Friday, February 27, 2009

Brennan Downey Visits Cleveland Park Wed. Feb.25th, '09 With VOLPE PASINI'S Single Vineyard 2007 Ribolla Gialla & SAINT NICOLAS Brem Rouge" Pinot Noir

     Here are the pictures I took of Brennan at the store last Wednesday Fe. 25th, 2009.

     Brennan came by at the samr e time that we had Samuel of the MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC family here tasting their new releases and so the last picture of us here in a group includes Brennan, Samuel, Chris Pigott and me ( Tony Quinn ). It was nice for them to meet while we were tasting and Brennan got a chance to try these excellent wines from the haute vallee du Gassa, ( 34150 ) in southern France.

     Brennan always has a fun assortment of wines for me to sample each time he visits and tastes with owner Pietro of Sorriso and owner Dean of DINO restaurant ( both fine Italian restaurants here no more than a block away from Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ). In Brennan's " bag of goodies " he sometimes has an assortment of French, Italian, Californian and Uruguayan wines, too. I never know what he will unveil for me. I do know that I am always eager to see what he is carrying that particular moment because it will always be of the highest quality, great value and sometimes truly obscure like I like them. That's just me of course : loving the indigenous and seldom-touted wines.

     This morning Brennan had a great haul with him including an excellent dry white wine from Friuli, Italy made with the flavorful, aromatic Ribolla Gialla that you seldom see. Pietro loves it , however and usually has one on his list.

     This was the VOLPE PASINI single-vineyard 2007 Ribolla Gialla ( $27.49 ) that we tasted this go-round. Usually we taste the regular bottling from VOLPE PASINI as it is also excellent ( not quite as deep or concentrated and with a bit less of a finish perhaps, but wonderful nonetheless ) and easier on one's pocket book/wallet. I loved both the depth of flavors and the striking color of this single-vineyard and will talk to Brennan about getting some.

     I also tried with Brennan the French Loire Valley 100% Pinot Noir that completely floored me because of it's saltier, more sea-scape flavoring ( more like " salt and ocean breeze " Brennan just said when I spoke to him over the phone now. ) dry, leaner taste. It's also from the area around the mouth of the Loire river and closer to the Atlantic Ocean, thus the reference to a " salty, ocean breeze " texture and flavoring. I liked it and was intrigued by it. It comes from SAINT NICOLAS ( not de Bourgeuil by Chinon - I was at first confused by the name ) and is called " Brem Rouge ". 

     We tasted the 2006 vintage I believe and it will sell for $27.49 just like the VOLPE PASINI. I will have to have it here to introduce our customers to it. It's unique, it's flavorful, well-focused ( like a well-toned athlete ) and will make an excellent choice for some of those more tasty, flavorful meals we like especially now as the weather is still colder and we need a bit of extra warmth ( this one provided in a great liquid guise ! ).

     It will also be fun to have people discover with this SAINT NICOLAS 100% Pinot Noir that Pinot Noir is also grown outside of the Sancerre region of the Loire Valley which is at the exact opposite end from this one. I did not know until last Wednesday that Pinot Noir was grown anywhere else in the Loire. I still learn something everyday and for that I am eternally grateful as I am still challenged, wowed, bowled-over and fascinated by the wealth of wines and their flavors still available to us even in these difficult times when every trend seems to be to down-size and to limit some of this wealth of choice and experiences that one still has, luckily- for the moment - today. Let keep all these fun areas and indigenous and fun combinations healthy and alive and available to the many of us out there that want more choices and experiences.

     I just learned that Brennan is on the train up to New York City now going to the Gambero Rosso to the " Three Glasses " Awards tasting today. He said that he would be tasting some really good wines today. No doubt Brennan, drink one and think of us back here in Washington D.C. Be sure also to say " hello " to anyone there and say a special " hello " to the owner of VOLPE PASINI that you will see there. And don't forget to come back with some good stories for us here as well. We love stories : life and wine/ food, people and the arts are all stories - wonderful, incredible, amazing stories.

     In these pictures of Brennan that I took are featured the VOLPE PASINI Friuli Ribolla Gialla 2007 and the SAINT NICOLAS " Brem Rouge " 2006 Loire Valley Pinot Noir. I hope you like them : I take lots of artistic licence when I take them. It's art, too I hope that I want to preserve here as well as the people, wines and the visit. Our moment(s) : trying to " own them " and appreciate them for they are what we each have.

     Cheers,  TONY

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