Archive for Tasting Notes

A Touch of Class

Ask anyone, Mark & I are just two classy guys. We also know classy wine when we see it.  Take a look and stop by Madrona Wine and add a bit of class to your weekend.

2018 Félix Foulley, Chablis  $24
Bright and crisp, with notes of orange and honey lifting its flinty acidity. A light dry, fresh and easy-drinking wine.

2020 Manoline, Sancerre  $27
Sauvignon Blanc
An honest Sancerre, this wine abides by the ‘Three Gs’ of Sauvignon Blanc: grass, grapefruit, and gooseberry. Medium-to-full body. Dry. Bright acidity and very crisp finish.  Organic.

2016 Il Nespoli, Romagua Sangiovese Superiore Reserva  $28
Awine of great complexity combining typical marasca cherry, blackberry and plum notes of the Sangiovese variety together with notes of licorice and roasted coffee beans which come from the aging in French barrique, following by stainless steel tanks. A touch of vanilla is coming from the wise but modest use of American oak. Soft and warm, with well-balanced tannins, it has an excellent potential for ageing.

2016 Bouchard Père & Fils, Gervrey-Chambertin  $62
Pinot Noir
A perfumed nose of redcurrants, sour cherries, dried herbs, mushrooms and baking spices. Medium-to full-bodied with chalky tannins and bright acidity. Balanced and layered with a velvety texture and mineral character. Flavorful, long finish. So ready now, Drink now or hold.  93pts James Suckling.

2015 Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno, Barolo Cannubi  $50
The 2015 Barolo Cannubi is dark and thick with raw fruit aromas of blackberry, ripe cherry, plum and dark currant. You don’t usually get so much rich fruit intensity with the Cannubi cru, but this vintage delivers it in droves. The wine is soft in terms of mouthfeel, with loosely knit texture and integrated tannins.

2019 Pères de l’Eglise, Châteauneuf du Pape  $40
85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre
From old vine Grenache from vines that are more than 100 years of age planted back in 1885.  This CNDP a full-bodied rich spicy wine. Black pepper spice on the nose, full soft mature fruit with a smooth spicy finish that lingers in the mouth.  It is a bit tight now, but will improve with a bit of age or rigorous decanting.

2011 Grande Maison, Monbazillac  $20  375 ml
60% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon, 20% Muscadelle
Compare to Sauternes.  The nose is a head-spinning sensory overload of dried apricots, toasty hazelnut brittle, and a touch of nutmeg spice. Unctuous on the palate, with candied lemon, ginger, orange rind, and caramel. It remains sweet but restrained, never cloying for even a second, while uplifted with infinite complexity on the impeccably balanced finish.  Biodynamic. Was $27 Now $20

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Geek Out

Here are a few wines that are just a bit off the beaten path.
2019 Txomin Etxaniz, Getaris Txakolina Rosé  $15
Hondarrabi Beltza
Pale pink, bright, thin bubble. The nose is fruity with hints of minerality. The palate is fresh and fruity with medium acidity.  Was $25, Now $15

2019 Bodegas Mikron, Malbec  $13
This is not your typical Argentinian Malbec, unoaked, fermented in stainless steel and made with native yeasts and without added sulphur.  It’s very bright, juicy and appealing, with floral blackberry fruit and crunchy acidity. A natural wine without the slightest hint of funk. Organic, Biodynamic

2019 Kurtatsch, Lagrein  $16
Sudtirol Alto Adige
A dark red grape from high up in Alto Adage.  This Lagrein has aromas of red and purple fruits, peppery spice, warm leather. Full-bodied yet fresh, savory; red fruits, pronounced tannins.

2019 Domaine Philémon, Croix de Bouscarié  $14
Wonderful expression of this grape variety not seen outside of Southwest France.
A unique wine balancing dark berry fruit and fennel notes with good acidity,
minerality and firm tannins on the finish.  Organic, Biodynamic

2018 Kir Yianni,  Xinomavro  $20
It has intense aromatic profile, characterized by red fruits like cherry and strawberry. On the palate, Naoussa Kir-Yianni is light and fresh with soft tannins and medium body.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Getting The Boot

Chase away the grey this weekend with some of the new wines from Italy that have just hit our shelves.

Fratelli Cozza Prosecco  $14
This Prosecco has a rich bouquet with fruity notes and distinctive floral aroma.  Soft agreeable and intense well balanced finish with hints of fruit.

2020 Gorgo Bardolino  $13
Downright delicious, this tangy rosato starts off with enticing aromas recalling black locust flower, peach and a whiff of acacia honey. The juicy palate offers strawberry compote, ripe peach and a hint of hazelnut alongside bright acidity.  #17 of Wine Enthusiast’s top 100.

2018 Fratelli Cozza Montepulciano d’Abruzzo  $11
Characteristically fruity, round and full-bodied with pepper and spice notes, giving the nose a rustic charm. Black fruit and earth notes are present on the mid palate and finish.

2019 Passomadama Montepulciano d’Abruzzo  $13
A juicy pulciano! It has an aroma of red berry fruits with a structured, full and soft taste with sweet and velvety tannins.

2017 Poggio al Tesoro Mediterra  $20
40% Syrah, 30% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
A fragrant and intensely fruity wine, in which blackberry, plum and cherry are underpinned by spicy notes of white pepper and elegant herbaceous aromas. On the palate, it is fresh, intense, and surprisingly persistent.

2017 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre  $19
Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Sangiovese.
Allegreni’s Ripasso like blend is a beautiful red with lots of rich, ripe fruit, showing blackberry, walnut, dried,-fruit, fig and black-truffle aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, layered and chewy ever so well-crafted and polished.

2017 Franchetto Valpolicella Ripasso  $30
Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella
A rich and full Ripasso.  Aromas of cured cherries, black pepper, spices and a palate packed with Bodacious summer fruit- black berries, cherries, vanilla, lush body and supple tannins.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

A Few French Favorites

Get ready for the weekend with any of these delicious wines.

2019 Domaine L’Henri, Les Allées du Vignoble Petit Chablis  $22
Domaine L’Henri’s Petit Chablis is anything but petit.  Offering a richness and completeness, the wine expresses flint, herbal notes and citrus in the nose, classic traits of Chablis. Bright crisp acidity provides tension and backbone to the ripe flavors of melon, pear and almonds.

2018 Maison Guillot-Broux, Mâcan Rouge  $25
A blend of several old Mâconnais vineyards.  The wine is vinified in concrete vats, using indigenous yeasts. Part of the harvest is de-stemmed to bring a bit more finesse and elegance to the cuvee. The limestone terroirs give it its minerality and freshness; the granite terroirs, hints of camphor and dark fruits with has spicy and peppery overtones.  Organic

2014 Bouchard Père & Fils, Savigny les Beaune  $43
Pinot Noir
Aged Burgundy with interesting aromas of tobacco, cedar and sweet spice. Leather and cherry complete this elegant and fresh palate.

2019 Matthieu and Sylvanie Bouchet, Le Sylphe  $23
Cabernet Franc
A brilliant Loire Cabernet Franc from low yield vineyards which provide very concentrated fruit. The wine is aged in neutral barrel so you just get the full fruit flavors. Very powerful tannin structure, elderberries, blackberries, a hint of licorice in the background.  Biodynamic

2019 Domaine de Fages, Cahors Malbec  $15
A lively Malbec from vines planted in limestone-based soils. Twenty percent of the grapes were fermented carbonically and the wine is entirely unoaked to emphasize the black nature of the fruit aromas that are inherent to the Malbec grape. Energized raspberries, crunchy minerals, freshly bloomed lush cherry blossoms and inky lavender notes.  Organic

2016 Château Cantemerle, Les Allées de Cantemerle Haut-Médoc  $28
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot
The second wine of Cantermerle and comes mainly from the château’s young vines, and is made like its elder brother. Aromas of red currant, pomegranate and cranberry drift from the glass. Underlying the fruit are subtle notes of roses and toast.  Essence of Amarena cherries dominate the palate with a slight peppery note and graphite minerality. The tannins are extremely well-integrated and the acidity is broad and round, giving a soft and pleasurable mouthfeel.

2018 Domaine du Pegau, Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Reservée  $65
80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre and 10% other permitted varieties
Drink or Save.  The Pegau is full-bodied loaded with black cherries and plummy fruit and tinged with licorice.  It has a seamless, elegant texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It should evolve nicely for 15 years or more.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Two Under Forty

Just Sangi (but arguably from the best spot on earth to grow it), and then at least aged in oak for 2 years and 4 months in a bottle before release (that’s minimum, for most producers it is more).  And 2014 wasn’t a superstar vintage but good producers still made good wine.  And while we don’t put a whole lot of faith in points or reviews, here you go. Good wine at a good price.

2014 Castiglion del Bosco, Brunello di Montalcino  $36
Gentle aromas of sour red cherry, mint and minerals. Then bright and steely, with a discreet, refined set of flavors similar to the aromas. Closes medium-long and clean.  Was $56 Now $36

Critical Acclaim
James Suckling  91 Pts
The oak is very assertive here and wrestles savory cedar, meat and spices into red plums. The palate has a juicy, tangy red fruit core and good upfront appeal. Drink this in the next six years.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate  91 pts
Richly aromatic from the start, the 2014 Brunello di Montalcino offers deep, dark fruit that is amply supplemented by oak spice, tobacco and cured leather. I would argue that the wood influences appear even more prominent in a vintage like 2014 that saw a delicate and subtle quality of fruit to begin with. This Brunello is lean and polished in terms of mouthfeel with medium length and depth.

2014 Caparzo, Brunello di Montalcino  $39
This wine offers complex aromas of wild berry fruit. On the palate, it is dry, warm, firm, harmonious, delicate, austere and persistent.  Was $45, Now $39

Critical Acclaim
Wine Spectator 92pts
Bright, with cherry and raspberry fruit, this Brunello is elegant and charming. Accents of mineral and peppery greens—arugula, mizuna—develop on the lingering aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2032.

James Suckling 91 pts
Aromas of dark fruit, dried leaves and hints of cedar follow through to a medium to full body, a solid core of fruit and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. A little hollow in the center palate, but delivers high quality for the vintage. Give it a year or two to fill in. Drink in 2020.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate  90pts
The 2014 Brunello di Montalcino is a ripe and nicely balanced effort from a vintage that threw its share of curveballs at producers. The wine rises above those difficulties, showing clearly delineated tones of cherry, plum and spice. It is crisp and lean in terms of mouthfeel, with the shallow depth of flavors that is definitely characteristic of the 2014 vintage.


Here comes the sun?

Officially it’s fall! Time to adjust the cellar for those cooler nights when sunny days are at a premium. Check out our choices.


Liebart Regnier Blancs de Blanche Brut  $40
Lightly spicy and packed with citrus, this is a tensely fresh Chardonnay. The brightness adds to the minerality of this delicious wine, texture and fruit working well together.  This champagne is silky-smooth, rich and indulgent on the palate.

Pascal Ponson Rosé de Gentes Dames Brut  $48
68% Pinot Meunier, 15% ‘Vin Rouge’, 8.5% Chardonnay, 8.5% Pinot Noir
Textbook Rosé Champagne smell and taste of strawberry, wild cherry and cranberry lead the way. Orange scone, red apple and faint yellow rose petal follow behind. Great fruitiness, partly explained by the 10 G/L dosage, which falls squarely in the Brut range as it lifts the fruity flavors up.


2018 Trefethen Dry Riesling  $15
A quality Cali Riesling– floral aromas of orange blossom and jasmine are complemented by fresh notes of green apple and grapefruit. On the palate, this bright, yet luscious wine evolves with flavors of nectarine, white peach and honey-crisp apple. The minerality and beautiful acidity provide an invigorating finish. Normally $20 Special Price $15

2019 J. L. Chave Crozes Hermitage Blanc Sybèle  $36
60% Marsanne, 40% Rousanne
While Crozes-Hermitage and Chave are both synonymous with Syrah, Jean-Louis applies the same meticulous methods to this Marsanne/Rousanne blend for results that are graceful and lithe with mineral tension. Organic

2019 Domaine des Forges Savennieres Moulin du Gué  $24
Chenin Blanc
A rich yet dry white infused with the distinctive mineral characteristic of the Savennières wines. The creamy texture is beautifully balanced with buttery notes, hazelnut and sweet spice through to a refreshing finish.


2017 Becker Landgraf Gau-Odernheimer Spatburgunder  $25
Pinot Noir
An elegant Pinot Noir characterized by the salty mineral. Cool aromas with wild fruit and red berries. Fine, the herbaceous spice with a lot of zest and good finish. The wood is finely integrated.

2016 Romain Collet Bourgogne Rouge Les Vaux de L’Aumône  $25
Pinot Noir
Red raspberry, star anise and spiced cherries jump out immediately; after decanting a whiff of freshly-tanned leather starts to emerge. The best Burgundy have a hint of what they call sous-bois – French for “forest floor.” This Bourgogne has a delightful hint of that woodsiness and soft earth. Was $31 Now $25

2015 Fantino Rosso dei Dardi $15
The Fantino brothers decided to make the most aromatic, drinkable Langhe Rosso possible. Spiced plums backed by red cherry, licorice, salami, charcuterie. Juicy, spiced and savory, meaty, plumy, a little tannic burr. Was $20 now $15

2017 Château. L’Ermitage Costieres de Niems $12
40% Mourvedre, 40% Syrah, 20% Grencahe
It is a hearty red with ripe tannins and plenty of red fruit flavors matched with a gentle savory edge.

2019 Domaine Alexandre Cady Anjou Rouge  $15
Cabernet Franc
Here is a satisfying Loire red designed for the summer. It has bright aromas recalling freshly picked, ripe red fruits. This is a juicy, supple wine, which could be enjoyed gently chilled.  Organic. Was $18 now $15

2015 Château Macalan Bordeaux Superieur  $20
60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine has weight and richness, shown in the dense texture that has now softened into the juicy blackberry fruits. The blend with a good percentage of Cabernet Franc gives a perfumed, smoky edge to this attractive wine.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Wines for a Soggy Weekend

It is supposed to dump rain this weekend.  Nothing to do but stay inside sipping a good bottle of wine.  But first grab that umbrella and dash to the shop for one of these.  They will chase the clouds away.

2019 Lucien Reymond, Sancerre  $30
Sauvignon Blanc
Quality Sancerre with bright citrus fruit with delightful earthy and herbal tones.  Minerals abound.  Organic

2017 Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape, Le Miociene  $57
65% Grenache Noir, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre.
A classic blend from a mix of soil types, aged in a mix of older barrels and concrete tanks. It’s ripe and plummy, with notes of black cherries and licorice, yet there’s also a sense of freshness. Full-bodied and velvety in texture, it’s already approachable but has the substance to age through 2030.  Organic

2014 Lalande Borie, Saint Julien  $53
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
The wine is dense with great fruit and accompanying structure. With its dark ripe berry fruits and full tannins, the wine is powerful although with great elegance. It is stylish, full of complexity ready to age well.

2019 Foundation Cellars, the Silence  $38
Rockgarden Vineyard Syrah
This wine is unmistakably from the Rocks District. The stem influence is upfront, with notes of grilled asparagus, Stargazer lily, fresh parsley and flowers in front of black and green olives. The palate brings an abundance of savory flavors, with gravel notes on the finish.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Fall Colors

How come everything starts changing around the equinox?  Best stock up on some wine for both Sun and Showers.  Be prepared.

2019 Masseria Frattasi, Taburno  $18
Aromas of ripe pear, floral notes of jasmine and Mountain herbs. Full and juicy on the palate, with fresh notes of exotic fruit and honey.  The finish is long and persistence.

2020 Monteseondo, Corvina Rosso Frizzante  $15
This more effervescent alternative to Txakoli is a crowd pleaser.  After a nose of dusty raspberry and pencil lead, the palate is straightforward and fruity, followed by a pleasant, balanced finish. Organic

2019 Scagliola, Langhe Nebbiolo Racconti  $18
A smooth and ready young Nebbiolo with enough underlying tannins and structure to take seriously.

2019 Domaine Dozon, Chinon Clos du Saut Au Loup  $23
Cabernet Franc
Traditional notes of plum skin, raspberries and capsicum abound. Manageable tannins and herbal notes underscore a direct fruitiness.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Changing Seasons

We have had a beautiful start to September, but there is just the start of a bit of chill in the air that makes us reach for fuller richer wines than we did a month ago.  Here are a few new ones to the shop to help the transition.


2019 Domaine Jean Aubron, Sauvignon Blanc Vieilles Vignes  $14
A central glowing orb of green citrus fruit fully illuminates this wine’s intricate crystalline structure,  spritely and mineral.  Organic

2019 Cantina del Vermintino, Nord Est White   $14
This wine comes from the hills of Northern Sardinia around the town on Monti. The vines are planted close together at and elevation of between 300 and 450m and surrounded by dry stone walls typical of the area. This is a light, refreshing and dry wine. Straw in color with flavors of lemon and almond.

2019 Courtault Michelet, Petit Chablis  $25
Crisp and pure on the palate, with white flowers, fresh, lime and citrus aromas. Pleasant mouthfeel, supple, crisp, fruity flavors.

2019 Marcel Deiss, Alsace Complantation  $29
This is a co-fermented field blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Muscat à petits grains, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Beurot, Muscat Blanc, Rose d’Alsace, Traminer, plus others.  Bright elderflower, mandarin, fragrant pear is stenciled with tangerine pith on a long palate, finishing with a gentle swell of warmth.  Lovely harmony here.  Biodynamic


2020 Domaine Turenne, Camille Provence Rosé  $16
50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, 10% Syrah
Camille Cuvee is a fine and elegant gastronomic rosé wine with an aromatic pallet evolving on aromas of peach. The attack is lively but balanced, finale rather long and fruity.  Organic

2019 Clos Cibonne, Tibouren Provence Rosé  $40
90% Tibouren, 10% Grenache
The vineyard’s oldest vines give its luminous color to this rose. Wide range of quince, grilled walnut and spicy aromas. Full-bodied, persistent and fresh on the palate.


2019 Podere la Berta, Sangiovese di Romagna,  $15
A great straight forward Sangiovesse from Felsina’s property in Emilia-Romagna.  Aromas of fresh-picked cherry and red berry, sweet briar and dried plum. The palate is crisp, enfolding, and energy-driven, with glossy, fragrant tannins and a long- lingering finish.

2019 Duesigneur, La Goutte du Seigneur  $15
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah
From 30 year old vines this CDR has aromas of wild strawberries, a thirst-quenching palate, and a superbly exuberant finish structured by silky tannins.  Organic

2018 Château Croix d’Allons, Bandol Rouge  $35
90% Mourvédre, 10% Grenache
This is certainly a wine that unravels in the glass, the initial nose shows bold cassis, blackberry and fresh herb along with notes of tobacco, leather, vanillin, and baking spice. As it unwinds this wine journeys into rustic cherry skin, cured meats, and gamey characters balanced out the rich, bold fruit. The fresh, fine tannins round out the pronounced flavors without making the wine feel heavy.

2018 J.L. Chave, Saint Joseph Offerus  $40
Deeply scented aromas of dark fruit preserves, peony and olive paste, along with a spicy nuance that builds in the glass. Nicely concentrated and alluringly sweet, offering ripe blackberry, bitter cherry, floral and spice cake flavors that show fine delineation courtesy of a spine of juicy acidity. Shows excellent clarity and minerally thrust on the chewy, persistent finish, which features building tannins and lingering cherry liqueur and floral notes.

2018 Bodegas Renacer, Punto Final Malbec Reserva  $20
The grapes for the Punto Final Reserva Malbec are sourced primarily from the Los Patos Vineyard in Perdriel, where the average age of the vines is 80 years. A serious Malbec with aromas of wild berries such as raspberry, strawberry and blueberry mingle with earthy and spicy notes. In the mouth, the wine is juicy and fruity, with round tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish.

2014 Constantia Glen, Three  $31
67% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon
A high end South African Red.  Debonair, polished styling achieved without sacrificing ripeness. Red fruit with a mocha nuance, well-tailored into a plush dry tannin structure. Balanced & so tempting now, but greater rewards with time.
Was $50 now $31

2017 Fèlsina, Fontalloro  $66
The 2017 Fontalloro is exquisite. It is bright and vibrant, with Sangiovese character luscious and dark with thick layers of dark fruit, plum, cherry, leather and tilled earth. It is also incredibly delicious now, but clearly has the energy to age for many years.

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

New arrivals from

Oregon & Washington

Stay local for Labor Day.  Here are some Northwest wines that have recently hit our shelves with enough variety for everyone.

2020 Rock Meadow Cellars, Viognier $13
From Lake Chelan a very affordable Washington white the showcases a smooth rich body with notes of peach and pear and a touch of spice.

2018 Sparkman, Apparition Roussanne  $13
Apparition offers a beautiful bouquet of white currants, white flowers, honeysuckle, and toasted brioche that opens up beautifully with time in the glass. It has a honeyed pineapple lushness, and at the same time, clean, vibrant zest and brine notes, while staying perfectly balanced on the palate.

2020 Patricia Green, Sauvignon Blanc  $27
Willamette Sancerre.  There are less than 30 acres of Sauvignon Blanc planted in the Willamette Valley and Patricia Green works with three sites including their estate to craft this cuvee. The nose shows lychee and tropical fruits with a hit of melon and a bit of citrus. The palate is light with good acidity and a flavor set of orange blossom, lychee and melon.

2019 Roots, Autre Monde Un Syrah $19
This Columbia Gorge Syrah from Roots has enough earth, mineral notes to make it closer to Rocks District than Red Mountain, and the lack of new wood makes it a tad ,dare we say, European.

Two Mountains, Hidden Horse Red No.18  $14
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc
More elegance than muscle, this good value Washington Red opens with rich aromas of dark fruits, tobacco and white pepper followed by flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and vanilla, framed in toasty oak.

2017 Fall Line, Cirque  $26
84% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cirque Red Wine is cut from the same cloth and has a complex, Bordeaux-like bouquet of cedary herbs, graphite, crushed flowers, and cassis and black raspberry fruit.  Beautifully complex, nuanced, and layered, it’s not massive by any means yet is seamless, balanced, and just glides over the palate.

2017 Animale, Cabernet Franc Reserve  $25
Grown at a cool-climate vineyard site, these grapes developed complex flavors as they struggled to ripen during the 2017 growing season. Fragrant mix of blueberries and plum with piquant roasted red peppers. Flavors of black currant, plum, pomegranate, citrus peel, sassafras and savory spice. Firm acidity and fruit tannins provide balance.

2017 Animale, Petit Sirah Reserve  $25
Aged in neutral oak barrels, this Petit is packed with aromas or fresh blackberries, with hints of pencil, Frangelico, eucalyptus, celery, fresh-cut grass, and fresh-ground white peppercorns. Flavors of blackberry syrup, fruit leather, and lemon zest, with hints of cranberry, and black tea.

2018 Di Stefano, Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon  $15
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
Super smooth and polished, this wine is less about the rusticity of previous vintages, and more about immediate drinkability.  Crushed blackberries, Bing cherry and vanilla oak notes flow on a soft palate of ripe, fine tannins that finish smooth.  Was $29 now $15

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM