Tag Archives: Madeleine Angevine

What we’re drinking: San Juan Vineyards

Brynn writes:

As I mentioned in our maple glazed pork tenderloin and Kiona Vineyards piece, my in-laws were in town earlier this month.

For part of their visit we went up to Orcas Island. While there we hopped over to San Juan Island to check out the sights. Part of our itinerary included a stop at San Juan Vineyards. Jeff and I visited the winery four years ago when we stayed on nearby Brown Island, so we were looking forward to enjoying a glass of wine in the sun on the winery’s patio with his parents.

Unfortunately, the woman manning the tasting bar wasn’t very inviting, so we left after just one sip of wine. I’m going to give the lady the benefit of the doubt — I’m hoping she was having a bad day and isn’t normally that rude, otherwise the winery needs to reconsider who they have greeting the public.

I was disappointed we didn’t get a chance to take in the beauty of the winery while enjoying the wine, but we salvaged our visit by stopping into the winery’s tasting room along the main street in Friday Harbor. The woman manning the tasting bar there was friendly and gave a healthy pour, something I’ll never complain about.

I was strategic in my tasting. I knew I wanted to try one of the wines grown on the island and one sourced from Eastern Washington vineyards. At the winery I tried the Madeleine Angevine, grown on site. This grape is from the Loire Valley of France, and does well in our state — specifically the cool climate of the Puget Sound region. It’s a great wine to have with raw (or grilled) oysters. I liked the wine, but I think it’s one you need to have a few times to fully appreciate. It’s a dry white wine and I prefer to have it with food.

The other wine I had a the winery was the Cab Franc, which comes from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in Eastern Washington. I prefer cab franc to Cabernet Sauvignon because it’s lighter. In this instance it had currant and tobacco leaf flavors.

When we went to the tasting room in Friday Harbor my father-in-law ended up buying a bottle of Riesling. We drank that once we got back home. We paired it with Chinese food, which the winery recommended. The Riesling was not too sweet, but not bone dry. It was filled with floral and citrus notes and I noticed honeysuckle. It was balanced and did well with the spiciness of the Chinese dishes.

What we’re drinking: San Juan Vineyards Madeleine Angevine

Brynn writes:

This is the perfect wine for a hot summer day when your dinner menu includes a fresh catch from Puget Sound — especially oysters.

The grape, Madeleine Angevine, dates its origins to the year 1857 when a nursery in Angers, France crossed Madeleine Royale and Precoce de Malingre vines. The result was a white grape that grows well in France’s Loire Valley, but also the Puget Sound AVA — making it one of the few grapes that thrive during our cool, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

We bought a bottle of Mad Ang (as its called) while visiting San Juan Island last summer for a few days. We swung by the San Juan Vineyards winery and tasted this wine while on our stop. (You may remember we also tasted the winery’s Cab Franc, which I also recently reviewed.)

We liked it enough we bought a bottle. We chilled it Sunday and enjoyed it with a baked mahi-mahi I prepared with a Thai sauce that included lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Since it’s kind of similar to Riesling, I thought the wine would be a good compliment to the sauce’s spicier pepper notes, since it’s often recommended to pair Riesling with spicy Thai dishes.

The appearance of this wine is a faint yellow, almost clear color. The nose is crisp and the mineral notes blend well with hints of fruit, making a crisp finish that leaves your mouth watering and slightly puckered.

I’ve had this wine with raw oysters and would definitely recommend it as a pairing with oysters or a salad with a shallot/vinaigrette dressing. It would also go well with Dungeness crab, especially lump crab meat dipped in butter — the acidity would cut through that richness, making a nice compliment.

Here’s what the winery has to say about the wine:

Summer melon and a wet slate nose offers citrus and stone fruit flavors with a clean finish. This Puget Sound grown varietal is perfect with oysters on the half shell.

The 2008 Madeleine Angevine was harvested on October 18, 2008, and released on October 1, 2009. It received an Excellent review by Wine Press NorthWest and Silver Medals from the Riverside International Wine Competition and the Jerry Mead International Wine Competition.

583 Cases bottled April 7, 2009

Alcohol: 11.2% with residual sugar of .05%.

Retail Price: $12