In preparation for the sold out Central Coast Wine Classic`s rare wine dinner on Friday night, August 12, a few of us met with the 2 chefs who are preparing the dinner at the Santa Barbara Club to taste some of the wines and coordinate the food pairings.
The 2 chefs are Club Chef Humberto Perez of the Santa Barbara Club and Bernard Ibarra, Executive Chef of the resort restaurants for Terranea, a luxury resort complex in the Palos Verdes Hills portion of the greater LA area.
Of the 7 stellar wines to be served on that occasion, 4 were available to be tasted on this evening. Those that were not included the 2006 Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Nature, 1983 Chateau Margaux and Don PX Convento Seleccion 1946 from Bodegas Toro Albala, the latter being showcased on its own, the champagne having not yet been received and the Margaux saved for the evening due to a limited supply and saving all in case any one bottle is flawed. Some of us have had numerous bottles of the Margaux and have a good idea as to the proper pairing with it.
2010 DOMAINE de CHEVALIER BLANC PESSAC-LEOGNAN- our bottle had a pale yellow color; the aromatics had mild hits of minerals followed by mild spicy citrus and a saline component; the taste included nice mild lemon citrus and brioche notes; the texture was an oily substance that enhanced the sensory pleasures of taste and feel; this is elegant and on the sensual feminine side of the expression; it was recommended to be served with a bit of a chill; as it warmed up, it got bigger and bigger and a slight chill will keep everything in tact without muting the treasures and allow it to pair much better with the course choice; I believe it will be a perfect beginning for our dinner.
1999 BOUCHARD PERE & FILS GREVES VIGNES L`ENFANT JESUS BEAUNE 1ER CRU- the color was mid terracotta red; the nose was strongly inviting further exploration and I obliged and discovered wonderful spicy, ginger with a mild hit of burnt cherry; the taste profile had some nice spicy red cherry that had a slight sweetness along with a touch of wood and earthiness and dark cherry notes; it`s firm structure, bright acidity and soft tannic backbone should carry this into a few more decades; the mouthfeel is so soft and smooth until just before the finish where the tannins show up with more strength; this is a fabulous red Burgundy and promises to be a charmer.
1990 PENFOLDS GRANGE SOUTH AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ- 95% Shiraz, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5% abc; 1990 was the first year the wine was not called Grange Hermitage and that continued thereafter; this bottle hit it out of the park; first the color denotes a still young and vibrant juice by its deep dark rich purple; in the nose I first got coconut, then briary cranberry and some wild cherry and a touch of talc coming in late; the taste gave up a mouthful of blueberries which were joined to a lesser extent by blackberries, black cherries, black currant, and plum with a hint of violets; toward the back end, some bacon fat shows up confirming the Shiraz fruit sourcing; the texture was amazingly silky smooth; the wine was in perfect balance and the long finish provided an extension to the entire and complete sensory delight; this bottle exemplified the magnificence of all things Grange and may have been one of the best I`ve been graced to ever have.
2001 CHATEAU d`YQUEM SAUTERNES- 750 ml; I`ve had many a bottle of this gem, mostly from 375 ml; all of the best expressions of the famous Botrytised Semilion and Sauvignon Blanc are showcased here; it had a mild yellow gold color; served in 2 glasses for comparison, a Bordeaux and Burgundy stem, we found the aromatics of the Burgundy stem were significantly brighter and the taste profile was more concentrated and therefore more pronounced in the Bordeaux stem, interesting; regardless, the wine shined with tastes of spicy honeyed orange blossoms, ripe apricot, citrus and baked cinnamon apple; this is full on, big, sweet and creamy rich with thick texture to carry all of the joys all the way to the back end; a major life changing sensory experience.
With the remainder of these wines along with a 1990 Pichon Lalande, we retreated to the Canary Hotel`s fine restaurant, Finch & Fork for dinner. The notes on the Pichon are:
1990 CHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE- COMTESSE de LALANDE PAUILLAC- I`ve had many a fine bottle of this stellar top of the 1990 vintage Bordeaux and this fell right in line complimenting all previous ones; the color was a brilliant, youthful dark purple; the nose offered superb cedar, leather, earth and coffee notes along with some black currant; the taste had more of the same plus nice black cherry/ berry fruit and obvious tannic backbone; it had complexity and depth and stayed around for a long satisfying finish; a great bottle; some of my friends who I know are enamored with this wine would have appreciated it as much as I did.
We first returned the 4 wines to about the same temperature as to when they were tasted earlier. My initial notes were consistent with the experience at dinner.
This evening served to confirm what a glorious night we have in store for us in August along with 65 others who have already had the foresight to opt for this special, one of a kind opportunity.