The highlight of the recently held 31st Central Coast Wine Classic was the live charity wine auction held on the 4th of 5 days for the total of 19 events. The venue was the classy Nesbitt Estate in neighboring [to Santa Barbara] Summerland.
Over 50 creative and once in a lifetime rare wine and life style lots were auctioned off while there was a concurrent silent auction going on nearby. The live auction alone brought in $787,500.
A luncheon was served near the outset and was more than capably chefed by Chef Rick Manson assisted by grilling guru, Frank Ostini of the Buellton Hitching Post restaurant. The menu as written by Chef Rick:
Oak grilled eggplant, tomato and basil po`boy watermelon, dandelion greens and halloumi salad with Meyer lemon, basil and mint chmuhgudnus
Smoked andouille stuffed quail with grilled grapes, glazed pecans and molasses vinaigrette
“It`s The Cheeses That Pleases”
Gorgonzola with mint, something curiously nutty and a couple of marmalades strawberry-balsalmic, fig-marsala
Super funky- Extra Chunky Archiedoodles [named after CCWC founder/ Executive Director, Archie McLaren]
Our 2 reserved tables were occupied by dear friends who traditionally attend and sit together and everyone brings great wines to share. The wines are so plentiful and good, it`s actually an event within an event. Here`s a sampling:
NV LAURENT PERRIER BRUT ROSE- magnum; my last of a 6 pack and maybe the best of them all; real fruity with raspberry, strawberry and mild red cherry with some spice and lots of charm.
1998 PHILIPPONNANT CLOS de GOISSE BRUT- full bodied, full on flavorful with stone fruit and citrus notes; pretty big and powerful with a mouthful of flavor and creamy rich texture.
MV KRUG GRANDE CUVEE BRUT- 375 ml; as with many 375s I`ve had in the past few months, this offers all of the expected gifts from the Grande Cuvee from recently released
2002 LOUIS LATOUR CORTON CHARLEMAGNE- magnum; unfortunately corked.
NV RL LEGRAS CUVEE HOMMAGE GRAND CRU BLANC de BLANC BRUT- rich and full flavors abound; lots of pear, apple, citrus and a touch of kiwi show up with an accent of toast, minerals and spice; a mouthful.
2006 TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE BLANC de BLANC- another of many fine bottles I`ve had recently and I did not bring this one; it has so much to given its infancy and I`m enjoying every little sip and projecting what this might evolve into with maturity which adds to the enjoyment; it has consistently shown bright acidity, with spicy lemon zest, a toasty element with a hit of saline and more.
2008 LOUIS ROEDERER VINTAGE BRUT- having just had this at the earlier in the day Roederer vintage champagne/ Black River Caviar symposium, I was delighted to revisit what I thought was the best of the 4 Louis Roederer vintage bubblys and it did not disappoint, in fact, it was a touch better; brought by Xavier Barlier from Maison Marques & Domaines [see notes recently transmitted].
2001 KUENTZ-BAS CUVEE TRADITION PINOT BLANC- wonderfully fruity with grapefruit and lemon notes, round, balanced and great mouthfeel; an eye opener to this producer and for this varietal.
2011 DOMAINE COMTES LAFON CLOS de la BARRE MEURSAULT- a long time producer/ vineyard favorite of mine, this shines in its puberty state and gives generous amounts of pleasure now with promises of greater things to happen closer to maturity; pear, apple, spice, vanilla and sandalwood with a late arrival of some sweet citrus notes.
2011 AU BON CLIMAT NUITS BLANCHE au BOUGE CHARDONNAY- rich, full on, spicy lemon lime; fine acidity, balanced now and structured for longevity; expands with time and exudes class.
2011 AU BON CLIMAT/ EVENING LAND PINOT NOIR- a rare bottle of this special blend Jim coordinated with his buddy, Dominique Lafon; a fruity treat plus; bright red fruit aromas, spicy red cherry especially prevalent; good texture, nice acidity and a treasures of subtle nuances that kept unfolding.
2005 AU BON CLIMAT LE BON CLIMAT PINOT NOIR- showing nicely with inviting aromas, ripe red fruit with tasty accents, mellow in the mouth and another fine Pinot from Jim that will stand the test of time and provide pleasures for many years; 05` was a fabulous vintage for ABC and other local wineries.
2002 DOMAINE JEAN et JEAN-LOUIS TRAPET CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- magnum; high energy, layered complexity, nice acidity, red and black fruit notes with full on flavors and nice texture; fine, balanced wine.
1978 DOMAINE de la ROMANEE CONTI RICHEBOURG- browning color with a tertiary fruit profile of mostly dried red and black fruit but some more secondary notes show up under the first layers; some spice and a lot of elegance.
2001 E. GUIGAL LA MOULINE COTE ROTIE- the KIND; a La, La deluxe that is so good now and with the structure to evolve into greatness in the decades to come; tasty bacon bits with pepper and spice, violets, blueberry, plum and blackberry fruit; full bodied, long at the end.
We had so many more bottles brought by our contingency and some shared from other tables. Along with the fine luncheon, high energy of the auction and significant participation from our table, it made for a glorious day that started with a champagne/ caviar symposium and just kept crescendoing onward and upward until bed time.
This was the 4th day in a row of blissful wine and food experiences shared with some of my best friends on the planet. I`m satiated with this fulfillment of my life style of passionate living and now ready for a week of re-hydration, restful sleep and making plans for the next adventures.