Our dinner group enjoyed a fine dinner overlooking the ocean during sunset and the after glow in the dining room of the recently opened Angel Oak at Bacara, a local luxurious coastal resort.
Our wine theme was top tier champagne, white Burgundy and any wine rated by a national publication at 97 points of higher.
The first flight of 3 champagnes:
2000 TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE BLANC de BLANC BRUT- a great bottle showing all of the superb traits of the CdC with vim and vigor; the aromatics were so inviting and promised full on pleasure with hints of slightly toasted brioche and honeysuckle; the taste had spicy, honeyed peach and pear notes; the texture was a hallmark in that it was so creamy and rich and coated the palate for a long residual finish; what a great start to a stellar evening; a couple of us had this as WOTN.
2006 MOET & CHANDON DOM PERIGNON- this was such a treat and a serious step in another direction from the CdC; this had much more finesse and charm; the nose was redolent of tropical and floral notes; it had bright acidity, fresh spicy citrus with lemon curd especially evident as well as fresh peach; the wine was perfectly balanced and held a steady, persistent course all the time in the glass; In my mind, the 06` Dom is the best of the 2000s so far for DP. I understand the 08`s have been set aside to age further before release and the 09`s will come out earlier; also got a vote or 2 for WOTN.
NV BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVEE BRUT- magnum; needing a bit more chill when first served; another fine bubbly and a distinctly different profile as each of the first 2 were as well; this bottle gave light and spicy citrus flavours in a light to medium body; light sand mild seemed to be the best description for this plus elegance; the acids were extremely tame.
Second flight of 3 white Burgundies:
2010 MARCASSIN ESTATE SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY- 14.3 % abv.; I`ve found many of this bottling to be big and bold and out of balance for my liking; not so with this one; it was definitely a big wine, but somewhat restrained giving way ti balance; it had a pleasant tropical and floral perfume along with honeyed citrus and honeysuckle and an underlying streak of minerals; the creamy mouthfeel added to the experience; I kept going back and finding myself enjoying it more and more; not to be confused with white Burgundy.
2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LES NARVAUX MEURSAULT- our group has endless numbers of bottles from this fine producer and I feel privileged to enjoy at least one about every dinner; additionally, I get to taste some of those I have in my cellar, this being one of them; the nose was of minerals and flint along with tropical fruit notes; the taste had more of the same especially with fresh kiwi and lime flavours; it had a medium body, nice texture and balanced acidity; I`m a fan.
2013 DOMAINE des COMTES LAFON MEURSAULT 1ER CRU LES PERRIERES- this was a fabulous bottle; immediately noticeable was the inviting aromatics of spicy citrus especially lemon; it was in perfect balance, had a lush texture that carried all of the treasures to the back end; it had layers of complexity that kept unfolding and revealing more pleasing nuances; for many, the WOTN.
Third flight of 2 Barolos:
2009 GIUSEPPE RINALDI CANNUBI SAN LORENZO RAVERA BAROLO- even though this is a pup in the vernacular of Barolo wine ageing, it was superb; the color was a vibrant red when being poured; it had great up front fruitiness that was just enough and not too much and seemed to say it would balance out and evolve with grace; there was talc inundated spicy cranberry and red cherry flavours served up in a melty texture; it`s really good now, but has the structure to go for the long run; the question is, can one wait? Also a big fav for WOTN.
1998 BRUNO GIACOSA FALLETTO di SERRALUNGA d`ALBA BAROLO- another great bottle with this one giving lush red fruit notes and a soft mouthfeel, both mindful of Merlot; the fruit profile was on the mild side, but just enough to please; this bottle was decanted at 4 pm and we`re drinking it at about 8 pm and it`s still changing in the glass; my notes kept getting revised every few minutes and finally I relented and just drank it.
Fourth flight of a red S. Rhone:
2007 DOMAINE de la MORDOREE REINE des BOIS CHATEAUNEUF de PAPE- 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah, Counoise and Vacarese; some mild earthiness in the nose along with liquorice, smoke and black currant; all continued on with plum and blueberry flavours coming in as well; it was such a contrast following 2 Barolos, but it held its own.
Fifth flight of 2 Bordeaux:
How rare is it to have 2 wines in a row significantly corked? We got it here!
1990 CHATEAU MONTROSE ST. ESTEPHE
1986 CHATEAU LEOVILLE las CASES ST. JULIEN
Sixth flight of 2 Tuscdan reds:
2013 FONTODI FLACCIANELLO DELLA PIEVE TOSCANA- wonderful Sangiovese here; it`s powerful and yet has finesse which gives it an element of elegance; loved the spicy wild black fruit notes coupled with blueberry and plum; quite complex and with nice length, this shined on and on and improved in the glass; drinking so well now with all of stuff to have a long, successful lifetime; one of my favs.
2004 TUA RITA REDIGAFFI ROSSO TOSCANA- this wonderful Merlot that some say is a Masseto Jr. had some good stuff to offer; the taste was full on blackberry, blueberry, liquorice, dark chocolate, spice and a hint of mint; it was majorly tannic and not yet integrated, but having had so many of these from other vintages in the past, I trust it will get to a fine state of balance; it was creamy thick and luscious with a LONG finish.
Seventh flight of 1 Aussie red:
1998 CHRIS RINGLAND DRY GROWN BAROSSA VALLEY SHIRAZ- serious juice here with everything prefaced with BIG; the aromas, taste profile, body, mouthfeel and lasting finish are all BIG; obvious oak elements pervade throughout with toast, sandalwood and talc accenting the super ripe blackberry, black raspberry and black cherry fruit with a chocolate undertone coming in late; it finished with a bit of heat and then I looked for the alcohol content and found a BIG 16.2 %.
One fraudulent dessert wine:
1963 FONSECA VINTAGE PORT- Honerstly, I could not detect this being fraudulent, but after a few others immediately commented on it, I acquiesced especially since they have had much more experience with older Ports than I have; the cork was definitely old and in fact, split about 1/2 way through when pulled; the color was a deep, dark browning purple that seemed to be showing some age; the taste had lots of spicy cherry flavoured Smith Bros. Cough Drop notes and it finished with a lot of heat; interesting and begging the internal question, how many fraudulent wines have I had and did not know it?
This was a great evening with all of the attributes necessary to allow for such. I actually found myself getting excited earlier in the day mindful of all the times of yesteryear before playing football, basketball or baseball on game day.