Our fine wine dinner group dined at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club which is a private membership club situated on Butterfly Beach at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.
Our wine theme was top Burgundy Grand Cru red and whites with a request to avoid Corton-Charlemagne and Corton Blanc in the whites and Clos Vougeot and Corton and it's hyphenates in the Reds and to limit champagne to the top tete de Cuvees [as you will see, most of us complied].
We had a terrific combination of a popular theme and a stellar restaurant on a covered open air balcony overlooking the ocean with waves rolling almost under us. This setting along with very competent service and fine quality food made for a grand evening. The wines:
MV KRUG GRANDE CUVEE- the ID code  gave information that included this bottle being made from 183 different wines from 12 different vintages from 1990-2007, receiving its cork in 2014 and although not on the label, it is known as 163 eme; made from 37% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay and 31% Pinot Meunier; this was the 4th bottle of 6 that I bought from the same blend and it was the best by far and the others were really good; it had very pleasant and inviting aromatics which jumped out of the glass and was followed by an ever unfolding and expanding taste profile; this included spicy and toasty brioche accents to the initial lemon lime flavours which gave way to first some honeysuckle and then some nectarine and apricot arrived about mid palate; the texture was creamy and rich and carried all of the treasures to the back end with staying power; it had bright acidity, layered depth and exuded power and yet finesse; it was absolutely the total package.
2005 PERRIER-JOUET BELLE EPOQUE BRUT ROSE- this bubbly was as pretty as the bottle and that`s saying something with the beautiful flower leafs embossed on the bottle; the colour was a very pale pink indicative of the wine itself which just gave up hints of aromas and tastes; it was almost a tease requiring one to search more deeply into its essence; it had barely detectable mild raspberry and red cherry notes; the hallmark was its elegance and lightness on the palate which made for a very refreshing experience, perfect on a warm summer evening.
NV PIERRE MORLET BRUT GRANDE RESERVE GRAND CRU- it was immediately obvious this had a high dosage; the sweetness was overwhelming for me; for those who like the sweeties, it has all you need and a good dose of citrus notes.
2008 D. HENRIET-BAZIN MILLESIME GRAND CRU- a new producer to me and one I want to look for in the future after tasting this bottle; it was full bodied with lush ripe peach, pear and apple notes; it had a creamy mousse and fine acidity; very rich and full on in the mouth; 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay.
2006 TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE BLANC de BLANC BRUT- one of the best bottles I`ve had of this grand champagne; it had bright acidity, fresh lemon lime fruit aided by a hit of toast and creme brûlée; it was in perfect balance and exuded class and elegance with a pure thread of royalty running throughout; along with the Krug, I had it as a candidate for WOTN.
2004 BOLLINGER LA GRANDE ANNEE BRUT- magnum; 66% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay; the perfect sized bottle for our large group to compliment the perfection of this wine; it had the requisite toast and mild nutty notes to accent the apple, pear, peach and citrus fruit; it was full bodied, complex and had a sustained refreshing finish; it was a real treat and although way younger, it was mindful of the 90` which is one of my favourite GAs of all time.
2 white Grand Cru Burgundy`s:
2010 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY BIENVENUES-BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- such a great bring; this was mineral laced from the nose through the tail with a serious dose of lemon zest followed by honeysuckle and peach notes and a strong hint of flint finishing it off; it was rich and luscious and had nice underlying acidity holding it up; this was a great wine from one of my favourite white Burg producers in the past few years; considered for WOTN along with many other gems.
2008 WILLIAM FEVRE les CLOS CHABLIS GRAND CRU- at first this was really hot, but fortunately, it blew off and the goodness was revealed; there was pleasant mineral infused lemon-lime with some green apple showing up and then came some chalk and more minerality; it had an underlying streak of acidity that was evident throughout.
Nine red Grand Cru Burgundy`s:
2002 MEO CAMUZET CLOS de VOUGEOT GRAND CRU- I was the only one to get a Bretty component [barnyard like] in this bottle; nonetheless, it had a generous amount of cranberry, black cherry and black currant accented with earth, spice and liquorice; I kept going back and still getting the Bretty notes [the 4-ethylphenol type] which has occurred a few times with this producer.
1998 DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES de VOGUE BONNES MARES GRAND CRU- this was a great wine with striking aromas, taste, feel and length; there was red raspberry as the prevailing fruit although red cherry and strawberry moved in as well; there`s a spicy component from the nose on that really accentuates the flavour profile; it`s velvety, layered, round and seamless; eventually this was my WOTN with the Krug and CDC a close #2 and #3.
1998 DOMAINE ANNE GROS RICHEBOURG GRAND CRU- had this not followed the Vogue, it would have stood out even more and it was extra special as is; it had more tertiary fruit with cranberry and wild cherry most evident along with spices and herbs; it was medium to full bodied, had depth and complexity and a finish that went on forever; this was just another spectacular wine on a night of so many good ones.
2002 DOMAINE LOUIS CHAMBERTIN LATOUR CUVEE HERTIERS LATOUR GRAND CRU- initially this was hot on the palate and I had the thought to look at the label, got sidetracked and never got there; the fruit was more mature as in the tertiary stage showing up as dried blueberry and wild cherry; some spice, earth and mushroom notes also were present; it was medium to full bodied; the heat lessened with time in the glass, but still it was an undesired distraction.
2002 VINCENT GIRARDIN CHAMBERTIN CLOS de BEZE GRAND CRU- definitely some Brett in this wine and I did not ask for agreement; it still had perceptible spice, mint and clove accented dark fruit with an underlying muskiness; I`m a big fan of this producer and have enjoyed many a fine white and red Burg from them; I`m assuming this was a bottle variation for this wine.
2002 DOMAINE TRAPET PEFE et FILS CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- I liked this a lot for what was in the glass although I got some atypical red Burgundy notes of strongly peppered red cherry/ berry fruit mindful of N. Rhone; it was full bodied, had nice depth and complexity and a long finish.
2008 DOMAINE HARMAND GEOFFROY MAZIS CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- this was very fruit forward with generous amounts of strawberry, red cherry and blood orange aided by a streak of spice and minerals; it was full bodied and tightly structured; even at that, it seemed a bit closed down and yet it was strongly suggestive of having a lot more to give; a slow ox decant may have helped.
2012 FREDERIC ESMONIN MAZIS CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- this bottle changed so much in the glass over a short period of time; in general, I got earthy, gamey, chocolate laced blackberry and plum fruit; the tannins were very stiff and bracing and dominated throughout; again, a slow ox decant may have assisted this in opening up allowing for more evenness and balance; more cellar time is the answer for this big boy.
2014 MONGEARD-MUGNERET ECHEZEAUX CUVEE LA GRANDE COMPLICATION GRAND CRU- another N. Rhone expression with a huge pepper and spice hit in the first nose and then it persisted afterwards; this had vibrant red and black fruit in full thrust; it was full bodied, intense and really a massive wine; some more time in the cellar is required to allow this to tame down; it has all of the stuffing to evolve into a winner.
Our lone dessert wine:
2005 RIEUSSEC SAUTERNES- 750 ml; this was the 3rd bottle I`ve had in the past 4 weeks with inconsistent notes; this bottle had unusual liquorice, mint and peppermint accented sweet lemon accompanying the usual apricot nectar; all was delivered in a honey thick like texture all the way to the back end and then it kept going.
As stated initially, we had the great combination of an amazing oceanside view with the sound of the surf, superb service, excellent cuisine and fabulous wines to placate a special group of food and wine passionate people.
Please excuse typos and unintended auto-corrects