Some friends gathered on a perfect Santa Barbara summer evening to enjoy a fine casual time and fabulous and creative catered food in the garden setting on an outside patio of one of the couples.
Grilled Asparagus, Goat Cheese Tartine with Smoked Salmon
Gruyere & Aged Parmesan Beignets
Arugula Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Pine nuts , Lemon, Parmesan Cheese
Pizza with Italian Sausage, Red Onion, & Wild Mushrooms, Marinara Sauce 3 Cheese Blend
Pizza with Pesto, Fresh Tomatoes & Mozzarella
Pizza with Truffled Taleggio & Chicken, Olive Oil, Garlic
Three Cheese Pizza with Pancetta, Artichoke and Marinara Sauce Pizza with Caramelized Onions Fontina, Roasted Peppers, Olives, Mushrooms, Basil & Marinara Sauce
Champagne and rose wines were requested from the 11 in attendance. We had 4 brut rose champagnes and a duplicate of a brut plus 7 rose still wines; all were ice water chilled.
NV FRANC BONVILLE BRUT ROSE GRAND CRU- the blend is composed of 92% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Noir which was not surprising once sampled as the nose and taste was really on the mild and somewhat muted side; it had a light pink colour; nice mild strawberry comes in and continues on with noticeable sweetness; dosage= 9.5%.
NV CHAMPAGNE LANSON NOBEL CUVEE BRUT ROSE- a recent purchase and first time exposure for me; happy to have made the choice to buy as this hits my rose preference perfectly; elegant, classy, fruity, but not too fruity, mildly sweet, nice mousse and refreshing on the palate; more specifically, it had ginger and spice infused strawberry and hints of citrus notes especially lemon as in meringue; it got better and more expressive with time and less of a chill.
NV LAURENT-PERRIER BRUT ROSE- one of our house roses for many years, this followed suit with the expected treasures of spicy raspberry and red cherry, its hallmark creamy texture and crisp and refreshing palate strike.
NV H. BOILLOT BRUT ROSE- this bottle had at least 20 years of age; the colour was a pink red salmon; the nose was wet cardboard AKA being corked or having TCA; the taste profile was actually decent with rich stone fruit notes especially peach along with some dried red cherry; by mid palate, the wet cardboard regained its dominance and took over leaving lasting memories of such.
NV LAUNOIS CUVEE RESERE BLANC de BLANC BRUT GRAND CRU- I tasted 1 of the 2 bottles brought by 2 different individuals and got similar notes I’ve picked up previously from my own stash; this had nice floral and citrus fruit aromas which translated into spicy and mineral laden lemon zest and green apple on the palate; a streak of mineralality was present throughout; all of the grand cru fruit is sourced from the villages of Mesnil, Oger, Cramant and Avize; a great QPR.
2016 THE OJAI VINEYARDS CALIFORNIA RED TABLE WINE ROSE- 12.5% abv; according to owner/ winemaker Adam Tolmach, this is made from 24% Grenache, 18% Counoise, 18% Cinsault, 18% Carignan, 15% Syrah, 3% Riesling, 3% Sauvignon Blanc [and yes, there is 1% missing]; pink salmon colour; light and refreshing, this had slightly sweetened cranberry/ cherry notes served up in a medium body.
2016 LAURENCE FERAUD PINK PEGAU- 80% Cinsault, 12.5% abv; 10% Grenache rouge and 10% Carignan; not a lot of pink here as this had a bright red salmon colour; a dash of spice and pepper compliment the floral red rose and strawberry aromas which on the palate were expressed as spicy red cherry/ berry fruit with a touch of minerality.
2014 PAUL LATO “THE MANGA GIRL” ROSE OF PINOT NOIR SANTA BARBARA COUNTY- lovely, refreshing and delightful, this had red cherries on top of red cherries with a hit of red raspberry.
2017 CLENDENEN FAMILY VINEYARDS MONDEUSE “ BIEN NACIDO PLANTINGS” SANTA MARIA VALLEY ROSE- 12% abv; this is made from a a fruit that is prevalent in Savoie and used more as a blending grape along with Pinot Noir, Gamay and Poulsard where it lends more colour and acidity; it had a cherry pink colour; our bottle gave mild notes of watermelon, strawberry and red cherry with subtle hints of spice and pepper; it was light to medium bodied, refreshing and easy on the palate.
2012 BIONDI-SAINT TENUTA GREPPO ROSATO di TOSCANA- made from Sangiovese; dark copper colour; citrus and cherry fruit are evidenced in the nose; grapefruit, orange and cherry flavours come through on the palate along with a touch of minerals and oak; it has more weight and is a bit more full bodied than the other roses on this night.
2017 Le CLOS du CAILLOU COTES du RHONE ROUGE ROSE- I`ve actually had this wine in Amsterdam as it can be found on about every wine list at any wine savvy restaurant; ripe and sweet strawberry, mango and peaches highlight this blend of 85% Counoise and 15% Mourvèdre.
The was such a fine evening with great fellowship, superb ambience and nice wines to compliment good food.