Friday, August 28, 2009


This was quite the tasting and I think it even included another port or two. I will have to check my notes.I loved this experience to try so many fine Portuguese wines and ports side-by-side like this to get a sense of the range and depth of styles and that Portugal is producing from the traditional to the modern and sometimes blend of both.

You can see the line-up above and if you enlarge the picture on the screen you can see vintages and more detail on these wines.

WE tasted the 1) VALE DO BOMFIN 2006 Douro Valley , 2) PRAZO DE RORIZ 2007 ( this had a hand-written label on it and may also have been a cask or barrel sample ) , 3) POST SCRIPTUM 2003 , 4) CHRYSEIA 2004 , 5) POMBAL DO VESUVIO 2007 , 6) QUINTA DO VESUVIO 2007 , and the 7) DOW'S 2007 Vintage Port Cask Sample. I think I tasted one or two more and so will check my notes for that later.

I really liked what I tasted this day in August which I recollect was Thursday, August 20th, 2009 I believe. There wasn't one that I would not enjoy drinking with a meal. They represent the best quality tier of Portugal and also some of the most expensive wines as well.

I want to have some of them at Cleveland Park ( at our store Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 ) in our nation's capitol so I am going to work on doing a Portuguese " Big Theme " tasting on a Wednesday evening in the store from 5:30-8:30 PM. Perhaps this will be the October tasting and I have to work out the details still. This was we can taste these wonderful wines and sell some of them, too.

In many of the cases here I felt from tasting these that they were taking the best of traditional old-world and modern-world and combining the two. There was such a brightness and clarity and purity to these wines and both their flavors and varied tastes. They were balanced and in many cases quite pleasing and captivating. They always preserved the fruit in the wines and though it may have lain buried in some of them I could taste it and know that it would surface with time and flesh the wines out.

What makes them traditional and classic is that even though they may be approached at a young age you sense that they will age well and reveal even more treasure and pleasure with time. It's worth being patient with most of these wines. No need to rush. Play their game and let them strut their stuff to the beat of their own drum and not yours that may be impatient and rushed. Easy as it goes ... remember the tortoise here ...

I need to include more information here and so I have to find my notes. I will do it sometime this week but now it is Sunday, August 31st, 2009 at 12:26 PM and I am at home on my day-off. It's a nice day and I'm headed outside to enjoy a bit of time on my deck reading the Washington Post newspaper ( a ritual which I dearly love and will be crest-fallen when they disappear and everything will have to be looked at on-line. This is a big mistake in my humble opinion. Don't do it! Leave us the daily newspapers to read and enjoy!!

I'm an artist and approach things with an artist's eye for both capturing the moment and trying to appreciate it for what it is and what my involvement in it may be? That's always a bit up for grabs. As you will see from these pictures I like to take pictures through the glass as well as reveal those involved and the color and clarity and densities of the wines that are now in the glass and next to either their bottle or those drinking them. This is the experience as I see it fleetingly pass before my eyes and into my ears and onto my tongue and palate.

It happens all so fast that these pictures help to bring it back for me as well as share it with you. I hope you enjoy this wondrous ride through these pictures. I am only sorry that I cannot make it possible for you to taste them, too. That's why we will have to do our monthly " Big Theme " tasting to give you that opportunity.

In the meantime enjoy these photos until I can finish this soon.

In my eagerness to download these pictures quickly I made a mistake in loading some of the pictures I took earlier with Sam of LVDH imports. He was tasting me here in these three pictures the " new " Spanish brut cava called SABARTES that I enjoyed very much as well as one of our all-time favorite dry Viogniers from France called MONTMARIN from the southwest of France. We tasted the new 2008 vintage and will have it along with this new SABARTES brut cava. Stay-tuned for more on the LVDH wines ...

August 2010 Tasting Woman Likes Red By CHATEAU FELICE at Cleveland Park Wines : Portrait Of The Mother-Owner Artist-Photographer? I Want To Meet Her!

It was fun to try the " new " vintages with Chip our Atlantic local rep and owner of his own distribution company who's son Henry made wine at CHATEAU FELICE before he died suddenly and so young! What a crying shame that was and still is!

We need to buy some of this Woman Likes Red CHATEAU FELICE Chip! You and Samantha did not have it with you the last time that you visited me in late September or early October 2010? I have blogged about that visit recently and we have all the wines that you did taste me on recently except the Zinfandel. Where was the Woman Likes Red wine? I forgot to ask you then? Do you have it or are you waiting for more to arrive from California? It's probably already back in stock in your warehouse now?

These gentlemen visited me on the same day and I have already blogged about them so refer to those blogs. Like their smiles...

Being an artist I like taking these artsy photos and that's why I want to meet the mother and owner and photographer. When will she post a comment on one of my blogs and include a photo of something she has taken? I am waiting. Talk to your mom Samantha for me.

It's Tuesday evening now here at home in northern Virginia at 11:38 PM on October 19th, 2010 and I am embarrassed to say that I am just posting this now.

I'll be at work tomorrow at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 on Facebook at : clevelandparkwines&spirits : leave a comment at the end of this blog if you want ) where I have managed the wine department now for more than ten years.

In the picture above you can see the other CHATEAU FELICE wines that I sampled from the Chalk Hill region of California. You all make some really consistent and impressive wines. Keep up the good work. Cheers et bonsoir, bon nuit, hasta manana, a bientot et gracias, merci para todos mios amigos friends and extended family ... TONY

Thursday, August 27, 2009

KRONE BOREALIS Cuvee Brut , South Africa & NOVECENTO, Argentina , Sparkling Wine I Tasted For First Time With Theresa Morrison Thurs. 8/20/09

I really enjoyed these two bubblies with Theresa last Thursday, Aug. 20th, 2009 here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits. We have already been selling the KRONE BOEALIS ( now On Sale for $16.49, down from $23.99 ). It's a mature, flavorful, food-oriented dry brut made form 50% Cahardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir in Tulbach, South Africa. It's produced and bottled by Twee Jonge Gezellen made in the Methode Cap Classique style. " It's biologically stable, a true celebration of the vintner's art." For more info go to : or wine@34south. Cheers ... and enjoy these artsy pics I took being an artist myself ...

I hope that you enjoy these photos as I believe they tell a pretty convincing story all by themselves.

I took pictures of Sam as he tasted along with me. He was waiting to see me about the wines he sells me from LVDH imports and I know that he loves wines so I included him in the tasting. I do that often : I think it's both the polite and the professional gesture to make and offer to extend. I think it's appreciated, too.

I will write more here as I get a chance.

Above is the demi-sec ( off-dry, creamy smooth ) NOVECENTO from Mendoza, Argentina ( will be $13.49 a bottle when we get it shortly ) sparkling neck of the bottle and below are the three bottles that Theresa Morrison brought for me to try. I liked all three.

I love this picture above and have written more about it in the entry that follows below. I want to add that the green glass of the KRONE BOREALIS and the light filtering through it as compared to the clear Reidel champagne/sparkling wine glass provides a great contrast that is very visually stimulating to this artist's eyes ...

This may perhaps be the most artsy photo that I took here and of course luck is a part of the equation as timing and positioning are everything. I love the two hands ( mine and Theresa;s ) that frame the clear Reidel champagne glass being filled and the sparkling wine bottle and it's bubbles going from the bottle glass to the champagne/sparkling wine glass. I love the bridge that is formed here : a beautiful as yet unspoken liquid bond being created that will find it expression/audience and voice through my palate and my words that follow ... nice ...

Here are the pictures of the NOVECENTO sparkling demi sec that I tried this past Thirsday, August 20th, 2009 with importer and owner of her own company, Boutique Vineyards, Theresa Morrison.

I really liked this " new " bubbly to us here in Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and will add it to our selection shortly. Enjoy these pictures in the meantime.

Stay-tuned, cheers, TONY