Archive for Tasting Notes

Apples, Pears, Olives and, of course, Grapes

It maybe grey, but Madrona is a much better place to be this weekend than most of the rest of the country.  And there are many tasty things to try at the shop this weekend so don’t miss it.

Saturday we are featuring our favorite organic single cultivar Olive Oil, along with 5 wines from Veneto, Campania, Molise and Tuscany
Le Manzane, Prosecco Superiore DOCG. $19.
Cantine Federiciane,  Gragnano  $19
2012 Tombacco, Biferno Rosso Riserva  $14

2016 Tombacco, Aglianico del Beneventano  $14
2012 Tenuta San Vito, Madiere  $30

Sunday we are Sipping Ciders, specifically the cider region of Normandy with three very representative dry ciders.
Manoir du Parc Brut Cider  $8
A very crisp Normandy Cider made from 10 varietals of apples that are grown specifically for Cider. Good complexity and yeasty notes for a small price. 5% alcohol by volume
Manoir du Parc Poire  $8
A light-bodied pear cider with aromas of ripe pears and clean, refreshing flavor. 3% alcohol by volume
Manoir du Parc Rosé Cider  $8
This Rosé cider from Normandy is made with pink fleshed apples and is delicious by itself or with that weekend breakfast. 3% 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.

Italy North & South

Saturday, April 13th, 2pm

This Saturday we are traveling the length of Italy from the north in Veneto to Campania in the south and several stops in between.  We’ll also be dipping into our favorite organic olive oil.  It’s a tasty traverse. Come along.
 
Le Manzane, Conegliano/Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. $19.
Glera
Le Manzane is in the Morainic hills of Prealpi Trevigiane beteween Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, between 200 and 300 meters above sea level. The grapes are hand harvested.  They undergo temperature-controlled fermentation on lees for 3 months giving it texture and structure.  This cut above Prosecco received Two Becchiere from Gambero Rosso.  It has a fine perlage, delicate fruity aroma with hints of bread crust, with floral nuance.
 
Cantine Federiciane,  Gragnano  $19
Aglianico, Piedirosso, Sciascinoso
A deep sparkling red from Campania! Gragnano is gently frizzante (sparkling), low in alcohol, perfumed of violets, with a distinct taste of grapes and nuances of berries. It has a slightly sweet vein balanced by savory & bitter notes. The wine has notes of blackberry, plum, cherry, and a note of bitter lemon on the finish.  11% alcohol by volume 
 
2012 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
 
2016 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.
 
2012 Tenuta San Vito, Madiere  $30
60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Tenuta San Vito in picturesque Tuscany is set amongst groves of olive trees and the vineyards which they tend organically. The Madiere expresses rich, lingering aromas of wild, red berries and spice, harmoniously-balanced on the palate with flavors of strawberries, cherries and black currants. The wine has a round texture, a full body and velvety tannins.  Organic
 
Petrizzelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil  $18
The Petrizzelli is made exclusively from the Coratina Olive, a very small, low-yielding varietal that rewards those who have the patience to work with it. 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.

Specials Weekend

April showers have arrived in Madrona.  The sky is pretty grey, but that’s Spring in Seattle.  The trees are budding and the peas are up in the garden.  It’s time to drink a little wine.  So grab that slicker and slide on in to the wine shop.  We are pouring Spring Specials all weekend and they are deals you won’t want to miss.

Saturday:
2016 Meadowcroft, Louvau Viognier  $15
Was $30 now $15
2015 Chateau Cazal Viel, Saint Chinian Vielles Vignes  $15
Was $17 now $15
2012 Tionio, Ribera del Duero  $15
Tempranillo
Was $25 now $15
2008 Quinta Seara d’ Ordens, Reverva  $15
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz
Was $21 now $15
2015 Les Terrasses,  Châteauneuf du Pape  $30
Was $35 now $30
 
Sunday we are at it again with a Côte du Rhone White and a Provence Rosé. Perfect for Spring.
2016 Domaine Montmartel Côte du Rhone Blanc     $10
75% Viognier, 15% Roussane, 10% Clairette
The Montmartel glows with a golden pear color. The nose is very complex with aromas of grapefruit citrus, honeysuckle, pear, and orange blossom. The palate is lively and bright with pear, apricot, anise, pineapple, and a delightful mineral texture. Organic. 
Was $12 now $10
2017 Fabre en Provence Rose    $12
45% Black Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 25% Syrah
Vibrant pink, with a slight silver rim in the glass. Aromas of violets rose water, crushed graphite, sea salt, pine and peach. Bright, racy and juicy, with a pleasing, lush mid-palate and a touch of raspberry and sea salt at the finish. 
Was $15 now $12

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.

Deal or No Deal?

Spring Specials

Saturday, April 6th

This Spring has been a good season for deals from our distributors, and this weekend we’ll be opening a number of them for you try.  It is a diverse bunch from California, the Languedoc, northern Spain, Portugal, and the pinnacle of the Rhone – Châteauneuf du Pape.  Is it deal or no deal?  You decide for yourself.
 
2016 Meadowcroft, Louvau Viognier  $15
Morning fog from the Pacific Ocean tempers the warm summer days giving the Louvau Vineyard a great balance of maritime and inland climates.  The 2017 Louvau Viognier is aromatic and expressive with complex layers of vanilla bean and expressive honeysuckle blossom aromas play into a rich and creamy palate with ripe apricot and white peach finishing with lively acidity.
Was $30 now $15
 
2015 Château Cazal Viel, Saint Chinian Vielles Vignes  $15
Produced from hand-selected old-vines on the estate, this is a classic blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. The nose is intense and spicy with hints of black pepper and cloves. On the palate, this wine is round and full-bodied, showing a very fine balance between tannins and oak.
Was $17 now $15
 
2012 Tionio, Ribera del Duero  $15
Tempranillo
The Tionio has complex aroma with hints of red and dark fruits. It is a complex wine with different aromatic layers. In the mouth present a good structure, with volume, and good persistence. It is a wine characterized by its good balance between tannin and acidity.
Was $25 now $15
 
2008 Quinta Seara d’ Ordens, Reverva  $15
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz
A big, deep Portuguese Red that has been smoothed out by a few years in bottle is really drinking well now.
Was $21 now $15
 
2015 Les Terrasses,  Chateauneuf du Pape  $30
A negociant,  under the radar, CNDP that makes up in price what it lacks in pedigree.  Aromas of dark cherry, licorice, orange peel and spice notes.  The acidity is bright and fresh with more cherry, cinnamon and orange marmalade on the palate, land smoky tannins on the finish. 
Was $35 now $30

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 Wines

Spring is in the air this weekend in Madrona, so spring to it and stroll on down to Madrona Wine and taste the weekend offerings.   We’ll be pouring five flavorful wines from France on Saturday. Sunday we’ll be sipping some savory new wines from South Africa.

Saturday:
2016 Château Martinot,  Entre-Deux-Mers   $13
80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon
2017 Château Rivière, Rosé   $12
Syrah & Grenache
2015 Domaine Les Espérières, Côtes du Rhône Villages Rouge  $13
70% Grenache,  30% Syrah
2015 Les Couventines, Gigondas  $26
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre
2014 Château Lalande de Gravelong, Médoc  $17
75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc

Sunday we have two new wines from a new South African winery, Lubanzi
2017 Lubanzi Chenin Blanc  $15
100% Chenin Blanc
The nose brings tropical and stone fruits first, eliciting thoughts of tangerine and lychee. The palate is round and fleshy, pushing forward lychee again, along with white peach, apricot and green apple, all carried by a touch of elevated acidity. There is brightness and a hint of freshly baked bread throughout.
2016 Lubanzi Blend  $15
58% Shiraz, 30% Cinsault, 3% Mourvédre, 3% Grenache
The wine is a lush, dark ruby color. The nose suggests equal parts fruit, savory, and spice, eliciting thoughts of plum, liquorice and a touch of ground coffee. The palate shows dark fruits at first, before giving way to lighter red fruits, such as strawberry and raspberry. Finishes with a touch of spice and raw earth. Slight tannins, countered by an elevated acidity.

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.

French Flavors

Saturday March 30th, 2pm

Stop by on Saturday and taste through a line up on new French wines that have arrived at the shop.  We have a couple Bordeaux, a couple Rhones and a southern French Rosé that are all excellent values.  Take a break and come join us.
 
2016 Château Martinot, Entre-Deux-Mers   $13
80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon
Literally translating to “between two seas,” Entre-Deux-Mers is the largest region within Bordeaux.  Located on the Right Bank it is the area between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers.  This blanc has aromas of ripe white fruits, apple & light citrus.  The palate is well structured & delicate, clean & crisp.
 
2017 Château Rivière, Rosé   $12
Syrah & Grenache
Located in the heart of Minervois, Château Rivière has south facing slopes with clay-limestone soil.  The Rivière has intense raspberry and strawberry aromas.  The palate is dry and reveals hints of redcurrant and cherry.
 
2015 Domaine Les Espérières, Côtes du Rhône Villages Rouge  $13
70% Grenache,  30% Syrah
This 5 hectares cooperative sits on the right bank of the Rhône, near Pont du Gard where he vineyard is planted on Urgonian limestone scree and ancient alluvia soils The wine has a nose of wild strawberries and raspberries framed with light spice.  The palate is fresh, full and packed with silky flavors of wild fruit and garrigue.
 
2015 Les Couventines, Gigondas  $26
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre
Les Couventines is the product of a group of cooperatives in the Southern Rhone that pool their resources under the name Vignerons du Soleil.  The Gigondas has a nose of ripe baked cherries with licorice and vanilla undertones.  The plate is hedonistically full of jammy black cherries, black berries and raspberries layered with peppercorn, fresh hillside herbs and anise.
 
2014 Château Lalande de Gravelong, Médoc  $17
75% Merlot, 25% 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.

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.

Donkeys and Down Under

Spring has arrived here in Madrona.  And after a few days of Summer we are back to the usual pleasant mix of sun and showers.  The days are as long as the nights.  It is the perfect weather for tasting wine.

Saturday we are in Veneto with wines from Contra’ Soarda and Vignalta.  Contra’ Soarda, besides making great wine has herd of small donkeys that they use to work the steep vineyards.
2016 Vignalta, Sauvignon Blanc IGT Delle Venezie $18
2017 Contra Soarda Breganze Vespaiolo $20
2015 Contra Soarda, Veneto Rosso Gaggion $20
2014 Contra Soarda, Veneto Rosso Musso Ettaro Marzemino $24
Pinot Nero, Marzemino, Merlot
2010 Vignalta,  Marrano  $30
50% Cabernet, 50% Merlot

Sunday we head to Austailia.
2018 Yalumba, Y Series Viognier $11
South Australia
Aromas of white flowers and honeysuckle dominate the nose, with ginger and five spice to finish. The white flowers and ginger lead into a creamy mid palate with a silky textural finish. The wild fermentation and lees aging give the wine an extra level of complexity on the palate.
2015 Pikes, Los Compañeros  $15
80% Shiraz, 20% Temperanillo
Clare Valley Australia
Los Companeros greets the nose with seductive blueberry fruit framed by suggestions of chocolate, mint, earth, and spice. On the palate, this wine is rich and dense yet approachable. The concentrated dark fruit and chocolate are tempered nicely by fine, silky tannins and balanced acidity.

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.

Contra Soarda & Vignalta

Getting High in Veneto

Saturday, March 23rd, 2pm

This Saturday we are featuring wines from two Veneto wineries who have turned their elevation to their advantage. Contra’ Soarda, (which means “hamlet on the slope”) grows vines and olive trees with utmost respect for the environment. They are organic and practicing biodynamic without the certification. The soil is of volcanic composition lending minerality to the wines. Vignalta (meaning high vines) is nestled at 2000 feet above sea level on the steep hills of Italy’s Colli Euganei. The high elevation brings something special to the grapes, in addition to sun exposure. Over 30 million years ago, a volcanic eruption thrust the Adriatic Sea floor up, and forged these cone-shaped hills with volcanic and limestone soils into the middle of the flat Venetian plain. The region also has an almost 200-year-old tradition of Bordeaux wine grape varietals after Phylloxera wiped out many native varietals.

2016 Vignalta, Sauvignon Blanc IGT Delle Venezie $18
This Sauvignon Blanc is classically aromatic and complex, crisp, dry and mouth-watering.

2017 Contra Soarda Breganze Vespaiolo $20
Vespaiolo derives its name from the wasps (vespa) that feed on the grapes as sugar accumulates later in the season. The wines are often made into a passito style sweet wine but this wine shines as a rich, dry wine with bountiful aromatics. The nose is quite effusive with scents of apple blossom, white peach, orchard fruit, and ripe citrus. Fairly full on the palate with a rich texture, the initial flavors of juicy apple and peach give the impression of sweetness which is lifted away by high acidity and a mineral finish.

2015 Contra Soarda, Veneto Rosso Gaggion $20
Marzemino
The Gaggion focuses on purity of this native varietal from Veneto. The wine has distinct character of red fruits, berries, and well-balanced tannin.

2014 Contra Soarda Veneto Rosso Musso Ettaro $24
Pinot Nero, Marzemino, Merlot
Musso in Veneto dialect means ‘donkey’ and is dedicated to the donkeys that live on the estate that help with daily work in the vineyards. This distinctive blend has aromas of coconut and vanilla and slightly smoky notes. Its cherry and berry flavors are spicy with fine acidity on the palate. The wine is unfiltered, unadorned and natural.

2010 Vignalta, Marrano $30
50% Cabernet, 50% Merlot
The Marrano ages 6 years in barrel before bottling, softening up all those tannins and ready to drink on release. This complex, earthy, mineral-driven red offers a nuanced combination of green tones, leather, pepper, plum and cassis.

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.

From Bubbles to Bordeaux

It is supposed to be a bit warmer this weekend here in Madrona and at Madrona Wine we are airing out the old winter cobweb with some fresh wines from France.  Here’s what is going on:

Saturday we are featuring some French Country Wines from small, sustainable, organic and more natural producers. 
Château Breze, Cremant de Loire $19
Florence Loisel Cidre Brut  $10
2017 Domaine Couet  Sauvignon Blanc 
$15
2015 Château Lafond Canon Fronsac $18

2017 Olivier Pithon,  Mon P’tit Pithon  $16

Sunday we are off to Bordeaux with two wines from Château La Maroutine.  The plots of Château La Maroutine are situated on the slopes of the Saint Germain de Graves village at the south part of the Cadillac. A family estate since 1789 and bought in 1942 by Jean Darriet, a 6th generation winemaker, Château La Maroutine has been gradually restructured. Now the 8th generation is beginning to leave their imprint.
2017 Château La Maroutine Bordeaux Blanc  $11
80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon
From vines on the slopes above the Garonne river, this herbal, fruity wine is dominated by Sauvignon Blanc. Its acidity is balanced by the yellow fruits as well as citrus. 13% alcohol by volume
2015 La Maroutine Bordeaux  $11
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
A deep and intense garnet red color, a warm and powerful nose with touches of red crystallized fruit. Soft tannins in the mouth mixed with toasted bread aromas. 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.

Italy & Art

This weekend at Madrona Wine we are exploring Italian terroir.  Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and terrain affect the taste of wine. we’ll be tasting through a full line up both Saturday & Sunday.  Sunday is also the Artist Reception for our new show. Scroll down for more info or just come on by for a look.

Saturday:
Tenuta Col Sandago Extra  Dry Prosecco  $18
2015 Colpaola, Verdicchio di Matelica $17
2014 Filodivino,  Lacrima di Moro d’Alba Diana $12

2016 Tiziano Mazzoni,  Colline Novaresi  Nebbiolo del Monteregio $25
2013 Giovanna Madonia, Ombroso Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Riserva $32

Sunday we have a pair from Piedmont.
2017 Ca’ Gialla Roero Arneis  $11
Hints of white and citrus fruit notes of savory and freshness. Organic.
2016 Riva Leone Barbera  $12
Fresh, with mature plum scents this easy drinking Barbera is great with dinner or by itself.

Sunday 3pm to 5pm is the Artist’s Reception for our new duo show by Amy Hanada Nikaitani and Michelle Kumata.

Michelle Kumata’s Nihonmachi series is based on pre-WWII photos of the Japanese American community, when Seattle’s Japantown was a bustling, vibrant neighborhood. The imagers were inspired by found photos and the Takano Studio Collection at Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

Amy Hanada Nikaitani was born in 1923 on Halloween Day in Seattle, Washington in a hotel near 6th and Weller which her father operated. Imagine, now she is living in Washington Terrace on 6th and Yesler!!! Born to immigrants from Japan, Kuramatsu and Matsu Takami Hanada.

She had been interested in the female figure all her life, playing with paper dolls as a child, drawing fashion figures and bathing beauties on her notebooks and also on her stationary as she corresponded with many GI friends during WWII.

After high school she hoped to attend art school. Her father, concerned for her financial security, sent her to the Charette School of Costume Design in Seattle, instead. She had only started her studies, when World War II and the internment orders interrupted her plans. 

Her entire family moved to Wyoming to avoid the internment. From there, she married and became a mother of four. She put her artistic aspirations on hold, but in the back of her mind thought she would return to art someday.

While raising her children she attended Edison Technical School and studied at the Burnley School of Art.

After having a fifth child she went to work at Boeing in a Graphics Group for 18 years. During this time she continued her interest in the female figure, becoming a fixture in local figure drawing groups.

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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