Last night, I had one of the best champagnes I`ve ever had and certainly as good as any I`ve had from this house. Now for some who know me, you know that`s a pretty big statement and includes some heavy hitters from stellar vintages from both big houses and small growers and everything in between.
My sweetie and I dine out every few weeks at our favorite local restaurant, the Stonehouse, located on the luxurious San Ysidro Ranch property. On the occasions the weather permits which in Santa Barbara is most of the time, we have a favorite table at the corner end of the outside upper patio that offers some intimacy along with the best views.
We were served graciously and treated royally which adds to the completeness of each occasion and we love the food that has consistently been to our liking.
As usual, we Uber to and fro and take champagne and a red wine to pair with the vast menu options and sit back and enjoy a full evening sipping and chatting and relishing the beautiful and peaceful ambience while loving our time together.
On this night, we took:
2000 TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE BRUT BLANC de BLANCS- simply magnificent; it had all of the bases covered; the yellow toward gold color suggested serious concentration and that`s what materialized; major perfume of complex aromas of honeysuckle and toasted brioche were joined by spice, ginger, lemon, lime and kiwi with a touch of saline; it had very bright acidity and most notable, amazing balance throughout the entire experience and it was AN EXPERIENCE; this ememplified power and finesse; it was full on and yet easy and graceful; the nose just kept giving and giving and all of the treasures were sensed early on and all the way to the back end with a long welcomed finish; It was definitely a sipper and with each sip, the pleasures continued to unfold and deliver; did I say, “magnificent”?; I`ve enjoyed many other CdC, Krug, Salon, Dom, Clos des Goisses, Cristal, SWC et al from top vintages as well as others, none showing any better than this bottle.
1997 WILLIAMS SELYEM COASTLANDS VINEYARD SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR- from the last vintage Burt vinified before selling and a wine I`ve visited many times, this bottle showed great character although it was more mature and evolved than most to date; it had some obvious bricking; it`s still very viable and offering tertiary notes of burnt dried cherry/ berry; the initial fruit profile of nice spicy, cinnamon, clove and smoke infused strawberry, raspberry and cherry still was evident, but overshadowed and pushed to a backup role by mid palate; over time, this became even more enjoyable and more balanced; the somewhat viscous texture added to the sensory treat and the finish held on for an extension of such; we took some home and will revisit a small portion soon.
I recognize a wine`s glamour is also predicated upon other factors like the people we`re with, the conversation, the ambience, the food, service, stemware etc., but this CdC was at the top of the champagne game and I shall always remember its gifts. What will my other 00`s be like? Will they be as good as or better than 61`, 64`, 69`, 76`, 81`, 85`, 90`, 95`, 96`? This one was. I`m salivating in anticipation.
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