Saturday, January 31, 2009

PLAIMONT ( Colombelle )Wines From Gascogne - Great Whites To Enjoy Most Anytime ; Export Manager Stops By Cleveland Park To Taste " New " Releases

It was fun to taste these wines with Philippe Olcomendy ( areas sales manager ) of Producteurs PLAIMONT ( Colombelle 2008 white and rose, 2007 red, Tel : ( 33 ) 05 62 69 62 87 Fax : (33) 05 62 69 66 74 email: ) and to taste his " new " releases.

We spoke about the labels immediately : the bright purple ( or lavender ) and the white of the white, rose and red ( all dry ) are eye-catching and I'm sure stand out on both shelves and floor displays. They all have changed since the old days when they were quite traditional, nondescript really and yet unmistakable, too. I still remember them and wish for them as I feel they were more " authentic " and less-contrived with only " extra " sales in mind.

I spoke off-and-on French with Philippe and told him that we used to have another person come from his company, an attractive brunette that lady came with Chasity of Winesellers Imports. It's a whole team now as Chasity has moved out to Las Vegas with her baby and boyfriend.

On this afternoon in January it was Emily ( her coat ironically was near the same lavender/purple color in the label and Philippe. Things change, life goes on and I must say that we three had a grand time as I tasted these five wines ( three or four from PLAIMONT ) and two other reds, one a Madiran 2005 ( called 1907 ) and the other which I really loved ( a great food wine ) the CHATEAU DE SABAZAN 2003 Cotes de Saint-Mont. I loved this last red : it spoke volumes of flavors and tastes , highs and lows and rich experiences that can only come with some bottle-age which it had ( and will sell for around $30 a bottle I believe ).

The first three PLAIMONTS were also delicious and very pleasing and fun ( less expensive ) wines that I feel very confident that I will buy. I don't think I will buy the excellent dry rose just because of the timing of the year but I can see asking my rep Arielle to come do an in-store tasting of the both the red and the white sometime soon. That will be a lot of fun and will get us back on track with a wine that I have enjoyed selling and representing that goes way back to the mid 80's when I first discovered them while working at the Mayflower Wines & Spirits with Sidney Moore and Michael Downey. We sold a lot back then of both the white and the red.

Funny, I left the Mayflower Wines & Spirits and after a disaster of working for less than a couple of weeks for Ace Beverages ( one of the stupidest things I have ever done, ever and still cringe when I think of today ) and then for Sidney Danneman at Burka's Fine Wines I ended up buying from George ( Reisling ( spelling ? ) a series of magnificent old vintages of the PLAIMONT reds and selling them like hot cakes. Dee Hutton helped me get the job at Burka's when I called her. Thanks Dee, I appreciated that a lot.

Once that people tried them in the store or on their own they rushed back for more. We must have sold more than fifty cases at Burka's in a short period of time. By then I knew all about PLAIMONT and the value-for-the-money of these wines. They sure were great expressions of their local way down there in the southwestern part of France not far from the border with Spain.

You could taste and smell the sun-baked grapes that had to struggle for water and to stay alive in this harsh heat and brutal climate of extremes I believe. I've driven through it in the summer months back in the the mid eighties and because of the intense heat upon times only wanted water at first upon arriving at my wine appointments ( and not wine ) ! We sold them all for under $15 a bottle if memory serves me well.

Wonderful French wines to enjoy with some flavorful meals - simple or complex, from a hamburger to a stek frites to a cassoulet, some cheese and pate, these Tannat and Cabernet-based reds were wonderful.

The whites ( made from local, indigenous grapes ) are just wonderfully refreshing, bright, zesty, mildly-perfumed that draw both nose and tongue over immediately . They are perfect spring and summer wines when you are able to sit outside and just " be " and watch life as it occurs nicely all around you! It simply enhances the spectacle of life and the joy of observing and noting it. The white just helps facilitate falling in love with life and whoever/ whatever is there around you, passing by you, briefly or for longer touching you and your life. It's not complicated and therein lies it's charm and instant appeal. Relax, take a load off, sit, chat, observe, interact ...

I was having a blast with Philippe : probably more fun with him than I should have. I barely knew him and yet I launched into one diatribe of French expressions, descriptions, taunts and dares and many twinkles and smiles, laughs and stories : perhaps too many?!? I hope so, I meant well. I just like to be entertaining at times as I certainly am myself as I am caught-up quickly in the flow and " nowness - instantness " of these rather serendipitous meetings I have with new people as I taste their wines perhaps for the very first time or again as old and welcome friends. Both are welcome at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008, Tel : 202-363-4265 ) in our nation's capitol.

We should have these wines back in our store soon. Call and ask Mike Martin or me ( Anthony - TONY - Quinn 202-363-4265 ) for more information or to place your orders. Cheers and thanks Emily and Philippe. TONY

1 comment:

Rocket French said...

But it's better to drink moderately. Nice pictures by the way :)