Our lunch group had yet another fine lunch in the special ambience of the library dining room at the Santa Barbara Club.
As usual, our food was prepared by the superb and one of the country`s best unknown stars in the kitchen, Club Chef Humberto Perez. Additionally, we were royally served by our Club assigned waitstaff person, the angel from heaven server, Tina.
Our wine theme was any kind of Riesling which we knew going in was a pretty broad theme and could lead to quite an array of variations from bone dry to super sweet as well as stylistic differences from across the globe. True to our expectations, that`s pretty much what occurred. Two of us also took a couple of reds to add some semblance of balance to the color scheme.
Shrimp bisque with sambucca cream
Vietnamese crepe- pork, shrimp, mushrooms with cabbage-herb salad and carrot-coconut dressing
Seabass causal [antichuchera], sweet potato puree, aji Amarillo cause, kalamata olives and Peruvian spice. 3 sauce
Cheddar, creamy cheese and Guard
Pina colada cobbler with sea salt cream ice cream
Our starter wine was-
NV DR. DEINHARD-VON WINNING EXTRA BRUT SEKT RIESLING PFLAZ- a surprising 13% abv; also surprising was how good this was although it is not to be mistaken for a bubbly from Champagne; high in acid, there was some honeysuckle, lemon lime, pear, kiwi and cherimoya; it was very dry and I assume this was made using the charmat method since 95% of all German sparkling wines are and, since it was bone dry, I`m assuming there was no or very little dosage.
1st flight of 3:
2012 VON OTHEGRAVEN HERRENBERG KABINETT RIESLING MOSEL- aromas of petrol, flint, minerals and steel with a taste profile of sweet honeyed grapefruit, lemon oil and honeysuckle with a bit of flint and mineral; it`s delivered in an thick, oily substance which prolongs the finish with all of the treasures coming together.
2008 TATOMER KICK ON RANCH SANTA BARBARA COUNTY RIESLING- 13.9% abv; there`s a lot going on here with this cool climate Riesling; it has flint, spicy sweet honeyed tropical fruit along with peach and nectarine with a touch of cinnamon coming in past mid palate with all expanding through the finish.
2013 TATOMER VANDENBERG SANTA BARBARA COUNTY RIESLING- 13.5% abv; the nose was somewhat muted with mild aromas including grassy, straw notes and then in the taste comes some tart and sweet honeysuckle, lemon and ginger.
2nd flight of 3:
2014 DOMAINE WEINBACH RIESLING RESERVE ALSACE - mild nose and taste of spicy grapefruit with a light to medium body; it is very subtle and has an intriguing elegance about it as I search for more and am satisfied with less.
2008 TRIMBACH RIESLING RESERVE ALSACE- light aromas of petrol and minerals with notes of herbs and spiced apricot; this is quite mild, light weight and has a degree of sophistication that entices one for another taste.
2001 F.X. PICHLER DURNSTEINER KELLERBERG RIESLING WACHAU- the color was a distinctive yellow gold as all before have been a somewhat pale yellow; there is a sweetness in the nose along with some grassy, hay notes followed by a taste of tropical and citrus flavors; full bodied with noticeable weight and a big sweet blast at the end.
3rd flight of 3:
2012 DONNHOFF RIESLING NAHE- 11% abv; mild notes of petrol, mineral and flint with a nice taste profile of honeyed pear, apple and citrus; very pleasing.
1989 VON SCHUBERT MAXIMIN GRUNHAUSER HELLENBERG RIESLING AUSLESE MOSEL SAAR RUWER- 9% abv; medium gold color; aromas of flint, petrol and sweetened tropical fruit; the taste had generous amounts of ripe apricot, the texture was creamy rich and it stayed around for a long finish.
2005 H. DONNHOFF SCHLOSSBOCKELHEIMER FELSENBERG RIESLING SPATLESE NAHE- this was a very pleasant, crisp and refreshing treat; it had some minerality and flintiness along with sweet citrus and orchard fruit delivered in a creamy texture; in perfect balance, it hit all of the rights spots.
4th flight of 2 reds:
1994 R. LOPEZ de HEREDIA GRAN RESERV VINA TONDONIA RIOJA- I`m thinking of what red could compliment the Rieslings and if I had a Spatburgunder, I would have brought it; I also know some who love all of the wines from this producer and so this was the choice and it turned out to be a good one; with a very youthful medium red color, the aromas contained fresh spicy clove accented red cherry; the taste revealed nicely seasoned allspice, sandalwood and hints of new leather highlighting the red and black fruit; in perfect balance, this shined brightly and reminded me of why I have so much of this and other vintages and bottlings from this winery.
1973 FRANCO- ESPANOLAS ROYAL RESERVA RIOJA- light browning color; fabulous mature wine showing nice tertiary fruit with spicy plum and dried cherry delivered in a light to medium body; it was steady and even and elegant with a statement of class.
5th flight of 4 dessert wines:
1995 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE ICE WINE RESERVE RIESLING- 375ml; purchased at the winery in the late 90s, I had been waiting for an occasion to open this up and this was the perfect opportunity and thankfully so as it had some redeeming qualities; it was syrupy thick and the taste was so unexpectedly full of maple; it was a sweetie deluxe and a dessert in a glass with no need for anything solid although the dessert we had was unbelievably good.
2011 TATOMER KICK ON RANCH DESSERT WINE RIESLING- 375ml; another thick, slow pouring dessert wine that would have been better served to be placed upside down for a few minutes to allow for more to be released upon pouring [joke]; this was not what was expected and it tasted more like the dry version with mild mineral, grassy, earthy, tropical friut notes.
1990 SEILLY SCHENKENBERG VENDANGE TARDIVE [LATE HARVEST] RIESLING- 375ml; grapefruit and citrus dominate this sweetie that is rich and creamy; delicious and concentrated to the extent a little goes a long way.
1988 CHATEAU FILHOT SAUTERNE- 750ml; spicy, honeyed pineapple plays majorly in this large bottle with small sip only consumptions.
Whew! We made it though 14 variations of Riesling with sources ranging from Austria, Germany, France, Washington and California with one being a German sparkling wine plus 2 Spanish reds, it was quite a dichotomy. I believe all who attended were pleased with the experience as I was although my palate was a bit dazed and confused [as Led Zeppelin sings it].