Archive for Tasting Notes

New Olive Oil, Tasty Wine &

Artist’s Reception with Renée Simard

It is a busy weekend here at the wine shop as we wrap up January.

After a long dry spell we have two new Italian Olive Oils here at the shop.  Life isn’t just about wine.

Petrizzelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil  $20
The Petrizzelli is made exclusively from the Coratina Olive a very small, low yielding varietal that rewards those who have the patience to work with it.  Cold pressed.  Organic

2022 Poggio la Noce 100% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil  $30
Tuscany
A high-quality pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil with elegant aromas, cultivated and pressed directly at the estate, within hours of harvesting, using onsite press. Cold pressed. Organic

But of course a lot of it is about wine.  Saturday we’ll be pouring:

2019 Alary La Grange Daniel  $15
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
from a plethora of grapes grown on clay soils at the foot of the plateau of scrubland in Cairanne.  Aromas are of red cherries and garrigue. The palate is mid weight or a little bigger with brambly red fruit, plums, milk chocolate, mineral and stone. This is very tasty with pleasant acidity and integrated tannins.  Organic

With that many grapes how can you go wrong?

And then Sunday:
The artist reception for

Natural Things — Choses Naturelles 
Renée Simard
3 to 5 pm
Come meet Renée and see the new show.

Natural things. On walks, the beauty I see in trees, fruits, bushes, mosses, new buds, or even, wilting flowers often stop me in my tracks. Images strike me and I can’t wait to put them on canvas. My eyes are attracted to colors and movements. My head is preoccupied by thoughts, sounds, and even smells. The world we live in provides endless opportunity for distraction and inspiration…

The oil paintings and silverpoint drawings I am honored to show here illustrate moments when I filter out stimuli. This series, titled Natural Things – Choses Naturelles, represents part of my artist’s relationship with nature.

White calla lilies, for example, are exasperating and aren’t white! Their leaves are green, yellowish at times, blueish green, often pure color with all its brightness. Depending on weather, time of day, surroundings, the lilies’ single petal (a spathe) shifts from grey to yellow to blue to green, even a touch of purple. These flowers make challenging models: simple, elegant, shapely. Fascinating! Did I mention that slugs love them too?

My Madrona garden’s calla lilies hold a special place in my heart for the sweet neighbor who shared rhizomes shortly after I moved here. I started sketching them years ago and I still discover new shapes. Feels like I am in the art studio attending a live model session with two-minute poses! Still life…not so still!
— Renée Simard

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6pm

Back In

We carried the Torre Gajo for some time until the distributor had a big gap in their shipping containers.  But it is back in stock and we’ll be pouring the new arrival this Thursday.  Stop in for a crisp sip.

2021 Torre Gajo, Pinot Grigio Della Venezie  $15
Torre Gajo is produced by a cooperative of growers, They make this big bottle of Pinot Grigio from the Alto Adage. Good value, good body, and crisp spicy fruit. 12.5% alcohol by volume
1 liter

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

New Face, New Art, New Deal

It is whole new year at the shop.

There is a new face these days at the shop.  Patrick, Mark, & I are pleased to welcome Dave Guttman to our team.  Dave has worked for a couple of our wine distributors as well as being an avid wine enthusiast.  From his apartment on Capitol Hill he has toured the world one bottle at a time.  Dave will be holding down the fort this weekend at the shop.  Stop in and say hello.

We are also starting the new year with new show of paintings and drawings to grace our walls.  Natural Things — Choses Naturelles by local artist Renée Simard.  Come feast your eyes along with your palate.

And this weekend we will be tasting a new deal in a Spanish Reserva.  Stop in and have a taste.

2013 Domino de la Abadesa Ribera del Duero Reserva  $20
Old vine Tempranillo aged in barrel for 27 months and then 14 months in bottle.  The wine exhibits intense and complex aromas of mature black fruits, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of spice. The wine is smooth and balanced on the palate with mature, well-developed tannins and a round mouthfeel. Was $30 Now $20

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Deal of the Day

Stop in and have a taste.

2017 Elqui Wines ‘Limited Release’ Syrah  $20
100% Syrah
A big Syrah form Chile, this wine offers hints of peat and graphite, and is quite aromatic and expressive. The aromas are dark, with black fruit and also some black olives. The palate is round and quite bold. It is juicy and satisfying, ripe and a little heady.
Was $30 Now $20


Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Winter Whites

We have a little break in the rain today in Madrona.  The sun feels good and gives us something to think about besides football. We are opening two Italian White wines to match the day and make halftime all the more pleasant.  Come by and have a taste.

2019 Fattoria Svetoni Opera  $10
100% Vermentino
Intense and persistent bouquet with notes of peach blossom, jasmine, and ripe white fruit. Well balanced and persistent that makes it fresh and pleasant.
Was $12 Now $10

2018 Gabbas Manzanile  $15
Vermentino di Sardenga
A benchmark Vermentino from renowned Sardinian winemaker Giuseppe Gabbas. This elegant Mediterranean wine is smooth and well-rounded, with zesty fruit flavors. Notes of chamomile, apricots, dried herbs, almond are flanked by a lovely minerality.
Was $20 Now $15

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

January White Sale

Don’t bother with the linen closet.  Check your wine rack and come stock up on these discounted white wines for the Winter season.  We’ll be pouring them thorough the weekend, stop by and see what is open.

2019 Fattoria Svetoni Opera  $10
100% Vermentino
Intense and persistent bouquet with notes of peach blossom, jasmine, and ripe white fruit. Well balanced and persistent that makes it fresh and pleasant.
Was $12 Now $10

2014 La Zorra Teso Blanco  Sierra de Francia,  $15
60% Palomino, 30% Rufete, 10% Moscatel
A unique Portugese “Orange Wine”  — aged under a thin layer of flor for 5 months in 3-year-old French oak barrels — unfined and unfiltered.  Aromas of grapefruit pith, jasmine, chamomile, and iodine, with a zesty mineral top note. Dry on the palate, offering incisive lime rind and orchard fruit flavors with complicating notes of green almond and bitter quinine.  Wild stuff!
Was $23 now $15

2018 Teutonic Wine Co. Sprockets  $15
Scheurebe, Huxelrebe, Pinot Noir
Sprockets is a field blend from the High Pass Vineyard that consists of medium bodied with rich aromatics of orange zest, apricot and capsaicin. The flavors continue through the palate with a very fruit finish.
Was $22 Now $15

2018 Gabbas Manzanile  $15
Vermentino di Sardenga
A benchmark Vermentino from renowned Sardinian winemaker Giuseppe Gabbas. This elegant Mediterranean wine is smooth and well-rounded, with zesty fruit flavors. Notes of chamomile, apricots, dried herbs, almond are flanked by a lovely minerality.
Was $20 Now $15

2017 Graville Lacoste Graves Blanc              $25 — 1500ml —
75% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle
This Graves is distinguished by its high percentage of Sémillon. Lychee, citrus zest, petrol, lemongrass on the nose. Tangy acidity plus minerality, but with a surprising fullness on the palate. White grapefruit pith and lemon zest.
Was $35 now $25

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6

Back To The Grind

We made it through New Years and it is back to business as usual, tasting wine and looking for value.  Here is one we found this last week.  We only got one case of it, but why not open a bottle and let you taste too.  Stop by on Saturday and check it out.

2015 Barone Cornacchia, Vizzarro Colline Teramane $20
Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo
Cornacchia’s flagship wine named for the founder.  Intense, complex and fine bouquet with hint of ripe red fruit, jam, black pepper.  The flavor is round, persistent and balanced, harmonic, with velvety tannins.  Organic
Was $35 now $20

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Counting Down To New Years

We are counting out the end of 2022 and getting ready for the big 1 on Sunday.  While we know we’ll need some bubbles on New Year’s Eve, we much more enjoy thinking about what we are going to drink with dinner on New Year’s Day.  You have to start the year off right.  In the mean time we’ll be tasting some good wines as we count the days.

Thursday
2019 Remo Farina Valpolicella Superiore Classico Ripasso  $20
Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara
Partially rasined on the vines, the Ripasso has fragrance of pepper, fruit marmalade (cherries, prunes) and spices, licorice and ginger.

Friday
2019 Kila Cava  $15
40% Xarel·lo, 40% Macabeu, 20% Parellada
Ripe orchard/pit fruit aromas are complemented by subtle herb and candied orange zest nuances. Broad and spicy on the palate, displaying pear nectar and honey flavors and a touch of fennel

Saturday
It is bound to be good. Just drop in and see what we have open.

We will be closed New Year’s Day and reopen on Wednesday January 4th as we resume our most of the year Wednesday-Sunday hours.

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

A Little Breather

We’ve boxed up boxing day and are getting ready to welcome the new year, but before we get there let’s take a deep breath, relax and have a glass of wine.  The next two days we’ll be tasting a couple of good mid-week refreshers.  Stop in and have a sip.

Tuesday

2015 Gerard Bertrand, Art de Vivre Rouge  $15
Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre
Oddly packaged in a ceramic bottle.  The Vivre has some nice Balsamic notes that add a touch of class to the black cherry, red plum and wild raspberry notes of this juicy red, with savory touches of mineral and herb on the clean finish.
Was $20 Now $15

Wednesday

Flegenheimer Bros. ‘Out of the Park’ Sparkling Shiraz NV  $12
96% Shiraz, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
This sparkling Shiraz from Australia has a bouquet of rich berry fruits, dark cherries and soft lingering hints of integrated oak. On the palate bright juicy red fruits and sweet plum are balanced with silky tannins and a velvety smooth finish.

Shop Hours
Tuesday-Sunday, 12-6PM
Closed Sunday, January 1st
See you again Wednesday, January 4th

Stay Warm

Things are getting busy around here with the lords a leaping and the pipers piping.  But it keeps them warm with the cold weather nipping at our nose.  The other thing that keeps us warm is a sip of wine.  We’ll have some open the next couple of days.  Stop in and have a taste as well.

Thursday

2019 Château de Montfaucon,  La Côte, Côte du Rhone  $18
50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Cinsault, 5% Counoise
This Côtes du Rhône is full-bodied, tannic, with leather notes, herbal notes, cranberry notes.

Friday

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.

Shop Hours
Tuesday-Sunday, 12-6PM