A few good friends shared a fine evening at Santa Barbara`s best Italian restaurant, IMHO, Olio e Limone and enjoyed the following wines:
1995 VEUVE CLIQUOT LA GRANDE DAME BRUT- I`ve had many a fine bottle of this sparkler and it again delivered graciously with pure delightfulness; in the mold of the 90`, it was creamy, rich with a lathering mousse, had fine acidity, fresh and delicious citrus notes, all in balance, and a palate cleansings preparation for the wines to come.
2005 VINCENT GIRARDIN CORTON CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU- fantastic! Just what I was looking for when I pulled this along with the LGD and an Ornellaia; the last visit was superb and this followed suit with the similar beautiful balance, a great smooth and creamy mouthfeel and wonderful buttery, spicy apple, pear and citrus notes; the texture carries all of the treats to the back end for a sustained finish. I continue to be amazed at the consistently good wines that come out from this producer at very reasonable prices.
1995 ANTINORI SOLAIA TOSCANA- fabulous! Big and full bodied splendor in a good place now and with all the stuffing to go for a long, pleasing journey as it is now moving up toward the crest with a decade or 2 to go; there is serious black fruit with black cherry/ berry most prevalent and enhanced by a touch of leather, earth and licorice; I expected it to be tannic and a bit astringent on the palate and it was just the opposite; it was soft, smooth and easy; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc.
1997 MARCHESI ANTINORI TIGNANELLO TOSCANA- 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc; I`ve had many a fine bottle of this gem and this was not one of the best; the tannins were pretty harsh and my palate got fried from the heat along with a biting sensation by mid palate on; on the good side, there was nice spicy, vanilla coated black currant and blackberry fruit early on before being eventually overwhelmed; I`m thinking this could have benefited from some decanting, but still question if it`s time to open this wine. If in my cellar, I`d wait a few years if not more.
1999 SAN GIUSTO a RENTENNANO PERCARLO TOSCANA- Sangiovese; this is a great example of a serious Tuscany; it took a while for it to open up, but once it did, it gave and gave of treasures for the olfactory and taste sensors to explore; I got loads of red and black cherry with spices, leather and smoke; the texture was pleasing until late palate when the tannins took over and it finished on the dry side with more tart fruit than fresh; it just needs time.
1998 TENUTA dell`ORNELLAIA “ORNELLAIA” BOLGHERI SUPERIORE- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot; some earth, leather and smoke in the nose along with dried black fruit notes; the taste profile offered pleasant black currant, plum and blueberry flavors that were accentuated by a hit of toasted dark chocolate truffles; it was medium to full bodied, but had more finesse than boldness; loved the silky texture; lot of time to go for evolution.
2001 TENUTA dell`ORNELLAIA “ORNELLAIA” BOLGHERI SUPERIORE- WOTN without much argument; it hit all of the right sports from the youthful, vibrant color, seriously inviting aromatics, wonderful tasty dark fruit, lush and smooth mouthfeel to the welcomed long finish; it`s a great example of power and finesse and balance; there`s some toasted chocolate black fruit with black cherry that`s particularly prevalent ; 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Fabulous plus.
The 2001 capped off a great array of fine wines enjoyed by good friends at the restaurant of our unanimous choice to share such beauties and the food and service complimented it perfectly.