Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Anthony Quinn Revisits : Joh. Jos. Prum, Ty Ku, Peak Organic Beer, Fabbioli Cellars, Leesburgh, VA., Domaine Saint Andre De Figuiere, Couly-Dutheil, Chinon, Quinta Do Cotto, Ch. Grande Cassagne, Costieres de Nimes, Katarina Prum : Wow, So Many Fine Wines, From May 15th, 20009 To Now!

I'M FEELING A BIT LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS right now as I get ready to start my week here in Cleveland Park at Cleveland Park Beers, Wines & Spirits. It's a demanding, really rewarding place to work and to help serve some of the needs of our community. I love this part of the job : being here for as many of you as we possibly can : how could Santos, Mike, Ravi, Antonio, Sofredo, Ved or I feel any more connected with the flow and the energy that our neighborhood generates? I don't think that it is possible.

     WE HAVE AGAIN MORE THINGS LINED UP FOR YOU THIS WEEK than we can possibly mention here though I do try my best to mention as many as possible. I've got a full shelf behind me jammed with bottles that deserve mention and I will try and mention as many of them from the magnum bottle of BEAUMONT 2006 Shiraz ( ON SALE for $39.99 , reg : $52.99 ) to the JOH. JOS. PRUM 2007 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett German Mosel Riesling, $46.99 ) signed by owner Katharina Prum : " Prost! ".

     THE UPGRADES TO THE STORE are progressing smoothly as we find better ways to clear the space and create a better flow of traffic through our rectangular-long-shaped store. The response has overall been really positive and supportive and that's a great feeling for us as it takes effort, planning and lots of trial-and-error to get things right. Please weigh-in with your opinions : it's an on-going project and so far so good. I think that overall everyone really likes our new wood racks for our wines. It's easier to see so many lined up side-by-side like this to make choosing both easier and more fun. Do you all agree with that?

     LAST WEEK'S EVENTS really generated a whole lot of stir and buzz here as we had wine owners and winemakers here starting on last Monday with the winemaker from GLEN CARLOU, Paarl, South Africa to Katharina Prum ( the owner with her father of Joh. Jos. PRUM, Mosel, Germany : home of great Rieslings ) to Doug Fabbioli ( owner and winemaker of FABBIOLI CELLARS, Leesburg, Loudun County, Virginia. It's great when you can come and meet and taste with them. You can get all your questions answered, signed bottles as gifts and cards in case you plan to visit that part of the world that they are from. It's a " WIN-WIN " situation any way you look at it : and so personal, too.
     We even had Anna Tyack our French rep for SAINT ANDRE DE FIGUIERE and COULY-DUTHEIL here tasting and explaining her wines as well. Anna is from the Champagne region of France ( Reims with the glorious stained-glass windows in the cathedral there ). Go to : chatwine.blogspot.com for pictures and more of the stories of these events here at Cleveland Park.


       1) " Landau " Semi-Sweet 2006 Coastal Region, South African BLAAUWKLIPPEN white, $11.99 is more complex and flavorful than one would believe. It's really not sweet : more intensely fruity with large dollops of mineral and citrus. It's a fascinating wine really that will slowly drag you around to it's way of tasting, pleasing and tongue-magic.

       2) 100% Cabernet Franc from the French Loire town of Chinon , the COULY-DUTHEIL " Les Gravieres " d'Amador Abbe de Turpenay, $19.49 is drinking beautifully now. It's got just the right amount of spice, pepper, edge, verve, zip and splash with a touch of a chill to impress and relieve almost any palate as we head into these warmer days soon in Washington D.C. It showed fabulously this past Saturday when Anna tasted it. I wanted to just keep drinking it and yet I had to work and could only check on it's progress through the evening.

       3) Dry red Portuguese red from the Douro ; a 1994 made by the QUINTA DO COTTO ( Vinho Tinto GRande Escolha , ON SALE for $39.99   : it's also available in the 1995 vintage which is even leaner, more earthy, more visceral and toned like a fine athlete that just can't stop themselves : it needs food to flesh it out more than the heartier,beefier 1995 ) is a masterpiece of classic, European winemaking. It's a food wine first of all ; medium-bodied, real grip, grit, earth, berth, grind, smile and groan : all the emotions will pass over the features of your face ) as the wine slowly works it's way down and you begin to register one after the other of it's myriad of pleasures and charms. Food will assist you in this amazing journey : it's for a nice occasion when you can really take some time to focus on both the meal as well as this exceptional wine from an exceptional vintage in Portugal. It's still developing nicely in the bottle and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

       4) Dry Brut Champagne ( Premier Cru ) from AUBRY ( $49.99 ), made in the Jouy-Les-Reims area of northern Champagne , this AUBRY has got so much character, rich flavor and brightness that it will take you palate at least four or more sips to really begin to understand some of the complexity and range of nuances of flavors. You've got to make time for it and really give it the time it deserves : if you do you will be more than amply rewarded. You can trust us on this.

       5) " Beau Sea " Viognier 2006 ( ON SALE for $10.99, reg: $18.99 ) from LONGVIEW in Australia's Adelaide Hills is showing quite firm, intense flavors that are best-served with a meal. The wine has developed nicely and has concentrated it's taste and has become a more serious wine at this stage of it's development. For the price and flavors it is A TRUE STEAL! Get some while you can : it won't be here for very long at this price.

       7) Shiraz 2003 from South Africa's  " Walker Bay " and made by BEAUMONT ( ON SALE for $39.99, reg: $52.99 ) is ANOTHER STEAL at this price for the wine that you get for the ridiculous price you pay in such a spectacular magnum ( double 750ml ) bottle. There are just a few left after our Big Theme South Africa tasting here last April 29th, 2009 ( Wednesday, 5:30-8:30 PM ). We tasted from the 750ml size bottle and all the earth, tar, leather extract of hard effort, labor and toil to produce this great Syrah ( called Shiraz here ) that it took. It's like a really fine Cornas or Saint Joseph from the northern Rhone valley and wears and displays openly all it's courage, strength, weaknesses, travails: it's all there to weigh-in nicely against the flavors in a well-seasoned dish with at least three others gathered around the table if not more. I could see this with lots of things I will be grilling this summer. Cheers!

     8) 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa's Stellenbosch region, made by KEN FORRESTER, $17.99 was tasted here at our Big Theme South African tasting on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 and I loved it rippling, bracing acidity. It will make a great food-pairing to enjoy with this summer's bounty of fish and grilled white meats, salads, goat's cheese, etcetera.
" Atmosphere " 2007 from SAINT ANDRE DE FIGUIERE ( Vin de Pays de Var, $9.99 ) is a near-perfect summer wine to enjoy outside when it's hot and humid and otherwise unbearable if not for the refreshing taste of this " Atmosphere ". It showed beautifully this past Saturday afternoon here when Anna Tyack tasted it to all our customers. Great value, too. 

       9) " Only Girls " 2007 dry red Syrah from Dianne's vineyard and CHATEAU D'OR Et GUEULES ( www.chateau-oret-gueules.com ) is named " Only Girls " because she only has girls and wants to name a wine after them. You alos have the " O " and the " G " for Or et Gueules : get it?!? The wine is smooth and really nice to sip with or without a meal. Medium-bodied and so fruit-forward that it will taste great with all this heat heaped onto us here in Washington D.C. soon.

      10) A dry French rose from the Costieres de Nimes region; made by the CHATEAU GRANDE CASSAGNE, this intense, deep-colored dry rose is best when paired with almost any warm-weather meals. It's a very good value, too at $10.49 a bottle. Ronnie Miller our local Robert Kacher rep will probably pour it along with the " Only Girls " this Friday afternoon ( 5-8 PM ) here in the store.

     THREE UNFORGETTABLE WINES FROM KATHARINA PRUM : Mosel, Germany : some of it's greatest Rieslings -

       1) JOH. JOS. PRUM 2007 Riesling Kabinett, $40.99 is still really young but from a great vintage. You can enjoy it now but it's still quite tight and only showing some of it's layers of flavorings and Riesling seasonings. Don't rush it : buy some now and save it for another five to ten years or even longer.

       2) JOH. JOS. PRUM 2007 Graacher Himmelreich, $46.99 from Germany's Mosel area is quite intense with a piercing bouquet of densely-packed flavors that rush over you/ sweep you off your tongue and make you feel like you are on a waterbed or lilting, lush, formidable and unabashedly excited/vocal Riesling flavors : like a party beginning to really take-off! Again, no need to rush this wine : buy some and hold them for a number of years.

       3) JOH. JOS. PRUM 2007 Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese is even broader, even more thick and viscous and deeper in all it's Riesling implications/stories/anecdotes/ditties/poems/art expressions : this is liquid opera at it's best and at those points in the performance that grab you, hold you, and bind you breathless to your chair as you are whisked off to places you want to go yet know not yet. There's magic with these liquid expressions of the Riesling Mosel grape turned-to-wine in such experienced hands. It sells for $55.99 and again should be purchased and buried away someplace safe for later retrieval. MANY OF THE BOTTLES ARE SIGNED for you to use and offer as gifts to yourself or to others. Cheers!

     BEER NEWS :  Santos Rivera our beer manager has just received three " new " beers from THE DUCK-RABBIT including " A Seasonal Specialty " , a Porter ( $7.49 ) and an Amber Ale ( $7.49 ) . The " Seasonal Specialty " is ON SALE for $13.99.

     WE TASTED WITH TIM last Saturday evening here, from PEAK Organic, Portland, Maine the " new " Pomegranate, Coriander Wheat beer that I loved : it's like a wine with all the components in balance and a great start, middle and long, lingering finish. It's also not sweet : it's impressive. Try the more biting, piercing IPA, too that we introduced from PEAK with Tim's help a month or so ago.

     LIQUOR NEWS : HOT 'N HEAVY OFF THE D.C. STREETS : TY KU imported premium Liqueur ( 40% proof ) fromChina : $33.99 ON SALE : Ty KU ASian citrus liqueur " unites all natural exotic flavors with premium asian spirits to bring you a unique experience with a clean, crisp, refreshing taste ". It got a Star Diamond award and for more info go to : trytyku.com. Enjoy ...
     RAVI has also purchased again both the DOOLEY'S Original Toffe Cream Liqueur ( NOW ON SALE for $21.99 : reg : $27.99 ) and the DOMAINE DE CANTON French Ginger Liqueur, $31.99 that we tasted with Devon this past Saturday afternoon here in the store. Devon sold many bottles of CANTON : it was our third tasting and did really well again. It's pretty exciting with a mystifying taste that draws you closer to the source with each sip.

     WEEK'S TASTINGS : NEVER ANY CHARGE : Come with family and friends -

       FRIDAY, May 15th, 2009 ( 5-8 PM ) : We have Ronnie Miller of Bobby Kacher Selections here to taste a number of dry French rose wines as well as some tasty dry whites and some Rhone-style red blends.

       SATURDAY, May 16th ( 3-7 PM ) : We have Antonio Cabibi here to taste some of his excellent French Organic wines that are tasty, well-priced, value wines to enjoy as the summer heat begins to envelop us here. We've had the wines before and they are nice, including the Pinot Noir when you sit around a grill outside and allow yourselves the chance to relax and unwind and breathe deeply/contentedly ....

     LET US KNOW HOW WE MAY BETTER ASSIST YOU with your needs, wants, desires. Come see us anytime : you are always welcome and so often a real sight for sore eyes. Cheers,  TONY

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