Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jennifer Horsley of CLOS DU VAL/ TALTARNI/NIZAS Vineyards Tastes Her New Vinteges On Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Feb. 24th, 2009

Jennifer Horsley of CLOS DU VAL ( ) TALTARNI ( )/ DOMAINE DE NIZAS tastes her " new " vintages Tuesday, Mardi Gras, 2009 with Chrissy Carpenter of Washington Wholesalers. 
     It was both a great visit as well as tasting. It's always wonderful to see someone that you consider like an old friend. Jennifer is one : she's been coming to see us here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits now for perhaps five or so years? Is that right Jennifer?

    Most of the wines that Jennifer brings me now are like old friends, too as the owner and various winemakers and reps have all been here at one time or another. I like that : for me it is always very much a people business.

     On this go-round Jennifer brought me also the sparkling " tache " dry rose from Victoria, South Australia. It's always been a favorite of mine and one that I enjoy matching-up with our customers. It's got such a delicate, refined salmon-peach color as the light is always trapped inside and shining out : and then there's always the steady flow of tiny bubbles to hitch a ride on when you've been/felt submerged enough in all this salmon color and dry rose taste and need a fresh breath of air to add dimension and accent to each sip.

     I really liked the whole group this time : there were only mostly favorites. The Chardonnay is not my style ( and filled out-grown into it's body -  comme un belle poitrine - I know I'll get a lot of grief for that last bit in French, comme un homme qui vient d'apprecie ca cote feminine - je peut dire ca aussi  ) but I liked the way it has developed over the last six months in the bottle since my luncheon with wine-maker Bernard Portet.

     I really liked both the Pinot Noir and the Merlot this time around. Again, both have fleshed-out more of their characters, personalities and sides. It's always great to anticipate what one might discover when one revisits a certain wine from the same vintage. It's even more exciting when one is pleasantly surprised with their discoveries! I was.

     The Pinot Noir and the Merlot both seem deeper and more evolved : the Pinot thicker and more splashy and racy and the Merlot more profound and mystic, like a lagoon on a calm clear dark-skied night where the ripple and the reflection of the heavens stir and stimulate one from one's deep core and spreads evenly, in concentric circles outward - resulting in a mellow sigh and the smooth breaking of a smile or a grin over one's satisfied/amused face.

     The Pinot Noir spoke to me more of fire and vitrol and youth and desire and stimulated me to want to jump around a circle of spouting flames and fire or throw myself into the heavens hoping to be swept up by the grace of Nature so that perhaps I could touch a planet or kiss some stars : and all else failing, at least embrace someone special or that I want to make special in my life.

     The Stags Leap estate-bottled Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 was so mellow and silky this go-round that it did not move me quite as much this time. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it's silk, fine round spit-polish like the best wine ; loved it's  wined-bronze-silver-gold reflection and overall presence and mood and demeanor. And yet as it grows in the glass and reveals  more you begin to get an idea that it will slowly break-the-mold of past descriptions and you in a moment of joy and discovery with almost childish glee impetuously  throw it away /fly away with it just as you would the bottle after  thoroughly enjoying it over a meal or special moment ( all yours, precious ) : with family, friends and loved ones and  this delightful Stags' Leap district 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon ...

     I think it was just a touch warm when I tasted it and I would really have enjoyed this Stags' Leap district 2004 with some food, just like I enjoyed it a few months ago with winemaker Bernard Portet and owner John Goulet.

     Thanks Jennifer and Chrissy for such a nice surprise on this Tuesday - Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day! I later went down to have lunch at Lavandou and continue the celebration.  

     Et Bernard, j'ai une question pour toi : quand tu a fait las connaisance de Steven Spurrier ( l'Anglais ) dans les annees 70 comment tu lui a trouve? Gentil, sympathique, bien?
      I will add more as I go along but I want to get this posted now for you all to enjoy the pictures and stories thus far as I have had time to collect them and process them here for you all! 

     It's now Saturday morning here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in our nation's capitol on a gray, cold, breezy day at 12:30 PM on February 28th, 2009. 

     Cheers,  TONY

No comments: