Our fine wine dinner group enjoyed a scrumptious meal at the consistently good Petit Valentien Restaurant in Santa Barbara.
Our wine theme was champagne, white and any 1er Cru or Grand Cru red Burgundy from the Flagey, Vosne and Chambolle communes with a few choice helpers welcomed.
13 of us shared the following 20 wines:
2006 MOET & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE BRUT- 42% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir, 19% Pinot Meunier; dosage= 5 gpl; the first of a 6 pack recently purchased and on the heels of the very fine 2004, this showed a pale yellow color, offered fresh mild flavored citrus notes with a medium creamy mousse; it was beautifully balanced and exuded elegance.
NV GRATIOT-PILLIERE BRUT TRADITION- this was quite a contrast to the 06` above in that it was a mouthful and a half of ripe, rich, clean and delicious orange and lemon zest; it was a complete, serious treat with enough charm to tone it down for added pleasure as a standalone aperitif.
NV BERECHE et FILS BRUT RESERVE- this full bodied brut gave up robust flavors including lemon zest which followed the toasty brioche aroma; it`s smooth and lush texture added to a nice experience.
2004 VILMART GRAND CELLIER d`OR 1er CRU- although this was poured near the end of the evening, I`m placing the notes here for a continuity of the wines; 80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir; dosage 9 gpl; notorious for big, bold, opulent and vivacious bubblies with a price tag to match, this is no exception as it explodes on the palate with rich ginger and spice infused apple and citrus notes; with bracing acidity, it needs some time to evolve and mellow out although it drinks pretty well now.
We moved from champagne to white Burgundy:
2014 DOMAINE MOREY-GOFFINET DENT de CHIEN CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1er CRU- delicious, toasty apple and pear notes delivered in a soft and creamy texture; really good now.
2009 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY SAINT AUBIN EN REMILLY 1er CRU- I`ve enjoyed many a fine bottles of this wine in the past few months and this one shined as well; the nose is full of minerals with a touch of flint coming in late; it has that consistent character of being so easy and elegant on the palate and at the same time delighting with mildly toasty, spicy citrus notes; it has bright acidity and good length.
2013 DOMAINE BUISSON-CHARLES LA ROMANEE CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er CRU- clean, clear and crisp, this had nice mild tropical aromas along with some minerality and a hint of flint that continued on and was joined by fresh, ripe citrus notes.
2013 ETIENNE SAUZET LA GARENNE PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1er CRU- minerals, pear and apple notes along with a pleasing mouthfeel are the hallmarks of this medium bodied wine.
Our final white, another PYCM, was sadly corked. We moved on to red Burgundy:
1995 DANIEL BOCQUENET ECHEZEAUX GRAND CRU- terrific aged Burgundy giving tertiary flavors of dried red cherry that followed pleasant spicy, toasty red fruit aromas; by mid palate, some dried red raspberry comes in and all are carried on through to the back end in a smooth and lush texture; it got better and better in the glass; I get that this can hangout near this place for years to come.
2003 JOSEPH DROUHIN CHAMBERTIN CLOS de BEZE GRAND CRU- a surprising major fruit bomb from the nose through the tail; there was mucho red cherry, dried red raspberry and jujube fruit that never quit; even though heavily fruit forward, it was delightful, playful and a treat.
2005 FAIVELEY CHAMBERTIN CLOS de BEZE GRAND CRU- the nose was inundated with nice talc, cinnamon and spice notes which was joined by fresh red cherry and raspberry served up in a medium body and pleasing texture which contributed to a long finish; great wine.
2006 DOMAINE GEORGES MUGNERET MUGNERET-GIBOURG les FEUSSELOTTES CHAMBERTIN MUSIGNY 1er CRU- this bottle had a strange aroma almost suggesting less than fresh, ripe fruit; it was kind of briary with wild dark earth laden fruit; by mid palate, the tannins took over and it finished very dry; I`m guessing this bottle was in a dumb stage and the joys to behold are forthcoming; the key is when?
2002 DANIEL RION les BEAUX-MONTS VOSNE ROMANEE 1er CRU- this just hit it on all levels; the nose was so inviting with a multitude of aromatics, the fresh spiced strawberry and red raspberry notes sang out loud and clear and the hallmark was it`s beautiful balance; it was complex with layered depth, had wonderful mouthfeel and a delayed finish to compliment all of its traits; my WOTN so far and as it turned out, it was; my curiousity is, did Patrice make this or did his father Daniel as this was about the time Patrice moved on to produce solely under his own label?
2013 GEORGES NOELLAT les CHAUMES VOSNE-ROMANEE- on the heels of my fav of the night, this held its own and shined with pleasant floral rose petals, talc and baking spices in the nose, forward fresh red raspberry and cherry flavors on the palate, perfect mouthfeel and impeccable balance; great young red Burg with star status on the horizon.
2010 DOMAINE DROUHIN-LAROZE CLOS de VOUGEOT GRAND CRU- the first sip was not that flattering, but with time, it opened up and gave up some endearing attributes; there`s some briary wild red fruit that became more tame, some pretty stiff tannins that softened a bit, a hit of cranberry to accompany the wild cherry and a full body and good acidity to support longevity; it should be interesting to see where this lands once all is integrated and mature.
1999 ROBERT GROFFIER les AMOUREUSES CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 1er CRU- definitive 4-eythlphenol sensory compounds in this bottle [Brettanomyoces]; the nose is replete with it and it carries over into the taste profile which does have pleasant black cherry and blackberry with an anise accent and a soft, smooth mouthfeel.
2003 ROBERT GROFFIER BONNES-MARES GRAND CRU- this bottle had some different character in it that was so atypical from what was expected; the nose was strongly of spearmint and the mintiness continued on and was joined by licorice flavored blackcurrant, blackberry and black cherry; I`m thinking this has to be a distinct bottle variation for what ever reason.
In addition to the aforementioned Vilmart, we had 3 desert wines to finish off our grand evening:
2005 DILLMANN TROCKENBEERAUSLESE AUSLESE RIESLING- from the nose on, this was raisin syrup showing a maple like color; thick, viscous and forever on the palate.
2000 DONNHOFF NORHEIMER KIRSCHHECK SPATLESE RIESLING- 375 ml; the nose was redolent of petrol, mineral and flint notes followed by a taste profile of fresh, ripe grapefruit, red cherry and apple.
1999 KRACHER CHARDONNAY TROCKENBEERENAUSLESE RIESLING #7- 375 ml; simply stated, this is syrupy apricot nectar.
Literally and figuratively, this was a grand evening.