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Hospice Auction Wine Night

Samish Hill, Bellingham, WA

Tasted November 20, 2021 by WST with 22 views


We host several food and wine events at our home, to the highest bidders at various charity events. We try to include classic pairings, and food and wine the suitable for both novices and aficionados. This was a particularly generous donor who also loves wine, so deep in the cellar we journeyed!

Flight 1 - Champagne welcome! (3 notes)

Started with excellent charcuterie and cheese, then halibut ceviche and scallop ceviche. The 1522 was sabered for the entertainment value

White - Sparkling
1998 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare France, Champagne
This was an outstanding magnum. Served too cold, it blossomed with air and warmth. Less doughy and exuberant than the 2002, but possessing more charm and elegance. A kaleidoscope of scents and flavors; citrus, apricot, brioche, fruit blossoms and more. A little reduction. This will last for decades.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Rosé - Sparkling
2006 Philipponnat Champagne Premier Cru Cuvée 1522 Rosé Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
Sabered for fun. My last bottle of this, and another good one. Savory, with strawberry, kumquat, and spice. Most wines from Philipponnat seem to mature slowly, but this one was primed.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Egly-Ouriet Champagne Grand Cru VP France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
I love the VP Vieillissement Prolongé. Intense, and both zesty and creamy. Blood orange and other smokey citrus. The 82 months on the lees shows in the nose and palate, and the oak aging on the texture. I love the mouthfeel of this wine. In fact, I love almost everything about this wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - Oysters and Muscadet (1 note)

Three dozen kumomotos and kushis, fresh horseradish and lemon; outstanding. I love Pepiere's Briords, showing folks world class can be found for a low tariff.

2014 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine sur lie Vieilles Vignes Clos des Briords France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine sur lie
I love this vintage of Briords. Perfect with oysters, as one would expect. Nice mineral and salinity, but a bit more fruit than most muscadet. Lemon peel and even some white orchard fruit.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Sauternes and Foie Gras (1 note)

I used to sear fresh foie gras, but the terrine eases my time in the kitchen. I also suggested trying the Suduiraut with some nice blue cheeses.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
I've said it before (and I'll say a many more times as I own a lot of this wine); Suduiraut crushed the 2001 vintage. So lively, focused, and light on its feet for a sticky, but full of flavors and character. Honeyed botrytis, marmalade and cardamom. Perfect with a terrine of foie gras.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Random red and rosé (2 notes)

Not everyone is as enthralled with Champagnes and Whites as us, so I was prepared.

2006 Marc Sorrel Hermitage Le Gréal France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
We weren't planning to serve any reds until later in the night. However, some of the guests looked daunted by all the champagne, whites and sauternes, so down to the cellar we went. This is a forward, flavorful Northern Rhone, mostly dominated by dark berries, but some fun cured meat and herbs. It did the trick.
2016 Château Le Puy Francs Côtes de Bordeaux Rose-Marie France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Francs Côtes de Bordeaux
A really delicious wine. One of the guests wanted a rosé, and this is a bottle that impresses novices and geeks equally. Very bold, grippy, unusual and complex that if served blind and warmer, could be mistaken for a red.

Flight 5 - Perigord Truffles and Nebbiolo (2 notes)

The white truffles this year have been of disappointing quality, yet the prices are high. I elected to go with the first winter black truffles of the year. While they're far from peak, I was very happy with the quality and flavor.

1964 Ceretto Barolo Riserva Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
The first black winter perigord truffles of the year, and the generosity of the donors called for a nice old nebbiolo. I had stood this up months ago, and it decanted perfectly clear using a decanting stand six hours before serving. It's remarkable fresh for a 57 year old. Beautiful old nebbiolo nose, but some sneaky fruit remains on the scents and flavors. Mostly herbal earth, tar, and mushrooms, plus some sweet red fruit.
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Ovello Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
A perfect comparison, complement and contrast to the '64 Ceretto. Also good with the perigord truffles. Classic tar and rose, dark red and black fruit. I should have decanted longer than an hour; it's still a youngster. Good energy and concentration, another winner tonight.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - More champagne (of course) (1 note)

White - Sparkling
2006 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Nicolas-François Billecart France, Champagne
Well, we had finished the other wines and weren't ready for dessert, so what it one to do? Anyone who knows me can predict the answer: more Champagne! I really love this cuvee. The '06 doesn't quite reach the current heights of the '02, but maybe it will in time. A delicious, energetic, deep champagne. The last sip was the best, a sign of good things to come
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 7 - Port wine and Stilton Cheese (1 note)

We typically end with this pairing, and managed to finish the entire 750.

Red - Fortified
1963 Warre Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
Served with a beautiful stilton cheese. The ugliest of bottles, cloudy with no label, and a despicable cork that challenged even the Durand. I managed to remove all of the fragments from the neck with the worm and a flashlight, and the decanting stand once again proved its worth. Clear, pale ruby with ample amber edges. Very light bodied considering its genus. Dried red fruits, spice, chocolate. More delicate and seemingly less sweet than a typical VP. Elegant; even Marybeth, who describes most sweet wines as cough syrup, could drink a sip without a grimace. Everyone else (including me) loved it.


Another fun night, and for a great cause. It was like a kid's soccer game; every wine deserved a medal; not a dud to be found. Champagne centric, because that's what we love, but enough variety to keep everyone happy and gratified. Cheers!

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