Our dinner group enjoyed another fine night, this time dining at Roost, a fairly new restaurant in Santa Barbara that features a menu of seasonal fare featuring rotisserie roasted meats and vegetables, fresh salads, grilled seafood and steaks.
The wine theme was white Burgs, Champagne, and the worlds best Merlot or Cabernet Franc based wines.
Eight of us shared all 4 of the appetisers on the menu and then ordered our own first and main courses while moving through 3 champagnes, 2 white Burgs, 9 reds and a dessert wine:
2002 DANIEL GINSBURG CUVEE RENE MILLESIME BRUT- 100% Pinot Meunier; this is made by De Meric as a tribute to Mr. Rene Collard and is now being sold under the Daniel Ginsburg label, named after the founder of De Meric; the color was amber yellow and along with the mature caramel and butterscotch found in the nose and taste profile, suggested some exposure to air; certainly PM historically does not age well and can be oxidized early on, but I’ve had a few younger wines from Meric/ Ginsburg and believe this is more of the house style; buttery and spicy citrus, peach and pear notes along with a rich and full bodied texture also contributed to an overall pleasant experience.
2008 LOUIS ROEDERER VINTAGE BRUT- 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay; I found this to be one of the best champagnes I’ve had this year even outshining this house`s epic 08` Cristal which, after 3 bottles, I’ve found it to be tight and unready to give up its treasures; in fact, the 2012 version of this wine is shining ever so brightly now; our bottle gave wondrous aromas of mineral, white pepper and spice laden citrus and green apple fruit with lemon lime being most prominent on the palate; it was super rich, had a creamy mousse, bright acidity and expanded past mid palate to crescendo up for a grand finish; a wowzer!
NV R&L LEGRAS CUVEE HOMMAGE GRAND CRU BLANC de BLANC BRUT- served with less of a chill than preferred, the nose and taste profile was accentuated with tasty golden delicious apple, pear and orange zest most evident, but the hallmark had to be its creamy smooth mouthfeel which carried all of the goodies to the back end and then held on for a pleasant finish.
2015 DOMAINE MOREY-COFFINET BLANCHOTS-DESSUS CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er CRU- this was really a treat, first giving generous amounts of flint and mineral infused citrus on the nose followed by concentrated citrus and tropical fruit on the palate; it had a streak of steeliness throughout, was in perfect balance and beautifully focused.
Michel Morey, son of the now deceased Marc Morey, and his wife, Fabienne (from the Pillot clan), began the Morey-Coffinet Domaine in the late 1970s with a dowry of vineyards bestowed on them by two families with extensive history in the region.
Michel's son, Thibault, joined the business in the late 1990s, and the domaine's wines have since reached new heights.
2017 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LES CAILLOUX RULLY 1er CRU- I kept wanting to squeeze the bottles to give up some of its treasures as it was extremely muted and closed down offering a thinned down version of its true self; even the color was a pale yellow; hints of minerals, flowers and citrus were barely perceptible even after some time in the glass; it was not expressive enough to be called elegant, but I’m thinking its just not time yet for the goodness to be gleaned as I trust this producer explicitly to craft fine wine in every bottling.
We moved into the red wine theme of the night with a pairing of 2 Pavie-Macquins:
2003 CHATEAU PAVIE-MACQUIN SAINT EMILION- 84% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon; the nose was so inviting with pleasant aromas of sandalwood and talc laced black currant which gave way to cedar and cigar box accented blueberry, blackberry and plum on the palate; it was really delicious, had soft tannins which gave rise to great mouthfeel and extended length; great wine.
2000 CHATEAU PAVIE-MACQUIN SAINT EMILION- the table talk suggested this was much younger than the 03`; contrary to many other 2000s that are drinking beautifully now, this was pretty well shut down; it had a youthful, vibrant dark purple color, intense nose of spicy dark fruits, layers of complexity framed by a tannic structure that ensures longevity; it was a bit disjointed and just needs time to evolve and come into balance; I’m thinking it could have benefitted from a long decant.
The next paring led to the WOTN although it was the 08` Roederer fro me:
2012 LA FLEUR-PETRUS POMEROL- 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc; we had a great bottle; it had a strong perfume of enticing black fruit, was silky smooth, full bodied and yet had elegance and finesse; spice and talc accents added to the taste treat to compliment the black currant, blackberry and plum that showed up on the palate.
2005 CHATEAU TROPLONG MONDOT SAINT-EMILION- 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; to complete this flight with another winner, our bottle shined ever so brightly giving generous amounts of chocolate covered black currant with a hit of talc and wood spice coming in late; with time, more nuances developed and greater expressions of ripe dark fruit came in; its hallmark may be its impeccable balance; its ready now, but has the stuffing to go for the long haul; our group voted this WOTN.
The next pairing included:
2004 TUA RITA REDIGAFFI ROSSO TOSCANA- seeing this on the table at the outset, I`d already concluded this was the wine to beat for WOTN; the nose immediately cancelled out any more thoughts along that line as a district waft of Brett jumped out of the glass; there were some redeeming qualities in the chocolate and talc laden blackberry fruit, but the Brett factor held on and dominated the finish as well as the beginning. Bummer!
2013 LE MACCHIOLE PALEO ROSSO TOSCANA- 100% Cabernet Franc in lieu of being its typical Bordeaux blend; this was really enjoyable from the nose through the tail; slightly sweet blackberry and plum prevailed with support from accents of clove, spice and milk chocolate; it was medium bodied, had loads of charm and finesse and was so easy on the palate.
"Paleo" is the common name of a species of grass, Festuca Pratensis (of the Gramineae family), which grows wild along the Tuscan Coast.
Our final flight consisted of 3 distinctly different wines, all good:
2005 NEWTON UNFILTERED MERLOT NAPA- this beauty had somewhat mature notes of cedar infused plum and black currant delivered in a soft and smooth textured medium; it was full bodied and had lots of charm and finesse; second tastes revealed even more savory flavors and I went back for 3rds. Small sips of course.
2007 JONATA EL ALMA de JONATA SANTA YNEZ VALLEY RED WINE- 89% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot; concentrated dark fruit dominates the nose and taste profile in this massive wine that gives and gives with a whole lot in reserve for the future; earth and dark chocolate accents add more to the savory flavors and the pleasing silky texture contributes to an ultimate tactile sensation; this is serious wine that comes in late to the show on this night and may have gotten more love for WOTN if tasted earlier on before palate fatigue hit me and most others.
2007 SPORTOLETTI VILLA FIDELIA ROSSO UMBRIA- this Bordeaux blend is quite the QPR as I understand it comes in around $20; defying the oft heard erroneous price equals quality parameter, its showcases nice dark fruit with liquorice and mocha accents, a full body with layered depth and nice length; this is shockingly good for such an unknown brand for most of us.
And the grand finale:
1995 CHATEAU TIRECUL la GRAVIERE CUVEE MADAME WHITE TABEL WINE MONBAZILLAC- 375 ml; our Prince of Sweets graced us with another sweet gem; some claim it compares favorably with Chateau d’Yquem and I`d not want to do a blind tasting to decipher which is which because this emulates d`Yquem in so many ways; our bottle had spicy apricot nectar with some tangerine in the background being delivered in a very thick, syrupy honey like medium; it hangs on for a palate coating finish that required a putty scraper to remove.
I remain thankful and grateful for having the frequent opportunity to share in the ultimate table experience of great food, wine and fellowship.