Saturday, March 19, 2011

Drinking LEROY 2007 Red Bourgogne Rouge Saturday, March 19th, 2011 Starting@ 3 PM Through 9:30PM @ Cleveland Park Wines, Wash. D.C. N.W. - Sublime!

I'm pretty exhausted and yet I want to share this with you all tonight at 12:10AM on what just became the wee hours of the morning following from the day of Saturday, March 19th, 2011. I'm exhausted and I was going through raptures and loving the ride of a tremendous expansion of flavors in my mouth at around 8:30PM this evening when I finally sat down at the computer and I got the idea to take these ten or so pictures of this bottle and my glass partly filled with the LEROY 2007 Bourgogne rouge 100% Pinot Noir.

Regis of Roanoke Imports had opened the bottle around 3 PM earlier this afternoon and along with it a bottle, too of the magnificent 1998 LEROY Bourgogne bland 100% Chardonnay. Regis kept saying to our Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits customers : " How many California Chardonnays could be 12 years old like this LEROY 1998 white Burgundy ? " Not many if any is the response to that Regis.

I love this picture above : it may be the very best of the ten or so pictures that I took - at least for me.

The 2007 LEROY red Burgundy was magnificent at 8:30 PM. It had opened beautifully and exhibited such rounded, bright and balanced flavors that simply were near-to-perfect in every sense and application of the word. In wine terms this was a great use to describe perfect because there is nothing in my humble opinion that could have been done to improve upon this wine. It had it all. Even the sediment seen here at the scene of this liquid feast was tasty as can/ could be and I still derived infinite enjoyment out of it as it collected, ground and twisted and groaned-moaned into the fibers of both my mouth, head, gut and throat! Wonderful - always the flavor and the power and the concentration as well as the spectacle and the flair and the feast and the tease and please of the whole picture. It was all visible, awake to the nostrils and an absolute seduction of both palate and tongue and complete 3-D expanse of the mouth.

I loved it , I grinned, I whimpered and wallowed, I sifted through, lingered, lavished and let the moment take full control of my senses and attention and I was simply there along for a wonderfully serendipitous ride as the 2007 LEROY Bourgogne rouge had it's way with me completely and had ample and complete time to define and distinguish and show itself in nothing but the finest and most crystal clear of lights, shades, shadows, lights, textures and tapestries of flavors and tastes. Wow, I was won over, I was conquered, I was mesmerized and charmed. Merci Bize LEROY : tu m'a plu enormement, vraiment. Je ne pouver pas imagine mieux que ca.

I'm sure I have much more to say about the finesse, the color, the fullness and the completeness of these defined and clear and almost spiritual flavors and tastes that wound around me and caressed all of my senses and powers and whims and fancies and fantasies and doors and windows, ports and valleys, channels and roads and artistic expressions and poetic expansions and artsy touches and dashes and splashes of colors and shapes, forms, textures and colors. Merci infinement. Je vais maintenant dormir, je suis tellement content comme un bebe qui a deja bu son lait chaud juste comme it faut-fallait - the perfect drink, the perfect charm - that which is an enormous treat and a complete surprise and thus something that will stay with me for a very, very, very long time. I can finally sleep now/soon like a baby. Thank you, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Herve Gantier Of Domaine Saint Eugenie Vineyard, Corbieres , France In Cleveland Park Wines Et Spirits Fri. Noon , March 18th, 2011

Oops, it was Friday and nor Thursday that Ronnie and Herve Gantier visited us at Cleveland Park Wines Et Spirits. In the text that follows I cannot remember and think it is Thursday but it is really Friday. Make a mental note of that as you read on. Cheers.

It was great to get my old friend Herve Gantier the owner of France's winery called DOMAINE SAINT EUGENIE of Corbieres, France back to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 also on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ) with wine rep Ronnie Miller this past week in March 2011. Was it Wednesday or Thursday? I think Thursday around noon on March 17th, 2011 if I am not mistaken. So many things to remember and keep straight!

Anyway it was a blast. I received first a call from Ronnie Miller saying that he had a special friend of mine that he wanted to bring by the store and was it okay if they got to the store in twenty minutes or so? I said " of course " that it was okay and I smiled inside wondering if it was Herve that was with him?!? I thought it was and so I finished what I was doing and got ready for this visit. It would be fun, it would be filled with smiles and laughter and big exclamations and lots of French going back and forth between the two of us - I knew that for a fact.

Ronnie you asked me if I had received an order from Lauren of your wines and I responded that I was about to get one later today. I usually have your wines Herve but on this occasion I was out of all three and that upset me but I knew that the " La Reserve " was coming for my customer Delores and that I had also bought some for the store. That made me feel better as the wines - all reds except for the one rose ( there are three reds ) all sell quite well at the store.

WE have had Herve's wines since 2002 when Mike Martin worked with me at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits buying the wines and selling them, too. Ronnie Miller brought Herve Gantier by then with his wine-maker, too. I forget his name but that was a glorious visit all in itself way back when in 2002 and I have blogged about that and other wine-tastings and the lovely dinners with Herve and even when he tasted his Corbieres alongside of younger Xavier Monnot of Burgundy that announced flat out to me in French : that I may not have heard of him yet but that I soon would! All these times spent with Herve have been grand and I have blogged about them all here at : Check them out when you have a chance to read about Herve and to see all the fun photos that I have taken.

Here above Herve is pouring his " new " release of his dry Corbieres DOMAINE SAINT EUGENIE dry rose with a unique color all it's own and a lovely dry taste that will be perfect when we get it in early April. I sent Ronnie and Herve off with a nice order of the four wines we tasted with them. All the wines showed beautifully. Greg Siebert that has joined Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( coming from New York where he worked for 17 years in the restaurant business in and around Rochester, New York ) as also on hand to try these excellent wines of Herve's. So was our good friend and customer Stephen Daddario. I'm glad that you were with us Stephen. As you already said when I posted a picture of Herve on our Facebook account that you were there when I took the photo of Herve!

Herve smiled a whole lot when he was in the store with us but I did manage to get some more serious shots like the one above. That's good : always nice to have a balance in the photos. I have downloaded very few here as it was about closing time yesterday ( Saturday at the store on March, 19th, 2011 ) when I did this and Greg's old boss from New York was visiting along with Sara Greg's girlfriend and so we were busy enjoying the very last of the two LEROY sublime ( nearly perfect in every way ) burgundies - the LEROY 1998 Bourgogne Blanc On Special for $57.99 and the LEROY Bourgogne Rouge On Special for $47.99. Wow, what incredible wines those were, too. Too bad that Herve was not around to share them with us as he used to make wines in Burgundy for twenty-thirty years or more. I did not know him then of course.

Anyway I was rushed to get both these pictures downloaded of Herve and some of the 2007 LEROY Bourgogne Rouge, too. I succeeded, just barely as we also enjoyed some of the 2008 CHEHALEM Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir " Three Vineyards " dry red before closing the shop last night at 9:30PM. I have already posted that blog of the LEROY burgundy wines before hitting the pillows and sleeping late last night and so now I want to get this current blog on Herve posted now before I have to go to Staples with my son to buy some printer ink for our HP as well as something for me to grill outside for dinner tonight. The fun never stops " chez les Quinns " and that's a good thing.

By the way the CHEHALEM 2008 Pinot Noir at $29.99 a bottle was quite lovely but you could taste the ocean of difference between it and the LEROY 2007 Bourgogne Rouge On Special for $47.99. WE did sell a case and a few more of the bottles of the CHEHALEM, however and that's what we expected would happen once that we tasted it out. Everyone plays, everyone wins ... remember Sesame Street and the Grouch that referred to himself as " the benevolent grouch"? Well, I am a benevolent and sharing and positive grouch that always says : " Live and let live".

But this blog is really all about Herve and his excellent three red wines : 1) the " Les Clos " red blend of Bordeaux and Rhone grapes for everyday enjoyment ( $9.99, bright and melts in your mouth effortlessly - so smooth ), the regular ; 2 ) traditional Corbieres DOMAINE SAINT EUGENIE ( a 2009 in this case and delicious and forward and smooth with a bit more definition and highs and lows ) ; 3) the " La Reserve " Corbieres 2007 was it, or was it already the 2008? Anyway, it, too was really balanced and focused and more full and robust and simply an overall richer wine with more dimension and scope. The 4 ) dry 2010 rose was also superb and it will be great to get it back to the store. It has a lightness and a freshness and a distinctness that sits beautifully on the tongue and palate and rests and fills the mouth gloriously.

We will have all these four wines of Herve's back at Cleveland Park in April of 2011. The La Reserve will be back on this Tuesday so I will at least have on e of Herve's wines back in the store to close out the month of March. That makes me feel better.

My son is now up and walking our Terrier mixed breed dog and so I have to sum this up for the moment now as we will soon be off on our errands. I will probably add more of the pictures as I have time. I took some great shots of Herve on this last Thursday around noon in the store and it's nice to share them with you all.

Stay-tuned for more and in the meantime enjoy this post as it is now and also enjoy and revel in the glories of this first day of spring. It sure is a treat. My wife and I were out earlier soaking up the sunshine as best as we could. A bit of nippy breeze and some scampering chipmunks on wood piles close by and running along and under our low deck to the ground out back. A glorious moment now and then with Herve.

Merc i Herve et bonne continuation avec ta visite et a la prochaine fois. On/ j'aime bien tes vins de Corbieres. TONY

Here Herve buys a pack of Marlboro cigarettes to smoke later as Ronnie looks on. It's a classic photo and I am happy to include it here as it fleshes out the store and shows more of it's parts. Funny, I dot remember seeing Herve ever smoke a cigarette? That's okay ... bon voyage Herve ...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reading Today's Wash. Post Wine Article : " Vintner Rutger De Vink, About To Make A Splash -New Depth In Virginia " By Dave McIntyre 3/16/11

I get so excited about Virginia and the excellent quality that is coming from the land and many of the dedicated wine-makers/ wine owners and vineyards with the help of people like Lucie Morton and many penologist's around the world that are also now lending their time, their palates and their experiences in helping to give any support needed to better craft and realize the potential that the soil and the grapes and the weather all when combined well together can produce each and every year.
Recently at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits we have hosted the likes of Michael Shaps, Chris Pearmund, Doug Fabbioli, Rebecca Cooper, D.J., owners Jim and Susan of the DEMOCRACY Vineyard, Mark Fedor the owner of NORTH GATE and more ( like we added recently NARMADA Vineyards which is out by GRAY GHOST Vineyards and on the way out to see the Lurray Caverns. We have three wines, two whites now, the ' Mom ' off dry white, a dry ' DREAMS ' Traminette white blend, and the off-dry red Chambercin as well, as of May 2015 , when Jordan the tasting-room maanger  contacted us and did an in-store wine-tasting for our customers. Thanks Jordan, 6/152015 )  to taste a variety of their wines with our customers. The wines and the people have all been really well received and it of course encourages me to do more of these tastings. We always sell the wines and it always opens the eyes of our customers a little bit more to the wonders and treasures and marvels of Virginia and it's land.
Imagine my surprise when I read this article this morning about vintner Rutger de Vink in the Washington Post newspaper this morning ( Wenesday, March 16th, 2011 - " Vintner Rutger de Vink, Abpit To Make A Splash - New Depth In Virginia " and I knew nothing of him at all and yet I have been actively supporting and selling Virginia wines since 1984-85 or so?!? I'm shocked and embarrassed and overall quite unhappy along with being delighted, invigorated, charged and ... rarin' to go! I love it! I love this kind of news! I'm thrilled to read articles like this. They are so welcome and encouraging and I am especially pleased because now I can contact Rutger de Vink and invite him to our store to taste and to talk about his new venture and wines. Thanks Dave for making me aware of Rutger.
I do believe that the world is ready to pay $90 for an excellent quality Virginia wine as well as $55 for another entry level one, too. Why not? If the quality is there then I say go for it! Be daring and out front of the pack. Be adventuresome and willing to fall flat on your face by the rarest of chances. You won't though. You simply have to believe in your decision and stick to it. The wine is worth it and you will be one of the very first to discover and promote it. Take price and satisfaction in that. Know the style and what you are serving and promoting. Include a personal story of yours, include one from Rutger. If the wine is of a certain quality and you have represented it well with the proper appetizers of meal then everything will fall into place and you can help to make it a truly serendipitous and " first " kinds of experiences for both yourself and your guests. They will thank you for it, too.Maybe not immediately but as time goes on and you prove to have been way ahead of the pack in making and sharing this discovery then your guests will realize what a special event this was. Just like the small group of professionals that gathered together with Dave to taste the Chateau Montrose 2006 Bordeaux , the Dominus Napa 2007 California red and Rutger's own RdV 2008. Wish I had been there myself. It would have been a great experience and opportunity having sold and promoted Virginia wines way back since 1984-85. It's been a glorious adventure for me and I am only sorry that I have not done more.
I guess that my eyes were truly opened to the magic and the excellence and the power and the presence of Virginia wines way back when I worked for Wines Limited Imports and represented Corinne's OASIS Vineyard wines of Hume, Virginia. That's when I took the OASIS 1991 Merlot to Swiss smellier Pierre Estoupey at the Jefferson Hotel and tasted him on it. We both agreed that it was a real treasure and he pretty much bought me out of it single-handedly. Wish that I still had a bottle to open and to share now. Is there any of it anywhere left to taste? Pierre and I both nearly almost cried when we realized that there was no more to be had.
Anyway Virginia is on a roll with more variety and more quality to offer on all fronts and I am thrilled to have them at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel: 202-363-4265,, also now on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits - I have written more about this article and already posted it there - as well as now on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ).
We have a good selection of Virginia wines now from : THIBAUT-JANNISON, FABBIOLI, DEMOCRACY, MICHAEL SHAPS, NORTH GATE , COOPER Vineyard, PARADISE SPRINGS Vineyard, VINT HILL Vineyard, LA GRANGE Vineyard, BOXWOOD, BARBOURSVILLE and more. We are out of JEFFERSON, RAPPAHANOCK, LINDEN, INGLESIDE, BLENHEIM, WHITEHALL, STONE MOUNTAIN, Brad McCarthey's " new " wines and more ... oh well, come on by and taste me on your " new " releases guys and let's get the ball rolling once again. Many of the owners-wine-makers have been in the store themselves tasting and talking with our customers - as well as signing their bottles for gifts,

Thanks guys and gals - you are all wonderful and great and we are thrilled to actively promote and recommend your wines to our customers. I often like selling your wines more than the California wines that we sell as I believe in your efforts and want to support them and like selling, working and drinking local. I also believe that you get what you pay for when you but a Virginia wine. This pleases me enormously : there are no illusions just lots of gustatory satisfaction, especially when combined with a meal. Cheers and bravo to you all - keep it up.
Cheers and stay-tuned for more on Virginia. Also, Rutger expect a call from me soon inviting you to the store anytime at your convenience. You are welcome anytime.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Enjoying A Barrel-Sample Of 2010 Der Rose BENDER Qualitatswein Pfalz Sunday Night, Mar. 13th, 2011 W ith My Wife In N. Virginia On A Beautiful Day ...

What a treat this is to be here now sipping some of the BENDER German Pfalz dry 2010 barrel-sample of their rose. It's excellent : both Greg Seibert and I thought so on Thursday evening was it ( or was it Friday evening ? ) when our Cobblestone rep Chris Bartha brought it by with five or so other dry roses? Anyway, we really liked it then and I picked up the phone and ordered some of it with three others, too I believe. We will get them all in April 2011 I think and it will be a perfect time for them as they are all quite different and yet all balanced and flavorful and a nice treat with and without food in some cases.

We sell lots of roses at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel: 202-363-4265 , also on Face Book at : Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits , also on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ) and have for the eleven years that I have managed the wine department there in Cleveland Park N.W. a great neighborhood of Washington D.C. with people from all around the world. I love it, I love always selling to people from the different corners of the world.

This BENDER dry rose from Germany's Falz region ( AP Nr. 3 529 468 017, enthait Sulfite, Abfuller : A. Bender Maximinstrabe2, d-54340 Leiwen, in D- 76835 Hainfeld, ) is charming, very full and thick and bright and round and soft and about as pleasing as any taste can be. It's so much pleasure and flavor wrapped around my palate and covering all of my tongue that I really love it. I loved it from the very first taste earlier this evening when my wife and I were sitting up on our couch in our living room before serving our dinner. It was ready and there we were for a few minutes having a few sips before sitting down at our dining room table. It was a very nice moment and we both really enjoyed this sample before our meal.

My wife did not know it but this bottle has already been open a couple of days and it's still a pure delight. It has changed since Greg Seibert and I tried it a couple of evening's ago. It was more restrained and more compact then. It was not as open or round or generous. It was still delicious but it was simply not as forward and broad in all it's flavors yet. It was hard to know then that it would be this tasty two days old. Who would have thought? Who would have known? And yet this is good - it is really good. It means that it may be enjoyed over the course of at least three days.

Even now as I type this quickly and sip occasionally it is still delicious and pleasing and all the registers on my palate as still touched and tasty and pleasing. I still am really enjoying this experience and it is two hours or more after our dinner and it has perhaps diminished some but not to any level that it is not still really pleasing. Bravo BENDER - you have a real treasure here for this spring and this summer's enjoyment.

It will sell fro I believe under $20 a bottle but I cannot remember the exact price now and the prices are in our office at work. I will include that bit later. In the meantime I will post this as it has really added to the enjoyment on our dinner and my enjoyment of some music on my i-pod Apple that my son downloaded for me years ago and has added to ever since. Thanks son, I appreciate that. I will finish the last bit now still in my glass and I look forward to our order coming to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits in April.

It's been a beautiful Sunday here in northern Virginia today and I have spent a lot of it outside working on our backyard. It's been a haul with so many leaves and cut ornamental grass. The BENDER was a nice treat after all of this. Thanks Chris and thanks BENDER. Cheers, TONY

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Owner/Wine-Maker Jean-Marc Espinasse of " Dentelles " Et " Mistral " / Wine-Maker Oded Of Longboard Winery - 2 Dinners Tues. March 8th, 2011 7:30PM @

Contact both sommelier and manager Timothy at Ardeo for more information on the dinner ( go to : for the menu and the information ), and contact owners dean and Kay Gold of Dino at : 202-686-2966, 3435 Connecticut Avenue N.W. - at the corner of Conn. Avenue and Ordway Streets N.W. - for more information ). Both restaurants are right on our block here in Cleveland Park N.W. Washington D.C.

Read on ...

Dino & Ardeo - Call Dean and Kay Gold @ Dino and Timothy @ Ardeo For Reservations ..

That's how the headline should finish!

This will be an exciting time in our Cleveland Park neighborhood with two dinners this coming Tuesday night at 7-7:30PM at both Dino and at Ardeo ; as well as a wine-tasting beforehand at our store Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265 also on Facebook at : cleveland park wine & spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ).

The dinner and the wine-tasting at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits will be with owner/wine-maker Jean Marc Espinasse of the ROUGE BLEU southern French wines of " Dentelles " and " Mistral " including one dry " Dentelles " rose, too. This will be our second dinner and wine-tasting with Jean-Marc. We did one last year and it was a big-grand success for both.

Jean-Marc's American wife writes the ever-successful blog called : " AFrenchWordADay " and many people follow it and will come to our dinner and wine-tasting. I have already blogged about this here at and you can use the search engine above to view it as well as the ones I have done at Ardeo, too with wine-maker Matias of Cousino-Macul. I am using those pictures here to fill-in this blog entry.

The previous blog I left hanging with a big mystery and question mark? The answer to both is Jean-Marc's American wife who got with her blog a whole new set of customers for both Dino and for our store Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits! Thanks! We both appreciate it. They all simply showed up and it was great to have a lot of our work already done for the both of us. It's rare but so appreciated when it actually happens.

Oded, the wine-maker of Longboard Vineyards in California has also come to our store twice and tasted with our customers. His sales manager Tom also came and tasted and it has been fun to sell his wines now for the last two-three years. It will be fun to see Oded again. You can use the search engine above to find the blog I did on him here on chatwine to see his pictures, etcetera.

I have asked Jody Jackman to set it up for Oded to come to the store as well before his dinner to taste his wines with our customers along with Jean-Marc Espinasse and Charles our rep from William's Corner Selections that sells them to us. It may be mad - it will be intense - it will be glorious!

Call us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits - 202-363-4265 for last-minute details. Come by the store from 5-7PM to enjoy these ROUGE BLEU French wines as well as the LONGBOARD California wines , too ( Oded makes really good Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot as well as others ) .... Jean-Marc makes his two Rhone-style-Provence-Style - a mixture really of both in the " Dentelles " dry red and rose and the " Mistral " dry red ... wow, what an evening this will be.

Cheers and join us ... TONY

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Enjoying FUZELO Vinho Verde From Portugal On Our Home Deck In Northern Virginia : Many Requests 4/2/2011: Thinking Of Jed Steele's CA. Wines, Too!

It's too cold for Vinho Verdes and yest this past week ( the last few days of March 2011 and the first days of May, 2011 ) at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits we have had many requests for some Vinho Verdes from Portugal. How come?!? It's still really cold outside and until today, May 3rd, 2011 it has been dreary, gray, wet and damp and cold and rainy with some sleet and even some snow and simply not the weather that I think of at all for a dry, slightly sparkling Vinho Verde of only 9% alcohol.

I showed everyone the " other " dry Portuguese wines that are around 12% alcohol and told them that these wines were much better suited for this colder and damp and gray weather. I also told them that we would be getting our Vinho Verde shipments to the store starting this coming week. We will, can't be out when you hear the men telling you that their wives really like it, that Vinho Verdes are their favorite wines! Have to listen to that, really we do.

I like Vinho Verdes as do my wife and my daughter and I can in my mind already see us enjoying some as things warm up as they are supposed to tomorrow, Monday May 4th, 2011 here in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. It's my day-off and I will have to serve something like a Vinho Verde to get us all " in the Mood " and ready for the " warmer - friendlier " side of spring. It's been just a tad - wee bit miserable for these first fifteen official days of spring so far with practically everyone noticing and what's more complaining about this dreary reality! What can anyone do : grin and bear and wear it unfortunately.

These pictures I think I took last August when I was still off from work on the two week's that I took at one time. It sure was heaven for me : look at my sheepish grin?!

It's always nice to cheer each other and the weather and the good fortunes that we have with our health and our family all being together like this.

I was the one in the photos here for a change. That doesn't happen very often and I guess I was taken by surprise. A new role for me : being on the other side of the camera for a change.

I have worn these Jed Steele t-shirts now for years proudly. Jed sends them to me pretty much each year with a magnum of one of his latest releases and I love it. What a personal touch it all is and it's fun to see what he is always making. It's always something " new " with him and it's often a real treat to taste what unique and fun grapes he has chosen to work with. Good work Jed : I love your spirit of experimentation. You go where many don't and I really do appreciate you and your wines for that. It always gives us a " new " taste and sensation and always something out of the ordinary to draw attention to as we tell the story of the origins of the grape and as we taste them under your particular bend and style that you lend to them. Keep it up : it will always keep you fresh and on the cutting edge.

It's about time that my family and I drink some more Jed Steele California wines as well as some of the FUZELO Portuguese low alcohol, slightly sparkling dry FUZELO Vinho Verde, too! Cheers, TONY