Our lunch group held its annual December Bordeaux themed event recently to the delight of all who attended at our usual venue, The Santa Barbara Club. The food and wines were over the top and it made for a grand conclusion to a wonderful year of many spectacular lunches.
The chef and server for our lunches are so very much appreciated and we acknowledged such on this day. Kudos for our member organizer were also doled out. Having a dedicated dining room, the Library Room, allows for us to have side tables for the wines, ice buckets, decanters and additional stemware to the 5 quality stems are each place. The table set up is done according to the turnout and its often possible to even have an entire table conversation with 15 or 16 folks.
Chef Humberto put together a stellar menu that paired beautifully with our wines:
Roasted goose with roosted potatoes
Maple creme brûlée with huckleberry cranberry compote
Here are the wines in order of being received:
NV APSAPSIE CARTE BLANCE BRUT- this was my last bottle of a large stash I purchased from K&L over 5 years ago so it had some age on it; it’s a fabulous QPR at about $35 and many remarked about its quality upon tasting; it had bright acidity, nice balance and just the perfect expression of citrus fruit with lemon zest most prevalent; it was crisp and refreshing and an ideal palate cleanser to prepare us for the big reds forthcoming.
The first flight of 4:
1985 GRUAUD-LAROSE SAINT-JULIEN- once I saw a list of the wines already committed and the 88` of this being included, it seemed right to pull the 85` for comparison sake at least; well, the only similarity was the label as this was pretty Bretty especially in the nose; the taste had earthy black currant notes in this medium to full bodied, just OK wine; it was decanted for over 3 hours.
1988 GRUAUD-LAROSE SAINT-JULIEN- this bottle was decanted just prior to serving; about the only comparative factor between this and the 85` may have been the tannic structure; the nose was redolent of dried red cherry/ berry notes which also was prevalent in the taste profile with added accents from tobacco, clove and cranberry; it was tannic throughout and finished somewhat astringent.
1996 DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU SAINT-JULIEN- the nose had nice advanced dark fruit with black currant most apparent; chocolate, earth and licorice embellished the taste and at about mid palate, the wine became very dry; good start, not so much at the end.
2001 DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU SAINT-JULIEN- the nose gets this off to a good start with inviting aromas of ripe dark fruit which comes in somewhat mild on the palate with cranberry and cherry notes; it had a smooth and easy mouthfeel and a nice aura of elegance.
Before moving on, we had a white Bordeaux which paired nicely with the vichyssoise:
2015 CHATEAU LATOUR-MARTILLAC BLANC PESSAC- LEOGNAN- 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon; I expected the mineral driven aromas and the steely, grassy and herbal notes, but the taste profile was way different with wondrous slightly buttered citrus, green apple, kiwi and pear fruit; it had an oily like buttery texture; really fine wine now and should be able to go for some time.
The second flight of 6:
1996 LEOVILLE LAS CASES SAINT-JULIEN- to this point, this was the best on the day; it epitomized the analogy of power and finesse; the nose was very peasant with nice spicy dark fruit and the taste had cedar and chocolate laced blackberry. black cherry; it was full bodied, had layers of depth and complexity as well as nice balance; it finished a bit dry with earth tones more evident.
2000 LEOVILLE LAS CASES SAINT-JULIEN- earth and forest floor dominate the nose, but on the palate comes really nice black currant with a touch of plum and black raspberry; it seemed to improve with only a little time in the glass and I saved some for a 2nd pass through and everything was indeed enhanced; a good decant would be best for this still young wine.
1994 COS` d`ESTROUNEL SAINT-ESTEPHE- not many shined in this vintage, but this one did on the day with youthful color and exuberance; it was loaded with dark fruit and structured for the long run; leather and mocha accents added to the enjoyable taste pleasure.
1998 CLINET POMEROL- this bottle was pleasant and easy, giving mild red and black cherry fruit delivered with a soft and smooth texture; it was full bodied and yet very graceful.
1989 PICHON-LONGUEVILLE COMTESSE de LALANDE PAULLIAC- the nose was so inviting and suggestive of some good things to come and that’s what happened as generous amounts of cedar laced black currant highlighted the notes; I’ve had quite a few of this and our bottle was as good as any.
2000 PICHON-LONGUEVILLE COMTESSE de LALANDE PAULLIAC- it took some time for this to open and once it did, it still took second fiddle to the 89` which is so much more evolved and ready; the tannins were pretty dominate but nice blackberry, black cherry fruit came out and held on for a good finish.
Third flight of 3:
2000 LASCOMBES MARGAUX- here’s another from the fine 00` vintage and it showed really well which I was pleased to discover since I bought a case during the futures offering; it had lightly toasted and slightly sweet black cherry along with a smooth mouthfeel; there’s depth and length and promise for good things down the line.
1999 MARGAUX MARGAUX- with a drum roll anticipation, I dived into this legendary wine and found some interesting and different from expected nuances with the nose having cinnamon spiced dark fruit which on the palate turns out to be plum, black raspberry and blackberry; it was full, rich and silky smooth.
2001 AUSONE SAINT-EMILION- I`ve had this gem before and once I knew it was coming, I predicted it to be the WOTD and for me, it was; it was in perfect balance, had pleasant aromas of leather, graphite and chocolate accented dark fruit and then the taste additionally showed plum, blueberry, blackberry and black raspberry fruit; it was full bodied, super rich and had a soft tannic structure; this is great now and has all of the stuffing to entertain for many years on.
One desert wine:
1983 CHATEAU de FARGUES LUR-SALUCE SAUTERNES- affectionately called d'Yquem junior, this dessert in a glass had a dark amber color and was redolent of honeyed dried apricot with hints of mint and creme brûlée; there was a must, dusty component in the background; this was super concentrated and a little sip or 2 was just about all I could muster up at the end of the fab luncheon.