Archive for Tastings & Events

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.

Italian Landscapes

Saturday, March 9th, 2pm

Tenuta Col Sandago Extra Dry Prosecco  $18
100% Glera
Tenuta Col Sandago is set amidst the splendid hills of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG region in the prestigious March of Treviso.  The Glera grapes benefit from the land’s unique physical characteristics. The exposure, the slopes, the altitude and the microclimates all contribute to creating crisp Prosecco.  The wine has a fine and persistent mousse with a pleasing, characteristic fruitiness. The palate is slightly velvety, balanced and lingering.
 
2015 Colpaola, Verdicchio di Metalica $17
The valley of Matelica, called the Camerino Syncline, is the only one in the entire Marche region that runs parallel to the sea creating a unique continental microclimate, since it’s not influenced by air currents coming from the Adriatic Sea.  Made with organically farmed grapes, this delicious white opens with aromas of citrus blossom and white stone fruit. The tangy, medium-bodied palate offers a lovely depth of flavors that include juicy tangerine, lime, white peach, bitter almond and mineral. Crisp acidity brightens the rich flavors and carries through to the clean finish.
 
2014 Filodivino, Lacrima di Moro d’Alba Diana $12
The Filodivino draws its character from the minerality of the calcareous soil and salinity from the nearby Adriatic Sea. The wine has a fragrance of violets, dog roses accompanied with currant, blueberry and blackberry. In the mouth, the flavor is all enveloping, softened by scents of fruits of the forest, wild strawberries and bramble coupled with good structure and soft, refined tannins.
 
2016 Tiziano Mazzoni,  Colline Novaresi  Nebbiolo del Monteregio $25
Tiziano Mazzoni farms just 4.5 hectares of vines and produces about 1,200 cases of wine per year in the “alto Piemonte” region of Ghemme.  This higher elevation region of the Piedmont produces Nebbiolo that are radically different from Barolo or Barbaresco.  The Colline Novaresi is a light and very pretty Nebbiolo with aromas of red plums, red cherries, red and pink roses, light pepper.  It is suave and silky, fine-grained tannins.
 
2013 Giovanna Madonia, Ombroso Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Riserva $32
The Madonia estate extends over 35 acres on the sunny ridge of the magnificent hill of Montemaggio, in Bertinoro, the heart of Romagna Wine District. The vines are trained in the “Alberello” or “Bush” system, which allows the clusters a more consistent sun exposure throughout the daily cycle. Here, the plants benefit from an optimal southwest exposure, and the yields are kept at minimum for the best fruit quality. The vines are intermingled with olive groves and wild forest, whose scent is blended with the pleasant breeze coming from the Sea, only 5 miles away.  Inky dark, the wine opens with aromas of underbrush, vanilla and black-skinned berry. The dense palate delivers ripe black plum, toasted oak and tobacco alongside assertive tannins and the warmth of alcohol.

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.

Western Cape to Wahluke Slope

It is a cold and clear weekend here in Madrona.  So when the afternoon high hits 46 degrees, get out, stretch those legs and  come and taste some heartwarming  wines at the shop.

Saturday, we have hunted down a lineup from South Africa.
2016 Ashbourne,  Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay   $15
2016 Man Vintners,  Bosstok Pinotage $10
2014 Tometoso Syrah / Mourvédre  $16
2013 Helderberg Stelenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon $16
2013 Stark-Conde Stelenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon $28

Sunday, we head to Wahluke Slope with two new wines from Milbrandt Vineyards.. In 1997, Butch Milbrandt, a fourth-generation farmer, started planting grapes and helped establish two of the top AVAs in Washington State: Ancient Lakes and Wahluke Slope.
2018 Milbrandt Rosé  $11
73% Syrah, 27% Tempranillo
A Washington Rosé from Waluke Slope at an introductory price. Aromas of peaches lemon peel and strawberries followed by a crisp citrus finish.  Get ready for Spring.
2017 Milbrandt Cabernet  $12
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
A barrel-aged Washington Cabernet that has all the right fruit notes and a touch of toasty vanilla.

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.

Vinicultural Safari

South African Wines

Saturday, March 2nd, 2pm

We’re hunting for big game this Saturday as we tour the landscape of South African Wines.  Grab your binoculars and come taste with us as we roam the Western Cape.
 
2016 Ashbourne,  Sauvignon Blanc /Chardonnay   $15
Ashbourne is located on a beautiful 64 hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards. Fresh, vibrant, perfumed Sauvignon blanc, filled-out and enriched with a carefully judged unwooded Chardonnay component, make this a beautifully balanced and highly versatile wine.
 
2016 Man Vintners,  Bosstok Pinotage $10
Bosstok refers to the untrellised bush-vine vineyards that make up more than half of the vineyards of Stellenbosch.  The Bosstok Pinotage plantings grow close to the ground, producing lower yields of concentrated, flavorful grapes. The wine shows pleasing aromas of mocha chocolate and roasted coffee beans, followed by juicy flavors of red berries, nutmeg and vanilla spice on the palate.
 
2014 Tometoso Syrah / Mourvedre  $16
76% Syrah, 24% Mourvedre
The Tometoso comes from dry-farmed, trellised vineyards that grow in deep, pebbly shale soils of the Agter-Paarl region.. The wine is barrel matured for 12 months in 225- and 300-litre oak barrels before blending.   It is intensely aromatic, with notes of orange-peel, leather, cigar tobacco, black licorice and dark-plummy fruit. The wine has layers of black fruit and leather notes. It finishes with typical black wine-gum flavors, rounded out by soft, juicy tannins.
 
2013 Helderberg Stelenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon $16
The Helderberg Cabernet Sauvignon displays aromas of blackcurrant, dark plums, red berries, light lead pencil whiffs and hints of fynbos. The dense layer of pure and complex fruit, with subtle cedar undertones, is held together by a firm and well balanced acidity. On the palate the wine exhibits a great balance of ripe fruit character with an elegant, structured and silky finish.
 
2015 Stark-Conde Stelenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon $28
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot
2015 was a very dry year, resulting in very rich, soft wines and considered to be one of the best vintages of the past 20 years.   There’s a leathery, tobacco-like seam throughout this dark and masculine Cab, adding intrigue to the black plum and cassis core. Hints of char and roasted coffee give a rich impression to the palate, which feels plush and velvety in texture yet well-structured and defined. The finish is long and evolving, with an enduring grip and final notes of cigar box and black-fruit skin.

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.

All Over The Globe This Weekend

It may be a little damp this weekend, but that won’t stop us from a little globetrotting to taste some fun wines.

Saturday, starting at 2PM we have:
2017 Nortico, Alvarinho $15
2017 Outer Sounds, Sauvignon Blanc $15
2017 Hand Work, Tempranillo $13 – 1 Liter
2017 Hand Work, Garnacha $14 — 1 Liter
2016 Penalolen, Cabernet Sauvignon $21

Then all day Sunday we are featuring a couple of Italian wines off our sale rack:
2013 Rocche Costamagna Dolcetto d’Alba  $10
This is a classic Dolcetto d’Alba for every daydrinking, with pleasing aromas reminiscent of marasca cherries. Soft on the palate, with delicate and persistent flavors, marked by a light almond finish. 13% alcohol by volume. Was $15 now $10
2014 Podere Ciona Semifonte $12
90% Merlot, 10% Alicante
A rounded, well-balanced Merlot-based wine with aromas of fresh plums, dried herbs, nuts and peppery undertones. 12.5% alcohol by volume. 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.

Globetrotting Wines

February 23rd, 2pm

This Saturday we are off on a whirlwind tour of wines from 4 countries on three continents. We’ll start in Portugal with a crisp Alvarinho, then dash on to New Zealand for a southern hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc. After we quickly catch our breaths, we head on to Spain for some great value Tempranillo and Grenache. Finally we’ll head south again for a rich, robust Cabernet from Chile. Come with us as travel to the ends of the earth for good wine.

2017 Nortico, Alvarinho $15
Nortico is produced on the south bank of the Minho River in plots so small they are called “Jardins”, gardens in Portuguese. Soils here are granite and shiest and although it rains a lot (2,000 ml annually) the inland area is a little warmer than the coastal plantings allowing for a perfect maturation. Fresh citrus, peach and tropical fruit aromas paired with clean, juicy fruit and vibrant minerality. Creamy citrus oil, lime and yellow apple notes are nicely spiced and detailed with saline mineral and floral underpinnings through the long finish

2017 Outer Sounds, Sauvignon Blanc $15
This New Zealand SB has flavors of guava, lemon grapefruit peach and pear. It is lean and mean, tart and taut with a touch of textural weight.

2017 Hand Work, Tempranillo $13 – 1 Liter
Hand Work wines are made in La Mancha by three brothers. The wines are all Organic and Vegan. Their Tempranillo is light and spicy. Its bright cherry fruit goes down easy. And because it is a liter get an extra glass in each bottle.

2017 Hand Work, Garnacha $14 — 1 Liter
Hand Works Grenache full of ripe fresh fruit notes. Like its partner it is Organic and Vegan.

2016 Penalolen, Cabernet Sauvignon $21
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 3% Carmenere
A family owned estate vineyard. The Penalolen shows a rich perfume of blackberry and cassis. It’s an elegant wine, silky in texture, with deep, rich flavors on a pure, superbly balanced palate packed with note of Pine, Baking Spices and Roasted Meats. And it is Vegan.

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

The slush piles are slowly shrinking here in Madrona and we are back to the usual rain.  Here at Madrona Wine we know how to deal with rain.  We head to Italy!  This weekend we are tasting lovely wines from Piedmont and Veneto.

Saturday we have five wines from Marchesi di Barolo.
2017 Gavi DOCG $18
2015 Servaj, Dolcetto Langhe DOC  $13
2016 Maraia, Barbera del Monferrato DOC $15
2014 Sbirolo, Nebbiolo Langhe DOC $18
2012 Barolo Tradizione DOCG $50

Sunday we meet up with Two Gentlemen from Verona on the banks of Lake Garda in the Veneto wine region of Italy.
2017 Pieropan Soave Classico  $15
85% Garganega, 15% Trebbiano di Soave
Ample and floral aromas with notes of elderberry, apple, pear & lemon verbena on a background of almonds and nuts; fresh, elegant & well balanced on the palate, with a long finish. Was $19 now $15
2016 Allegrini, Valpolicella $15
65% Corvina/Corvione, 30% Rondinella, 5% Molinara
A classic Valpol that manages to be rich without trying to be Ripasso, the Allegrini has fragrant fruit with prominent notes of cherries, echoed by fresher hints of pepper and aromatic herbs, typical of Corvina and Corvinone, the historic varietals of this appellation.

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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