Archive for What We’ve Been Tasting

The Weekend in Spain

The weather is partially partial this weekend here in Madrona with clouds and sunshine dancing back and forth.  But Fall isn’t here yet.  We’ve got some warm weather coming later in the week.  In the meantime we are going to be tasting our way through Spain.  Come by the shop and see what’s open.

Saturday:
2017 Rezabal Txakoli Blanco  $15
100% Hondarrabi Zuri
2017 Oinoz Verdejo  $13
2015 Jane Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé  $17

100% Garnacha
2017 Viladellops, Garnatxa  $14
2012 Vina Cerrada, Rioja Reserva  $20
85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo

Sunday we have two more wines of Spain open to taste.
2017 Casa de Compostela Vinho Verde  $10
60% Loureiro, 40% Arinto
Very fresh, harmonious and fruity, with a floral and citrus taste. It has a good, persistent and well-balanced finish. 11.5% alcohol by volume
2016 Mas Donis Old Vines  $11
85% Garnacha, 15% Syrah
Medium ruby with violet shades. Very nice mouthfeel and texture. Wild red and black berry flavors, cherry, spices and herbs. Well-integrated elegant smooth vanilla oaky toasty notes. Ripe and complex on the palate, with loads of sweet vibrant fruit. Medium to full-bodied with soft and velvet tannins and nicely refreshing finish. Pair with chicken, salads and BBQ.

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.

Bubbles & Forbidden Fruit

It is a wet morning here in Madrona, but the rain should stop in time for our Sparkling Wine tasting today at 2pm.  Come chase the clouds away.  Here’s the weekend line up:

Saturday is Summer Bubbles! Limoux for you too.
Rive Della Chiesa Pinot Grigio Frizzante  $10
Palama Arcangelo Salento Bianco Frizzante  $12
Vieux Pressour  Fines Bulles Rosé Samur   $15
2011 Delmas Cuvée Mémorie Brut Nature  $15
La Collina Lunaris Secco  $18

Sunday we are tasting the forbidden fruit — Le Fruit Defendu. Domain Magellan farms 6 hectares of old Cinsault vines on beautiful sandstone sites. The vines come from field selections conducted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region at the start of the 1960s. Give yourself permission.
2018 Domaine Magellan Le Fruit Defendu Rosé  $10
100% Cinsault
Great aromatics. Lovely flavors of raspberry and strawberry, some soft spice. It’s got a hint of garrigue, and a long, lingering refreshing finish. Shows equally well as an aperitif or with Mediterranean vegetables grilled over a wood fire. Biodynamic
2017 Domaine Magellan Le Fruit Defendu Rouge  $10
90% Cinsault, 10% Grenache
Clean cherry and plum fruit along with a bit of spice and a touch of smokiness. The perfect complement to all grilled foods as well as white meats such as roast guinea fowl, rabbit with mustard and Normandy-style poultry or veal. Biodynamic. 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.

Grower Champagne!

Champagne!
Sunday
October 28th — 5:30pm $25plus tax

Sustenance Distributing opened its doors, bringing with it some very interesting Grower Champagnes formerly not seen in Seattle.  Sunday the 28th we are offering the chance to taste five of their selections.  Bubble enthusiast Bill Meyer will be here to share his love for these fine wines. We’ll have some appetizers to go with and still get you home for Sunday dinner.

This special tasting is BY RESERVATION ONLY.
We’ll be offering a 10% discount on these wines this evening.
Space is limited to twelve people. 
Call or email us to save a spot.

Champagne Pascal Ponson, 1er Cru Brut Prestige, $39
80% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay
The Prestige is aged a minimum of three years on its lees and gets a 10 grams dosage lending to its rich and textured style.  Rich and creamy aromas of red and yellow apple, quince, lemon blossom, white mushroom, honeysuckle, hazelnut, and delicate purple flowers are woven around a strong core of mineral notes.
 
Champagne Paul Dethune, Grand Cru Brut Reserve, $47
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
A good price for a grand cru, the reserve is made up of older vintages. Its intense nose has aromas of underbrush, honeysuckle and bergamot. Its freshness and liveliness are combined with its creamy flavor and a delicate honey finish.
 
Champagne Dumenil, 1er cru Amour de Cuvee, $71.50
50% Pinot Noir, 50% Pinot Meunier
Pierre learned to walk in the vineyards alongside his father Paul, who came from a long line of vintners that goes back to 1610.  HIs Amour has a delicate mousse and fine bubbles full of a riot of red fruit aromas (blackcurrants, red currants and wild strawberries) with dried fruit, grilled almonds, quince and plums. On the palate its notes of raspberry and crushed strawberry are underpinned by a pleasant freshness, a rich texture, a superb balance between substance and vivacity, and a delicate biscuity note on the very long finish.
 
Champagne Wafflart-Anoniolli, 1er Cru Blanc de Blanc, $55
100% Chardonnay
From the premier cru village of Sacy, in the Petit Montagne, comes an exceptional producer, Thierry Wafflart. Unlike typical Blanc de Blancs from the Cote de Blanc, this expression of Chardonnay balances the acidity with roundness and depth, revealing luscious complexity with hints of soft fruits and earthy aromas. This wine will upend your previous notions of Blanc de Blanc.
 
Champagne Wafflart-Antoniolli, 1er Cru Brut Rosé, $50
60% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir
The backbone of the wines from the Petit Montagne is Pinot Meunier, and this rosé is no exception. Explosive fruit flavors of strawberry and cherry, succulent texture and richness with haunting yet familiar aromas.

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.

Damp & Cloudy

It’s a cool grey weekend here in Madrona, but “damp and cloudy” is not the description of our weekend tastings. We have a full line or bright and clear wines to try that will chase the grey away.  We are also having the artist reception for our new show by David Kane.

Saturday, we are celebrating the upcoming harvest with a tasting of five Natural, Organic and Biodynamic wines. 
2014 Finca Viladellops Ancestral Pet Nat $28
100% Xarel-lo Vermil – 
2017 Dolina , Guerila $19
100% Pinela
2016 Domaine Victor Sornin Beaujolais Villages – $17
100% Gamay
2015 Château les Croisille, Croizillon  Cahors $14
Malbec
2014 Turner Pageot Le Rouge $20
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah

Sunday we are pouring two affordable wines from Italy.  We’ll start off with some late summer bubbles followed by a medium-bodied Nero d’Avola from Sicily.
La Biòca Ricciante  $10
Freisa 85%, Barbera 15%
This extra dry Vino Spumante pairs well fish-based main dishes, meat or mushroom-based appetizers. Fresh, crispy, red berries, bell pepper, strawberry, lime, medium-body, high acidity, bone dry.   Was $15, Now $10
2012 Curatolo Arini Coralto  $11
Nero d’Avola
Violets and red cherries, plums and hints of white pepper. On the palate this wine is medium-bodied with beautifully intense red fruit characters matched by delicate notes of spices and soft tannins.

Also Sunday from 3pm to 5pm artist David C. Kane will be at the shop introducing our new show Enigmas for Madrona.  Stop on in, meet the artist and see the new show.

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.

Wine Packed Weekend

We made it to March here in Madrona with a little bit of sunshine to break up the recent weather. The temperatures are still a bit chilly, but here at Madrona Wine we have plenty of wines lined up to warn you up.

Saturday we are tasting six wines from the family run Piedmont winery Ca’ del Baio.

2012 Langhe Riesling $12

2016 Langhe Chardonnay, Luna d’Agosta $13

2016 Dolcetto d’ Alba, Lodoli $14

2016 Langhe, Nebbiolo $15

2014 Barbaresco, Autinbej $29

2016 Moscato d’Asti, Particella 101 $15

Sunday, we have a tale of two Tempranillos with wines from Bodegas Frontauras y Nexus. The two are sister wineries Nexus One (Ribera del Duero) and Fontaura (Toro). Loreto Herrero, the representative of the winery will be her from 2 to 4pm to talk about the wines. But if you can’t make that we’ll have the wines open all day for tasting.

2015 Nexus One $15
100% Tempranillo, Tinta Fina
The Nexus one has a deep cherry red color. The nose has intensity and freshness. At first floral touches appear followed by subtle aromas of red fruit with dairy notes and hints of caramel.

2014 Domino de Valdelacasa Cosecha $15
100% Tempranillo, Tinta de Toro
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.

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.

Dog Days

It gets toasty again this weekend here in Madrona.  It’s the dog days of August.  Here at Madrona Wine we’ll be tasting some cool wines to help you beat the heat.  Come lap it up.

Saturday, we are pouring the wines of Casale del Giglio from Lazio just outside of Rome.  We have three whites and two chill reds that will go with our rekindled summer.
2015 Petit Manseng $18
2016 Bellone Bianco  $13
2016 Satrico Bianco  $12
2015 Cesanese Rosso $15
2015 Petit Verdot $19

Sunday, we’ll have two easy quaffers from Portugal.

2016 Lago Cerqyeura Vinho Verde Rosé                                                 $10
Vinhäo
Made from a traditional Portuguese varietal, the Lago has a beautiful light cherry color, fresh fruit aromas, and vivid acidity. 10% alcohol by volume

2014 Lago Cerqyeura Douro Valley Tinto                                               $10
Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca
An easy to like Portuguese Red with aromas of ripe red fruits with well integrated wood notes, full-bodied with soft tannins and a fresh finish.  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.

Wine Engages The Brain More Than Solving Complex Math Problems

From Minnesota’s NPR station, and interesting take on the mechanics of tasting wines. According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, the flavor of wine “engages more of our brain than any other human behavior.”

Who knew?

CLICK FOR THE ARTICLE

And yes, Minnesota does produce wine, though I haven’t had any. Speaking of odd places to try wine – had a Cuban White (Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay) that if it would have been at the right temperature (room temperature in the Caribbean) was quite drinkable.

= = =

 

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.

How We Curate The Wines We Stock

Many of you have wondered why we are closed on Monday, others wonder how we choose the wines for our small shop.

The answer is basically the same — we are working choosing the wines we offer to you. In addition to the distributor’s representatives that stop by the shop Wednesday through Friday with anywhere from 5-10 sample bottles open, most Monday’s (especially in the fall and spring) distributors have large trade tastings – and we are there to swirl, sniff, sip and spit. It’s a hard job, but someone has to make sure you are getting the best quality and the best price.

Fall is always a crazy time for trade tastings, sometime three scheduled at the same time across the city – like today.

To give you an idea the first tasting of the day had 45 bottles open, the second, a whopping 235, the third, another 35. You really do have to SPIT!

But, there are some perks – there are some snacks to cleanse our palate.

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.

10 Wineries You Can Visit

During a Long Layover

Lots of our customers know that one of the owners (Mark) is a travel junkie – now there is a way to combine both passions.

http://thepointsguy.com/2016/08/visit-these-wineries-during-long-layovers/

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.

Tasting Report: Eldorado County California Wine Country

One of the lesser known, but fascinating California winery regions is Eldorado County, an hour east of Sacramento. Unlike the bustling regions of Napa or Sonoma, these smaller regions offer inexpensive tastings fees (if any at all), and offer up some great wines and stunning scenery.

As you can see from the map, there are no shortage of wineries in Eldorado County, many of which are only open weekends. Most everyplace you stop in will have maps of the area, including special maps for the sub-AVAs of Fairplay and Placerville. It being a Wednesday afternoon, my choices were a little more limited so I hit two that were recommended (and next door to each other) and one (Miraflores) that I just stumbled upon.

While none of the wines from the three wineries I stopped at are available at the shop, this is more informational about off-the-beaten track wine regions.

First up was Windwalker Winery in the Fairplay area of El Dorado County California. They produce 9-10,000 cases of wine a year with 10% being estate fruit. Of that production, 1/3 are white wine varietals, including dry-style Albariño (unusual for California) and a Viognier (both tasty, but I bought the Albariño). If you are a Chardonnay fan, their Chardonnay won the prestigious Golden Bear award at the California State Fair (front and center in front of their other medal placing wines).

As you can see from the chalkboard, they have an extensive and varied production. I even had a chance to chat with Ben, their winemaker:

Some of the more interesting reds they had open were the Alicante Bouschet (another rare California varietal) and their Estate Fruit Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They also have several desert wines that I passed on. By the end of the tasting I’d had three whites/rosé and nine of the reds – yes, I was swirling, sipping and spitting.

Next up in the day’s adventure was Perry Creek Winery, which is just one long driveway away from Windwalker. Unlike Windwalker, most of their grapes are estate grown.

As with Windwalker, the major portion of their wines are red varietals (Chardonnay and Viognier being the two whites). I worked my way through them, finding the Zinfandels to my favorites – and oddly, the ZinMan Zin (which I bought) tastier than their Reserve Zinfandel. I ended up trying both the whites and half a dozen of the reds.

Last on the list for the day was Miraflores Winery, visually the most stunning of the bunch – no wander they have a full schedule of wine/food pairings, weddings, wine maker dinners.

For tasting they had your choice of six whites or rosé, and fifteen reds of which I sampled. With the exception of their Pinot Grigio and Misíon 1853, all of their wines are estate fruit grown on 50 cultivated acres

I really like their 2014 Barbara Rosé, along with their 2012 Méthode Ancienne – a traditional native yeast, foot-pressed Syrah. They used to invite people in to help with the stomp, but in recent years it’s just handled by the production workers. Other notable on the tasting menu were the 2014 Misíon 1853 – the first varietal planted in California in, you guessed it, 1853. Also deserving mention are their 2011 and 2012 Petit Sirah.

So, when you are travelling around the country, explore the less explored wine regions – when doing the research for this article I found a map for the wineries of Indiana – who knew.

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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