

2017 Terre Del Marchesato Emilio Primo  $30
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah
This Super Tuscan gives similar Washington blends a run for the money.  Intense ruby red color with a nice density in the glass. Red fruits, vanilla, spices and pepper notes are sensed. A nice note of roasting and powdered coffee. There is a fresh note like the fruit of chinotto and tamarind. Good acidity with a nice sapidity. Clear but velvety tannins. Excellent structure.

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.

Current Hours

Wednesday to Sunday
Noon to 4PM

Tuscany Part 1

We love Tuscan wine.  We started to make a short list of the wine we have in stock and it quickly grew into two emails. Here is Part 1 centering on Chianti.

2017 Carpineto Dogajolo Bianco  $13
40% Chardonnay, 30% Grechetto, 30% Sauvignon Blanc
Produced from estate-grown fruit from the Montepulciano estate, each varietal is vinified separately in stainless steel tanks. Medium-bodied white with pleasant citrus aromas and flavors, the Bianco is a young, fresh wine with a balanced acidity and clean, delicate finish

2019 La Spinetta Il Rosé di Casanova  $20
50% Sangiovese, 50% Prugnolo Gentile
Aromas of sliced peaches, flowers, stones and chalk very complex with full body and round yet agile and dynamic intensity, salty, linear, energetic backbone of acidity, great structure and lovely finish.

2018 Uggiano Montesperso  $10 
Sangiovese di Toscana
From Florence, the Montesperso has a pleasant and lingering bouquet recalling cherries and floral notes, predominantly rich violet. Dry, soft and balanced on the palate. A harmonious finale, leaving a very fine and lasting taste. Pair with savory first courses, roasted and stewed meats.


2017 Antico Colle Chianti Colli Senesi  $15
This Chianti exhibits notes of fresh cherries, tobacco, and violets. On the palate, it is generously well-rounded with lively acidity and firm tannins.

2014 Bello Stento Chianti Classico  $18
90% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot, 5% Colorino
A classic Classico with aromas of tea, tobacco, violets and berry.

2015 Triacca La Madonnina Chianti Classico Riserva  $23
A single-vineyard Riserva aged for 2 years before bottling. Soft fruit of plum & cherry with classic tea and earth notes.

2015 Castello di Meleto Vigna Casi Chianti Classico Reserva  $28
“Cherry compote, floral and spicy nose. Palate reprises the nose with smooth, velvety tannins and a mineral touch on the long finish. An excellent release” 95pts Decanter

2013 Badia a Coltibuono Montebello  $60
A masterful blend of nine indigenous Tuscan varieties: Mammolo, Ciliegiolo, Pugnitello, Colorino, Sanforte, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo, Foglia Tonda and Sangiovese. A number of these historic varieties are no longer permitted in Chianti Classico. The vines are planted in Coltibuono’s Montebello hillside vineyard, on fossil-rich clay soils. The result is a complex, harmonious wine which is the essence of Tuscany. Bright dark cherry fruit, fresh acidity and moreish fine-grained tannins make this a real treat.

1994 Felsina Fontalloro  $104
100% Sangiovese
The pinnacle of Felsina’s Sangiovese production,  the epitome of grace and elegance, muscle and sinew interlaced with sweet cherry and plum fruits with a touch of truffle and spice in the finish. OUTSTANDING WINE!!! ..

Current Hours

Wednesday to Sunday

Austrian and German Wines

As we wait for the smoke to clear, we might as well tell you about a some of our Austrian and German wines.  We’ll skip the Rieslings and Grüners for the moment.

2017 Weingut Rudolf May, Silvaner Trocken  $17
Made from young vines from great sites, this is a forward charmer with yellow fruit, some salty mineral flavors and a fresh finish.  Organic
12% alcohol by volume

2019 Pannonica Rosé  $11
40% Pino Noir, 35% St. Laurent, 25% Blaufränkich
From Austria, the Pannonica Rosé enchants the palate like a precious rose, caresses the spirit and seduces the connoisseur. Its bouquet is bewitching. Its discrete flavors regal. Its vibrant acidity spirited.
12.5% alcohol by volume

2016 Pannonica Red Blend  $11
40% Blaufrânkisch, 35% Zweiglet, 25% Pinot Noir
Aromas of dark berry fruits and pepper. Flavors of juicy blackberries, hints of spice and soft tannins. Notes of juicy, ripe black cherry play on the nose. The palate picks them up with ease and freshness while adding a little cinnamon spice. The body is light, and the finish is dry and smooth.
13% alcohol by volume

2015 Gryphon Crest Pinot Noir  $13
From the Baden region in Germany,  Intense black plum and cherry perfume juxtapose savory tones of smoked nuts and wet earth in this fresh and fruity yet composed wine. Plump black fruit flavors are broad and rich but framed by brisk acidity and a trace of mineral complexity. A good introduction to German Pinot.   Was $16, now $13

2016 Weingut Rudolf May Spätburgunder  $20
Pinot Noir
A light, fresh and mineral laced Pinot from Germany.  Was $30 now $20.  Organic
13% alcohol by volume

2016 Meyer-Näkel Spätburgunder  $40
Pinot Noir
A beautiful Pinot Noir from an award winning winemaker.  Light, mineral driven and elegant.
13.5% alcohol by volume

2017 Schlink Haus Beeranauslese  $16
Harvested of individually-hand-selected overripe berries. Rare and remarkably rich, this is a wine that should be enjoyed with dessert or by itself. Fragrant, aromatic, full-bodied, with a pleasant sweetness.  375 ml

Current Hours

Wednesday to Sunday

Ancient Grapes:

Our wines from Turkey and Armenia

It is things like this that make me really miss our Saturday tastings.  Who doesn’t want to try grapes such as Emir, Kangun, Öküzgözü and Areni Noir.

2017 Turasan, Emir  $15
The Emir grape only grows in one place in the world – Cappadocia, Turkey. The nose has notes of citrus peel and white flowers along with pears and fennel pollen. On the palate it comes across as balanced, bright and lively with refreshing floral and Meyer lemon.

2017 Karas, Armavir White  $15
50% Kangun, 40% Chardonnay 10% Viognier
From the Armavir Region of Armenia which has a highlands climate with hot summers and cold dry winters and volcanic soils.  Aromas of citrus, pineapple and peaches.  Elegance, balance and delicate acidity provide a smooth, lengthy finish.

2017 Diren, Öküzgözü (Oh-cooz-goe-zue)  $15
85% Öküzgözü, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Diren Winery is located in the northern part of Turkey in Anatolia. Their Oküzgözü highlights this native grape. The wine is medium-bodied wines with ripe fruit and spice flavors and plenty of lively acidity.

2017 Karas,  Armavir Rouge  $15
35% Syrah, 35% Cot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Tannat
From the Armavir Region in Armenia, this excellent blend is expressive and lively. Its fruity aromas and great acidity makes the wine elegant and easy to drink.

2018 Zorah Karasì  $32
Areni Noir
This Karasì is a tribute to the 6100 year wine tradition of Armenia.  Areni is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world.  It is aged in traditional amphorae, its name, ‘from amphorae’ in Armenian.     Lovely small-wild-berry aroma. Spicy and savory with expressive dark fruit with wildness and energy. Vibrant tannins with a long-evolved mineral on the finish.

Our Current Hours:

Wednesday to Sunday
Noon to 4PM