Sunday, May 31, 2009

Morgan Hartman With PICARDY Winery's ( Pemberton, Western Australia, 2005 ) Owners Dan & Jodie Pannell :Their Visit To Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits

I'm glad that in this picture above I got such a nice picture of both Dan and Jodie. It was great to have them here at Cleveland Park and to taste their current releases with them. It's always helpful to have a chance to taste with the owners and winemakers and to have them right there if you have any specific questions to ask them. I know I was really impressed with their Chardonnay on this visit : of all the wines it was the most evolved to my palate and the most ready to drink. Dan makes with his father wines that age slowly and gracefully and that really do benefit from waiting and not rushing to drink them immediately. I like that : I like it a lot. Be patient and you will be so well rewarded for your patience that you will not believe your taste buds' content when you finally try these classic, traditional-style wines that are made to complement the foods that they are served with and not replace them ( the foods ) entirely.

Here's a bottle before Dan ( in the picture below ) that he has already signed. Is this one for Matt and Janice? I can't read the writing on the bottle unfortunately : can you?

Here I take a picture of Dan and Jodie Pannell and Morgan Hartman and Theresa Morrison. On the round tasting table at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits I have put out some of the PICARDY wines that we had for sale at the time. Looks like a bottle of the PICARDY Chardonnay was open along with a bottle each of the PICARDY Pinot Noir and the PICARDY Shiraz.

Dan gets ready to either open a bottle here or sign one : which is it?!

Here Dan is signing a bottle of either their PICARDY Pinot Noir or their Shiraz to both Matt and Janice while Morgan laughs at something or some comment that one of us made. We have so much fun when the owners and winemakers join us like this. I always try and pull my customers into these spontaneous meetings like these. In this case Matt and Janice just happened to be at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ) at the right moment in time. They are such lovely people and really do love wine. They were probably going to share this with their son or with their relatives out in California is my bet.

This is a picture that was taken also by Theresa Morrison I believe of Dan And Jodie with our good customers Matt and Janice. I'm sure we had just finished tasting whatever wines that Dan and Jodie brought ot sample of their PICARDY wines.

It's great to be in this group picture with Dan, Jodie, Morgan and myself. Theresa Morrison featured in one of the other group pictures before probably took this picture of the four of us. Thanks Theresa. I guess you came to show me some of your excellent South African portfolio that you sell through Boutique Vineyards ( your own company )?

Enjoy these photos that I took when Morgan Hartman brought Dan and Jodie Pannell to visit us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits back in late 2005 or early 2006: I have to check the dates. In the meantime I'm going to download the pictures and go from there. It's been wonderful selling thier wine over the years : I loved my visit with Chris Pigott of Country Vintners last February 2008. We had a blast times ten if not more. It was enough to write an entire book filled with stories. Our visit to PICARDY where we saw Dan and Jodie and got to met their two children ( a young boy and an even younger girl ) was very special.

I will write more as I add these pictures. TONY

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Weekend Photos , Saturday, May 23, 2009 We had Franceen Khang Tasting JEAN-LUC COLOMBO French Wines @ Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits

Here are the pictures that I took starting at Cathedral Avenue when I drove to work from my home in Annandale , Virginia. They also include Franceen Khang's tasting with Palm Bay Imports and the excellent line of French JEAN-LUC COLOMBO southern French wines ( two Cotes du Rhone wines - one 2006 dry red and one dry white 2008 Clairette and white Grenache blend : one amaxing silky-smooth,dry rose and one complex, flavorful Viognier ) . We had a grand tasting with Franceen.

I will write more of course but in the meantime enjoy these photos. Cheers. It's Saturday, May 30th, 2009 now at 8:20 PM at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ) as I post this. It's a beautiful, humidity-free, blue-skied, cheerful, bright, sunny, breezy day : much like some of memorial Weekend. I love Susan's fabulous bouquet of yellow sunflowers here that she bought from our local street vendor at the corner pictured here as well. TONY

Here are some great photos for you all to enjoy, cheers, TONY

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Very Beginning Of The Michael Downey Annual Trade Show, April 2009

Brennan Downey has worked really hard with his mother and sister ( Peggy and Shannon ) to maintain and add to this already stellar collection of wine that they all put together when Michael Downey was still alive. Here he is with me with a big smile.

This is a three-part blog on the Michael Downey 2009 portfolio tasting with winemakers and owners. By accident I posted the MIDDLE section on my chatart blogspot. To get to it scroll down this blog until you see on the right side of this page where it says : View Complete Profile, click that and scroll down until you see all my other blog sites including Chatart. Sorry for the confusion. It's worth a trip though. You will like the pictures. TONY

In the meantime enjoy these pictures on this opening blog. It sure was relaxed and energized and I believe people were discovering new wines as well as reuniting with old favorites.


The added bonus with this Michael Downey tasting is that so many of the owners and winemakers were here in attendance as well as their family.

It's always great to put a face with a bottle of wine : the face that either made the wine or paid for it to be made : that's pretty amazing, really.

It was great to reconnect with my old friends Aleessandro Furlan and Max diLenardo, both featured in these photos.

I got also great to meet the son of Andrea Oberto ( Dolcetto D'Alba 2007, La Morra, Piemonte, $19.99. We have some now in the store. Alessandro Furlan represents these OBERTO wines in the U.S. through the Michael Downey Selectios' team and so he came in the day after this tasting and tasted it with our customers at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ).The Dolcetto is a very flavorful, medium-bodied dry red that is typical of the best classic Dolcettos made in Piemonte. It's always best with a meal : it was designed to enjoy with food.

It's always great to see Alessandro again! He came to learn both English and to learn the business years ago back in the 1980's and worked at the Mayflower Wines & Spirits with Michael Downey and me. We had a blast together : and the bond has strengthened and grown since. Cheers Alessandro. It was fun to have you here in the store at 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. ( Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits 202-363-4265 tasting your selection of wines including the excellent DEGANI 2007 ( $14.49 ) Valpolicella. It sure did taste good the day after this portfolio tasting with our D.C. customers.

It's also a treat to see you Max. You make such refreshing, balanced, value-oriented wines in Friuli like your TOH Tocai, $13.49 , 2008 from the Grave region. Cheers to you , too!

Here Max is pouring the bottle of dry white blend from Friuli called " Father's Eyes " that has some butter and oak and gravitas. He's a big Eric Clapton fan and named this bottle after Eric Clapton's song I believe of the same name. Max is a real family man.

I took so many wonderful pictures at this Michael Downey trade show with owners and winemakers that I have decided to divide it up into three blogs with a Beginning, a Middle and and End. This way I can devote lots of attention to all the people and the events of this beautiful Monday in late April with all these wonderful wines, winemakers and owners, reps, salespeople, etcetera. So many fine people gathered to make this the great event that it was. I tried around the tasting of the wines to show some of the excitement and thrill of the event.

We carry many of the these excellent wines like the " Sulin " 2007 ( 500ml bottle ), $15.49 CARORZO from Piemonte, Italy : a lovely fruity red wine to enjoy anytime or with chocolates and dark berry fruits and anything that both are a part of. We also have the LA SLINA Dolcetto Di Ovada 2007, $16.49 , again from Piemonte, Italy. Owner Giorgio says frequently that it is the greatest red wine made in the entire world! It's good... and we are happy to sell it here.

Visit all three blogs to get more of a feel for this event. Cheers, TONY