Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Duccio Corsini Visits Store W/ Patrick O'Byrne To Taste " Current Releases of PRINCIPE CORSINI Chianti's, Marema & Super Tuscan Reds: Imoressive ,ALL!

The Headline here should finish : Impressive ALL! Sorry for the typo. I will correct it later! Cheers ....

Yesterday Arielle Monaco brought us Patrick O'Byrne ( HENRIOT southeast regional sales director pobyrne@henriotinc.com ) and owner Duccio Corsini of Tuscany's PRINCIPE CORSINI ( Via San Piero di Sotto, 50026, San Casciano in Val di Pesa ( FI ) info@principecorsini.com www.principecorsini.com ) to the store for the first time to taste the current vintages available now. I had never met either Duccio or Patrick before.

Introductions were made and I got my Reidel tasting-glass, camera, paper and pen, poster to have signed, etcetera. I knew that we did not have a lot of time as Anna with SAINT ANDRE DE FIGUIERE would be joining us soon. I wanted Anna and Arielle to meet as we had a dinner scheduled at Lavandou on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009.

I learned from Arielle that these wines were originally available through Touton Selections and we had done no business at all until recently with them with Steven Schattman. So these Tuscan wines and chianti's were all new to me. I liked Duccio immediately. I explained in French to him once he told me that he spoke French our history with Touton.

I was taking pictures and trying these five excellent Tuscan reds. Duccio poured me first the 2005 " Le Corti " Chianti Classico DOCG $21.99 ) and it showed well from the get-go. I could have used some food, of course. It was showing classic flavors from the Sangiovese grape with accents from the Canaiolo and Colorino grapes ( 5%). It was balanced with medium body and the acids and spices of the wines were making me think of lunch.

We proceeded to the 2005 " Cortevecchia " Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG. I liked it's thicker, more dense flavoring that buttressed my tongue nicely until I swallowed and some of the more intense tannins came through. At first I liked it better and said I could drink it more easily until the weight and pressure from the tannins caught-up with me. I had to wait and consider more. I liked both of these first two wines. The Riserva 2005 " Cortevecchia " would sell fro around $45.

I remember noticing and commenting immediately on two things : first there was a laptop to show us pictures of the vineyards and second the first three wines were all from the excellent 2005 vintage. I was in for a treat I told myself both visually and taste-wise. Nice, that's already two out of my five senses entertained magnificently. And let's not forget my smell of these intoxicating, intriguing wines with such different bouquets from dusty-dry fields and baked sunshine caught in grapes and game and barns and sweet oak. And touching my Reidel tasting-glass with all this wonderful red Tuscan wine was a treat , too as I turned the glass that I held in different directions to take my pictures of Duccio. All very stimulating, really. And then there was the sound of Duccio, Arielle and Patrick divulging one detail after the other of these wines and their histories. All my five senses were being stimulated and I think that everyone was getting caught up in our moment together. It was special and becoming more so as the minutes went by.

I was showing everyone the pictures as I took them and tasted the wines. Anna showed up and I asked if it would be alright if she sampled the wines. They all said " of course " and so this, to added another element to our tasting which was quite serendipitous.

I had called Arielle to talk to her about our dinner with Lavandou and to tell her about our " Big-Theme " South African tasting for Wednesday, April 29th, 2009. She then told me about being with Duccio and wanting to stop by if it was alright? I , too said " of course ". I always want to meet any wine-maker/owner willing to come to our store. So from this chance-conversation a chance-tasting ensued and what a tasting!

Duccio then poured for me the third 2005 : the " Don Tommaso " Chianti Classico DOCG ( around $40 ) which includes 15% Merlot in the blend with the Sangiovese. I liked this one very much as well. So fare they were all well-made, balanced wines that were traditional, made to complement food. I said this to Duccio and he immediately responded " " always with Sangiovese ".

Duccio went on to always mention the climate and the soil and the specific region from which his wines come and are made. He also makes wines in Maremma which is there very close to the coast of Tuscany. That soil and climate is completely different and makes wines that taste completely different.

At one time Duccio referred to the Italian cowboy and I would love to remember exactly how he used this expression? Tell me Duccio when you read this and respond, please. The idea of the " wild west " came up and I immediately thought about Chianti as the United States with both an east and a west. I mentioned the idea of California being like the coast of Italy and Maremma. It was all really quick, all really stream-of-consciousness, all things linking from one idea to another : fun, fun, smiles and more fun, wine, pictures, many conversations at once and more fun and excitement!

At one point I asked Duccio to come see the photos I had just down-loaded to our Apple computer of him. Everyone came and gathered in the office to see them. Everyone commented.

Shortly after this I tasted the 2006 " Birillo Rosso ", Maremma IGT, $19.99 and it went down so smoothly! What was not to like? It was graceful, bright, smooth, full and rich and round on the palate. I really liked it and could see us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 www.clevelandparkwine.com sales@clevelandparkwine.com ) selling a lot of it and easily. Once people try it they will love it and buy it as often as they feel that they can afford it. It's not that expensive and it is worth every dime, nickle and penny that it costs. I highly recommend this 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. I was surprised by how much I liked it and also by it's very reasonable price for delivering so much flavor and taste and balance. I told all this to Duccio.

I also told him that I knew that he knew that his wines were good. I kept saying that I thought it was a shame to use other grapes than Sangiovese in Tuscany. He kept responding that it was all about matching the right grapes with the right climate and land and conditions. I could not argue with any of this. He's absolutely right. I agree 100% with him.

Then Duccio poured me the fifth wine : a 2003 " Tenuta Marsiliana " Maremma IGT ( $55 ) and my eyes lit up and a big smile covered my features as I became instantly animated and wanting to share my joy with this wonderful discovery. I loved it's bouquet and immediately said that this was my kind of wine. I meant it too because the bouquet was beefy, gamy, with bacon and barn yard and spices and earth and all those things that captivate and intrigue, inform and confuse my sense of smell even more than my sense of taste. But I'm hooked, really I am. I loved it and said so I will buy some of these wines for April for the store.

Arielle will come and do a tasting for our customers and we will start with both the " Le Corti " and the " Birillo Rosso " - both from 2005 : what more can anyone ask for?!?

It was an animated, fun tasting and I am glad that you came Duccio. You, too Patrick. Thanks to you too Arielle.

Patrick you wrote in our guest book : " Burgundy Makes Us Think Of Naughty Things / Bordeaux Makes Us Discuss Them ? Champagne Makes Us Do Them ! " 10/3/09. I might add, too Patrick : " Tuscany Gives Us the Perfect Setting / In Which To Do Them Grandly ! ".

Duccio you wrote : " Fun tasting today, great... even French !! All jolly and happy !! Thanks for the future ". You signed it Duccio Corsini and drew images of both a happy sun and it's rays shining down on a wine glass filled with your Chianti I would suspect? Bravo!

Cheers, TONY

Here are the photos that I took of today's visit, Tuesday, Marvh 10th, 2009 with Arielle Monaco and Steve O'Bryne and owner Duccio Corsini of course of PRINCIPE CORSINI. Cheers, TONY

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