Marchesi di Barolo

Saturday, February 16th, 2pm

Barolo as we know it today was first made in the early 19th century by the Marchese Carlo Tancredi Falletti di Barolo and his wife, Giulia. The wine from their estate soon became known as “the wine from Barolo”. The Marchesi had no children and following the death of the couple, the Marchesi di Barolo dynasty was left without an heir. The Winery was left to a charity helping the most needy of nearby Torino. The sales of wine from their Barolo vineyards continue to fund the charity, which still exists today. In 1929, local winemaker, Pietro Abbona purchased the cellars formerly owned by the Marchesi and eventually acquired all their vineyard holdings as well. Since 2006, the estate has been under the direction of Pietro’s great-grandson and fifth-generation winemaker, Ernesto Abbona and his wife Anna. Marchesi di Barolo’s estate today encompasses 430 acres of vineyards in the Langhe, some of the finest in Piedmont. Come by on Saturday and taste some of its produce.

2017 Gavi DOCG $18
Cortesse
The aroma is intense and fine, fruity and floral. It remembers the golden apples and green almonds. The scent of chamomile flowers is strong at the taste, completely in harmony. “Floral and anise notes accent the core apple and lemon flavors in this juicy white. The wine is balanced, leaving a salty, yet mouthwatering impression

2015 Servaj, Dolcetto Langhe DOC $13
Servaj” (pronounced: Ser-vai) is Piedmontese dialect, for both “wild” and “creative”. This Dolcetto is fresh and quite fruity with a distinct scent of Morello cherry. The dry, pleasantly balanced flavor is due to the low level of acidity.

2016 Maraia, Barbera del Monferrato DOC $15
In Piedmontese dialect, the term Maraia is synonymous with little rascals. Liveliness, exuberance, and sometimes a bit mischievous, this is a fitting name for a young, fresh, fragrant Barbera.

2014 Sbirolo, Nebbiolo Langhe DOC $18
Nebbiolo is a very eclectic grape variety. It is able to extract many trace elements from hills with calcareous and clayey soil that enrich its texture, while picks fragrant and fruity aromas from soils rich limestone and fine quartz sands. This union causes a wine of great harmony and completeness with a wide and immediate expression of the bouquet. The fragrance combines the fruity aromas of raspberries to those ethereal and spicy of violet and vanilla. The taste is dry, balanced with fine and elegant tannins.

2012 Barolo Tradizione DOCG $50
The grapes for this Barolo come exclusively from the finest vineyards of the communities of Castiglione Falletto, Barolo and Monforte d’Alba. The wine is blended and aged for 2 years in traditional large Slavonian oak barrels. The wine completes its aging in the bottle for some months before release. The 2012 Barolo Tradizione is a dark and succulent expression of Nebbiolo from a warm vintage. Plum fruit, tart cherry, balsam herb and black licorice rise from the bouquet with marked intensity. The wine is structured and firm with broad flavors that spread far over the 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.

Open Regular Hours And Pouring French

With the roads a little more clear, and chains to get out of my neighborhood – we are open and pouring on our usual Sunday schedule (that would be until 5PM).

Here’s what we have open:

2017 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Blanc  $11
40% Grenache Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Terret Blanc
Gassac early drinking white with aromas of acacia and pear and a mid-weight, harmonious palate of lemon, dill and green olive. Organic. Was $14 now $11

2014 Saint Roch Lirac  $13
50% Grenache, 30% Mourvédre, 20% Syrah
A smooth and supple Southern Rhone red with Garrigue notes, plumy fruit and smooth tannins. Was $15 now $13

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.

We’re Open! Red Wine For Snow Days!

There is a lot of white stuff outside the wines this morning here in Madrona, but we are still OPEN TODAY at Madrona Wine.  After you have made your snow angel and had a brisk snow ball fight, take a break from the snow and come try some big reds to take the chill out of the weather.  Special Snow Hours  — Noon to 6pm

Saturday we are pouring 4 new wines from ANIMALE.  While the wine maker won’t be here from Ballard, we’ll still be tasting his interesting new reds (Some of which we’ll bet have never tried before)
2016 Regent Puget Sound AVA $24
2016 Golubok Puget Sound AVA $24
2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley $26
2015 Reserve Petite Sirah Columbia Valley $26

Sunday we are back to France with two wines to beat the chill.
2017 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Blanc  $11
40% Grenache Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Terret Blanc
Gassac early drinking white with aromas of acacia and pear and a mid-weight, harmonious palate of lemon, dill and green olive. Organic. Was $14 now $11
2014 Saint Roch Lirac  $13
50% Grenache, 30% Mourvédre, 20% Syrah
A smooth and supple Southern Rhone red with Garrigue notes, plumy fruit and smooth tannins. Was $15 now $13

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.

Animale New Releases

Saturday, February 9th, 2pm

This Saturday we welcome back Matt Gubitosa of ANIMALE who will be showing off some of his new wines. Matt’s wines have been a long time favorite at the shop, and this year we’ll be tasting two of his flagship reds (Cabernet Franc & Petit Sirah, grown in McIntire Vineyard in Sunnyside Washington) along with two new varietals from the Puget Sound AVA (Regent and Golubok, grown at the Battista Vineyard about 10 miles northeast of Bellingham.) Regent and Golubok are complex vinifera hybrids, that were originally developed in Germany, and the Ukraine, to ripen in cool climates. The results of them growing locally are exciting. Come by the shop and see what they are all about.

2016 Golubok $24
Golubok of Russian origin from the Ukraine, has one-eighth parentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Extremely early variety with red flesh and juice that attracts birds before you think it’s time to net. Unlike most red grapes in that the color pigment is not only located in the skins but is very significant in the pulp also. Its dark, inky-black red juice stains the glass. There is a smokiness in the fruit that blends well with its dark rich flavors.

2016 Regent $24
A recent German cross, bred mainly for the German organic wine industry, Regent is extremely resistant to diseases. It ripens at least a week ahead of Pinot Noir. The Regent has and intense red color, aromas of cherries or blackcurrants, moderate acidity, and rich deep tannins.

2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc $26
Aromas of fresh cherries with hints baking spices. The flavors are of cherries and blueberries, with suggestions of tobacco, and green tea. The finish is long and powerful.

2015 Reserve Petite Sirah $26
Fragrant aromas of violets, dried blueberries, and blackberry jam, with hints of freshly baked fruit pastry; flavors of rich ripe plums, dried cherries, boysenberries, and mango, with suggestions of orange peel, ginger and cinnamon; hints of black tea enliven a lingering finish.

We also have a few bottles of the 2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc available for purchase.

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.

Groundhogs & Gridiron

Punxsutawney Phil ice-picked his way out of his hole in Pennsylvania this morning and did not see his shadow — a signal that spring is on its way.  Whether Tom Brady sees anyone’s shadow on Sunday is anyone’s guess.  But either way football season is over.  And either way we’ll have some California wines open for tasting all weekend at Madrona Wine.

Saturday, we are featuring the wines of Jed Steele a wine making pioneer in Lake County who has branched out to Washington as well.
2015 Shooting Star, Aligote  $10 
2015 Shooting Star, Blue Franc $12 
2016 Writer’s Block,  Cabernet Franc  $16
2016 Steele Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills $25
2014 Steele Zinfandel Catfish Vineyard  $19

Sunday as we toast to the coming spring with two lighter bodied wines from California.
 2017 Joliesse Vineyards Rosé  $10
Zinfandel, Mourvèdre, Barbera
The Joliesse California Rosé opens with aromatic white floral notes with a sweet hint of ripe strawberry. Bright flavors of cherry and raspberry are accented by notes of citrus zest and a hint of rose water.  Was $15 now $10
2017 Angeline Pinot Noir  $13
A varietally correct California Pinot that is fresh and clean with strawberries and hints of orange peel. The wine is medium-bodied, crisp and vivid.

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.

Jed Steele,

Saturday, February 2nd, 2pm

Jed Steele started in 1970 in the Lake County AVA (just northeast of Napa). Steele focuses on vineyard-specific wines from his own estate and other vineyards he has worked with since the 1970s. Jed believes that the Steele wines exemplify varietal correctness and characteristics of the vineyards they come from.  Today Jed continues his vision by crushing 22 different varietals and producing 40 different wines from both California and Washington State.  Stop by on Saturday when we’ll try five of them.
 
2015 Shooting Star, Aligote  $10 
Aligote is the second white grape of Burgundy but now grown in Washington.  The wine is crisp and clean, a wine with a nice balance of fruit and acidity. Flinty, mineral elements mix with a light floral hint on the nose, followed with the suggestion of tart/sweet apple on the palette.
 
2015 Shooting Star, Blue Franc $12 
Lemberger
Blau Frankisch is literally “blue grape from France” is better known around here as Lemberger. This Washington grown version is full of berry fruit flavors and great color but with little tannin or harshness.
 
2016 Writer’s Block, Cabernet Franc  $16
Cabernet Franc excels in specific vineyards of Lake County, and Steele has worked with it from Shannon Ridge Vineyards in the High Valley area for almost a decade now. This Franc has aromas of red cherry, raspberry, plum, and licorice. Flavors are of red fruit, raspberry, and plum with smooth acidity, followed by soft tannins. The wine is aged for 15 months in mainly hybrid barrels.
 
2016 Steele Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills $25
The Red Hills AVA is a new appellation in Lake County.   The iron-rich, red soil of Red Hills is laden with obsidian, a glassy black volcanic rock that glistens in the afternoon sun. Well known Napa Valley grape grower Andy Beckstoffer bought up a piece of the Red Hills AVA, planting it in Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals with which he is very familiar. Steele has been using the fruit since 2002.  This wine has a rich, fruit-forward elegance. A spicy fruit and berry core backed up by soft tannins makes it a nice glass of wine for casual sipping among friends.
 
2014 Steele Zinfandel Catfish Vineyard  $19
Catfish Vineyard, located on the Bell Hill Bench of Lake County, was planted in 1901.   Steele purchased the vineyard in 2000 and is working to rehabilitate the old head pruned vines.  Catfish Vineyard Zinfandel, is actually a field blend of a number of varieties, including small amounts of Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Cinsault.  Having more than one variety assured the old-time vintners that they would have some grapes to harvest regardless of the spring frosts or autumn storms.

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.

Organic French

Saturday, January 26th, 2pm

This Saturday we are getting back to basics with organic wines from the diverse regions of France.  We’ll taste wines of the Lore, the Rhone, Provence, and Bordeaux.  We won’t taste any pesticides or chemical fertilizers, just good clean wine.
 
2017 Berthier, Coteaux du Giennois  $18
Sauvignon Blanc
Coteaux du Giennois is a small and recent appellation, even if one can find archeological evidences of winegrowing in this region since the 2nd century.  Coteaux du Giennois white is a fresh and fruity wine with floral aromas, and notes of white fruits such as quince and pear. It is a very crisp and minerally Sauvignon Blanc lovely, very clean citric aromas and flavors including grapefruit notes.  While not certified organic the vineyard is sustainably farmed with little use of chemical additive.

2017 Domaine Grands Bois, Cuvée Les Trois Soeurs  $14
65% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 5% Carignan
The Trois Soeurs is from estate grown fruit from 30- to 60-year-old vines in the Rhone Valley, and is named for the winemakers three daughters.  It is “a delicious mouthful of wine for a song.”  The wine has notes of dark chocolate, crushed berry fruit, earth, licorice and dry tannins.

2015 Chataeu Val Beylie, Plaisir Bordeaux  $13
75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
Organically grown grapes from estate vineyards just outside of St. Emillion make up this unoaked Bordeaux.  Deep purple color with clean, fruit forward nose, smooth in the mouth with red berry candied fruit with hints of smoke and good acidity, nice and balanced on the finish.

2017 Marc Plouzeau, Rive Gauche Chinon   $17
Cabernet Franc
This Loire red comes from organically farmed 30-year-old vines in Chinon.  It has attractive aromas of fresh fruit and spices, plenty of fruit and freshness, and a nice minerality.
 
2015 La Bastide Blanche, Bandol  $28
72% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 6% Cinsault, 1% Syrah, 1% Carignan
This Provence big bold red comes for organically farmed 30-year-old vines.  The wine has intense black-fruit aromas and a rich, spicy, herby flavors along with deep earthy notes. 

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

We are tasting our way through a large swath of central and southern Italy this weekend here at Madrona Wine. Come brighten the January gloom with some of these great wines from uncommon varietals.

Saturday
2017 L’Antica Cantina, Zephino Frizzante  $10
Bombino Bianco
2015 Baroni Capoano, Ciro Rosso  $15
Gaglioppo
2017 L’Antica Cantina, Rosone  $11
Sangiovese
2016 L’Antica Cantina, Nobliss  $16
Uva di Troia
2012 Tenuta San Vito, Madiere  $30
60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
Petrizzelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil      $18

Sunday we have two wines from Cincinnato,  a winery in Lazio.
2017 Cincinnato, Castore  $13
Bellone
From Lazio the Castore is 100% Bellone. The nose is full of lemon, lemon drop, fennel and a little hint of camp fire. It is mid-weight with lots of lemony acidity and a little peachy note in the finish. Touch of spice; fleshy, bright and with a rather stubborn finish. No Baloney.
2016 Cincinnato, Polluce  $13
Nero Buono
A unique grape that grows in Volcanic soils in Lazio. The aromas have that tinge of sottobosco–the woody, underbrush scent. There are fresh, lively raspberry and strawberry flavors that emit a hint of soy sauce.

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.

Southern Italians

Saturday, January 19th, 2pm

This Saturday we head to the heel of Italy with three wines from L’Antica Cantina in Puglia (a cooperative that dates back to 1933).  They specialize in local varieties such as Bombino Bianco, and Uva di Troia, as well as more familiar grapes like Sangiovese.  We’ll also be tasting a Gaglioppo from Calabria, a Super Tuscan from Tenuta San Vito and our favorite olive oil.  Fulvio Longo, a southern Italian himself, will be here to show off the wines.
 
2017 L’Antica Cantina, Zephino Frizzante  $10
Bombino Bianco
The Zephino is a sparkling wine made from Bombino grapes, typical of the Daunia Plain. The wine is fresh and creamy with just the right amount of effervescence.  
 
2015 Baroni Capoano, Ciro Rosso  $15
Gaglioppo
From Calabria this Gaglioppo has hints of blueberries and blackberries combined with fresh aromas of pressed rose petals and hints of licorice, mushroom and wet earth.  The flavor is smooth and silky with light tannins, backed up by a surprising richness, good balance and long finish.
 
2017 L’Antica Cantina, Rosone  $11
Sangiovese
The Rosone is a fresh and young Sangiovese with bright cherry fruit and smooth tannins.  A great everyday wine.
 
2016 L’Antica Cantina, Nobliss  $16
Uva di Troia
The Nobliss has a fresh bouquet with a hint of violets, spice and soft fruit aromas.  The wine has notes of red cherry, red currant, black pepper, tobacco, underbrush as well as a dry tannic underpinning. 
 
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.

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.

Sunshine in January

The weekend forecast  is sunny outside  here in Madrona.  Here at the wine shop we’ll be tasting a few things to make you sunny inside.  Bundle up, stretch the legs and come see what we have open.

Saturday we tasting some great deals to start they year off right.
2015 Reinhold Haart Estate Riesling  Trocken  $12
Was $16 now $12
2013 Rocche Costamagna Dolcetto d’Alba  $10
Was $15 now $10
2015 Bergamota,  Dao Private Selection  $15
80% Touriga Nacional, 5% Tinta Roriz, 5% Jaen, 5% Alfrocheiro, 5% Other
2013 Wind Gap Old-Vine Grencahe  $20
Was $40 now $20
2013 My Essential California Cabernet  $15
Was $20 Now $15

Sunday, we’ll have a pair of French wines open to try.
2017 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.
2013 Domain de la Biscarelle Début d’une Histoire  $15
90% Cinsault, 10% Grenache
A Rhone Cinsault from 50-year-old vines just outside of Châteauneuf. Raspberry, plum, boysenberry, bay, thyme, lavender scents. Big, ripe chewy, purple fruit flavors with black pepper and stony tannins. Organic

Sunday is also the Artist Reception for our new show of drawings by Julian Birchman.  3 to 5 pm   Stop by and meet the artist.
Whenever I sit down to doodle, I always draw a man. I draw a variation of several different dudes that I have in my visual library. I don’t do this consciously; it’s just what comes out. As a result whenever I need to draw a female character or a non-masculine appearing person, I feel stumped. So I took this opportunity to draw 20 women as an exercise to break up a bad habit.  -Julian Birchman

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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