Archive for Tastings & Events

Time to get out of the house…

Saturday starting at 2PM (unitl the bottles run out), we are tasting some of the sassy wines of Spain, finishing up with a little sherry. Time to get out of the house and think of warmer climes.

2017 Bodegas Ontañon “Akemi” Rioja Blanco  $15
Viura
2016 Campos de Risca Jumilla  $13
100% Monastrell (aka Mourvédre
2016 Domino de la Abadesa Ribera del Duero Crianza  $19
90% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha
2016 Costers del Priorat “Petit Pissarres”  $22
60% Garnacha Tinta, 40% Samsó (Carignan or Mazuelo)
Bodegas Grant Oloroso “La Garrocha” 375 ml $14

Come Sunday we are off to France and Spain, showcasing these two:

2014 Abonnat La Gardonne   $11
60% Gamay, 40% Pinot Noir
This wine comes from the town of Boudes to the south of the Auvergne vineyard in the Loire. On the nose, smoky and peppery notes accompany a sustained fruitiness (blackcurrant, redcurrant) with support of a fine acidity. Organic. 12% alcohol by volume
 
2015 Viña Século Mencia   $11
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.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Sassy Spain

February 15th, 2pm

Spanish wine history dates back to around 1100 BC when the Phoenicians founded the trading post of Cádiz in southwestern Spain, though many archaeologists believe that grapes were first cultivated sometime between 4000 and 3000 BC, much before the wine-growing culture of the Phoenicians. Come taste this history with us!

2017 Bodegas Ontañon “Akemi” Rioja Blanco $15
Viura
A collaboration between Michelin-starred Kiro Sushi Restaurant in Lagroño and Bodegas Ontañon. Akemi means “beauty of dawn” in Japanese and Viura is an indigenous white grape varietal from Rioja – known in other parts of Spain as Macabeo. The wine is dry with an attractive warm richness with lots of Asian Pear flavors and a saline note. What a surprise — this would go great with sushi! 12.5% alcohol by volume

2016 Campos de Risca Jumilla $13
From the sunny arid part of SE Spain known in Spanish as the ‘Levante’ this tasty red is 100% Monastrell (aka Mourvédre). 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.

2016 Domino de la Abadesa Ribera del Duero Crianza  $19
90% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha
From high-elevation vineyards on the northern plateau just north of Madrid. Ontañon gives the Crianza a long maceration with 12 months in American Oak (60%) and French Oak (40%) barrels, both used and new, followed by 12 months in bottle prior to release. Fresh and firm, with dusty cocoa, underbrush and licorice notes framing the black cherry and red currant fruit. Keen acidity and well-integrated tannins give this red nice focus. Sustainable

2016 Costers del Priorat “Petit Pissarres”  $22
60% Garnacha Tinta, 40% Samsó (Carignan or Mazuelo)
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!

Bodegas Grant Oloroso “La Garrocha” 375 ml $14
Situated in El Puerto de Santa Maria and popularly known as Bodegas Las 7 Esquinas (7 Corners Winery). Its origins go back to 1841 when it was founded by Edmundo Grant Falconell. Their label, La Garrocha, refers to a famous dance performed with a stick while on horseback. This Oloroso which spent nine years aging through the Solera system is dry and rich with a dark color and a penetrating hazelnut bouquet.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

And the Winner Is . . .

It has been a soggy week here in Madrona.  But last night’s winds might have blown some of the rain away, at least for a couple of days.  While we dry out and get ready for the Oscars we’ll be tasting some highly nominated wines here at the wine shop.  Stop in and pick your favorites.

Saturday we have some big wines from small producers in France and Italy.  They are all organic and that is just the start.
2017 Domaine Montrose Côtes de Thongue Rosé  $10
2018 Château Brézé Clos de Midi  $20
Chenin Blanc
2018 La Montagnette Côtes du Rhone Villages  $14
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvédre, 5% Carrignan
2018 Mélaric “le Tandem”  $19
60% Grolleau, 40% Cabernet Franc
2017 Reale Cardamone  Tramonti Costa d’Amalfi $25
80% Piedirosso, 20% Tintore. 

Sunday we have two Washington wines that compete for the category of Best Value.
2016 Sparkman Apparition  $13
75% Roussanne, 12% Grenache Blanc, 13% Marsanne
This wine is mostly Roussanne, with the balance equal parts Marsanne and Grenache Blanc, with the fruit coming from Olsen and Boushey vineyards. Lemon verbena, grape-nut, peach and apple aromas lead to broad stone-fruit flavors.
2017 Freehand Cellars Syrah  $13
Aromatics of blackberry jam, plums and black currents followed by layers of smoked meats with a touch of anise and white pepper.  The entry is smooth with lush tannins and a perfect balance of oak and dark fruits that envelopes the palate with rich layers of exotic spices, followed by a lush finish that showcases the gorgeous French oak.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Small and Organic Wines

from France and Italy

Saturday February 8th — 2pm

Little is big.  This Saturday we are pouring five wines from small organic producers from the countryside of France and Italy.  Come have a small sip of these big wines.

2017 Domaine Montrose Côtes de Thongue Rosé  $10
65% Grenache, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah
Montrose is located in the Languedoc region of Southern France, 15 km away from the Mediterranean coast. Red berries and peach flavors with spicy overtones. It is an elegant wine combining roundness and freshness. Was $13 now $10

2018 Château Brézé Clos de Midi  $20
Chenin Blanc
From Saumur in the Loire region the Clos de Midi shows great acidity combined with a delicate, chalky texture. It has aromas of honey, dried exotic fruits, herbal tea and sweet lemon. Although this wine is 100% Chenin Blanc, it bears the freshness of a young Sancerre, the soft richness of Chablis, but with the unmistakable charm of Chenin Blanc.
 
2018 La Montagnette Côtes du Rhone Villages  $14
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvédre, 5% Carrignan
A non-interventionalist 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.

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.
 
2017 Reale Cardamone  Tramonti Costa d’Amalfi $25
80% Piedirosso, 20% Tintore
Tintore is known for a very dark purple-red color, adding a deeper hue to the Piedirosso. The wine has notes of plum and dark fruits, very fresh.  There is also spice, black pepper, and chewiness to the wine. Medium-bodied with light tannins. The wine finishes long.  Organic

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Old School, Old World

It is another wet weekend here in Madrona.  Nothing to do about it other than take lots of vitamin D and pull the cork on a good bottle of wine.  Stop on by the wine shop and watch the rain with us.

Saturday we are pouring wines from the Republic of Georgia, where they still ferment in qvevri — clay pod-like vessels nestled in the earth for natural temperature control. It is very old school wine making.  
2017 Mosmieri Kakhuri Amber $14
2017 Saperavi Qverri Red  $15
2017 Alazani Valley Red $11
2017 Khvanchkara AOC Red $22
2016 Satrapezo Rkatsiteli Ice Wine  $30

Sunday we have two Italian wines open as we watch the rain drops fall.
Palama Arcangelo Salento Bianco Frizzante  $12
A lightly sparkling Malvasia from Puglia. The wine is refreshing, quite dry, fizzy with a touch of salinity and lemon peel. 11% alcohol by volume
2017 Terre Margaritelli Roccascossa  $11
70% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Franc
From the heart of Umbria, the Roccascossa is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. The flavors move between fruity cherry and savory smoke. The ripe, red berries are contrasted with hints of pepper and bright acidity.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Marani — Georgian Wines

Saturday, February 1st, 2pm

Marani’s vineyards have been cultivated for generations.  Their Kondoli vineyard is mentioned in 1742 in Life of Georgia as showcasing the best of Kakheti region.  The terrain is composed of alluvial, strongly skeletal, loamy soil on a limestone bedrock. Climate is transitional from humid subtropical to continental under the influence of the Great Caucasus Mountains from the left bank of Alazani River and Tsiv-Gombori mountain range from the right. Cold air flows down the valley from the Caucasus glaciers, forming an ambient microclimate for quality viticulture with large swings between day and night temperatures.  Most of the 240 hectares of Kondoli vineyard are still planted with indigenous Georgian varieties, such as Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Alexandreuli, Mtsvane and Kisi. Come taste a bit of the old world.
 
2017 Mosmieri Kakhuri Amber $14
This amber colored wine has a delicate bouquet of fresh quince and dried fruits, with mild tannins, complimented with pleasant finish.

2017 Saperavi Qverri Red $15
Saperavi is Georgia’s premier red varietal, it comes on with the intensity and longevity of an all-night feast. The wine has firm tannins with an earthy element from 6 months spent aging underground in qvevri (clay pod-like vessels nestled in the earth for natural temperature control). That earthen quality is a signature trait of Georgian wines.  Notes of tart pomegranate and currant jam give way to a peppery dill on the finish.
 
2017 Alazani Valley Red $11
100% Saperavi, grown in the Alazani Valley in Kakheti. The wine has dominant blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry aromas. It is fresh and fruity, but still full bodied.  The varietal notes are followed by a complex and sweet finish.
 
2017 Khvanchkara AOC Red $22
50% Aleksandreuli, 50% Mujuretuli
A blend of two Georgian grapes from the Khvanchkara AOC, the wine shows aromas of raspberry, strawberry with some notes of roasted almonds.  The palate is of wild strawberry is followed by a mellow blend of dried fruit, pomegranate and a touch of caramel, though there’s plenty of lively acidity to keep it fresh and balanced.
 
2016 Satrapezo Rkatsiteli Ice Wine  $30
Dense and sticky, it exposes ripe poached pears, candied berry, honey and golden raisin aromas. Vibrant fruit flavors accented by the natural sweetness are well balanced with embedded orange zest. The finish is fresh with fruity core leading to a tantalizing citrus and lingering aftertaste.

Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Year Of The Rat

Happy Chinese New Year! Here in Madrona Wine we are taking a break the week’s events and celebrating by just watching the rain fall and drinking some very tasty wines. Come start the Year of the Rat in a laid back fashion.

Saturday we are pouring the Synergistic Wines of L’Archetipo from Puglia. Synergy is the next step in Bio dynamic farming, paying more attention to the ecological balance in the vineyard.  The taste tells all.
2016 Marasco Brut Nature $23
100% Maresco (Apulian indigenous vine).
2017 Greco Bianco $18
2017 Fiano $20
100% Fiano Minutolo
2016 Litrotto Rosso $19
30% Montepulciano, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Primitivo, 10% Susumaniello.
2016 Niuru Maru $20
100% Negroamaro

Sunday, we continue celebrating with two more Italian wines starting with a Sicilian White and ending with Amarone’s little brother Ripasso. Stop on by and welcome the New Year.
2018 Firriato Altavilla Della Corte Grillo   $13
A Sicilian white with delicate scents of white spring flower and citrus. On the bright, linear palate, fresh acidity supports peach and lemon zest while a hint of saline picks up the finish. 12.5% alcohol by volume
2016 Cesari Mara Ripasso  $17
75% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 5% Molinara
The Mara has notes of ripe fruit, fruit preserve and cherries.  Its incredible persistence is striking: it lingers on the palate, where it opens in all its power with a warm, elegant body.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

L’Archetipo

Synergistic Wines from Puglia

Saturday, January 25th, 2pm

Francesco Dibenedetto, farmer from birth and later also agronomist, in the 80’s began to convert his land to organic farming, but he observed that the vitality of his lands was not like he anticipated.  In 2000 he implemented biodynamic farming, but after few years of biodynamic he realized that there was still something more that could be done. Francesco studied Masanobu Fukuoka’s thought and implemented a sustainable agriculture, in which all synergies in the ecosystem are linked.  This incorporates organic and biodynamic agricultures, but it deletes plowing, which disrupts the balance of the land. On the family farm in Puglia, Francesco farms native vines such as Primitivo, Aglianico, Negroamaro, Fiano and Greco and rediscovering forgotten vines such as Maresco, Marchione, and Susumaniello. The wines are grown without chemicals, unfiltered, unfined and with minimal SO2 added.  Come taste the Synergy.
 
2016 Marasco Brut Nature $23
100% Maresco (Apulian indigenous vine).
Made Ancestral method the Marasco has fine and quite persistent bubbles; intense fruity notes of peach, apple and pear and floral aromas. The taste is soft, tasty and very fresh.
 
2017 Greco Bianco $18
The Greco has floral aromas with notes of green apple, pineapple and honey.  It is medium-bodied, balanced, with a soft, fresh taste, and a mineral finish.
 
2017 Fiano $20
100% Fiano Minutolo
The wine has a fine floral, fruity and grassy nose. Medium-body, soft and very fresh.
 
2016 Litrotto Rosso $19
30% Montepulciano, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Primitivo, 10% Susumaniello.
The Litrotto spends 36 months in steel tanks. It has a fine and quite intense fruity and mineral nose. This red blend is balanced, quite tannic, fine and quite tasty.  1 liter bottle
 
2016 Niuru Maru $20
Negroamaro
An authentic Negroamaro with a fruity nose (black cherry and plum), with clove aromas. It is smooth and balanced, quite tannic, fine and elegant.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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.

Dry January

One look out the window tells you that it is not a dry January in Madrona.  One look at the weekends tasting lineup will tell you that it isn’t a fry January at Madrona Wine. Stop by and get wet.

Saturday, we’ll be swimming our way through Abruzzo, Molise. Campania, Puglia, and Veneto.
2017 Tombacco Pecorino Terre di Chieti  $12
2014 Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva  $14
80% Montepulciano, 20% Aglianico
2017 Tombacco Aglianico del Beneventano  $14
2016 Piantaferro Primitivo di Manduria  $14
2014 Scoula Grande, Amarone  $38

Corvina, Molinara

Sunday we have two Languedoc values from Domaine
Ferrandière.  In their unusual vineyard, the vines are planted on the old saltwater marsh of Marseillette and on the hillsides of Saint Frichoux. Deep beneath the clay soils lies a bed of salt that protects the roots from Phylloxera.

2018 Ferrandière Malbec  $11
The Malbec is lighter than most Argentinian Malbecs, but with an ample red fruit profile. Fresh and clean, with good balance and bright acidity.

2018 Ferrandière  Syrah $11
The Syrah has beautiful floral overtones, black olive tapenade, and black fruit. Punches well above its weight, an excellent wine for the price.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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 Italy

Saturday, January 18th, 2pm

Cantina Tombacco started 100 years ago as a peach orchard.  They quickly expanded to grapes and 100 years later are sourcing grapes from diverse areas of central Italy to make their wines.  Join us Saturday as we hop through some of their vineyards from Abruzzo, Molise and Campania.  We’ll follow that with a Primativo from Puglia and an Amarone from Veneto.  It’s a lot of ground to cover.  
 
2017 Tombacco Pecorino Terre di Chieti  $12
From Abruzzo, the Pecorino has a fruity (pear, apple) and floral aromas. Medium-bodied with a more noticeable earthy minerality with a slight buttery note. Sweetness still delicate and sitting nicely overall and balanced well against the acidity.
 
2014 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.

2017 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.

2016 Piantaferro Primitivo di Manduria  $14
An oaked Primitivo It is a single varietal Primitivo, from a small vineyard parcel in the heart of the superior Manduria DOC in the heel of Italy. This is a fine example of Primitivo: full-bodied, jammy, with tones of chocolate and raisins. Really meant to be drunk young, those that love fruity wines will not be disappointed.

2014 Scoula Grande Amarone  $38
Corvina, Molinara
Amarone is the king of the Veneto.  The Scoula Grande has deep, dark, intense, with pleasant slight granite shades. A sequence of perceptions of cherry, plum, and black cherries under liquor and toasted almond; interesting final notes of coffee, tobacco and cocoa.

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Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 3-5 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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