Krug Grande Cuvee 169 eme and 1995 Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir

Once again, my sweetie and I dined at our local favorite restaurant, Stonehouse, located on the lux resort property of the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito.

While seated at our favorite table and served by our favorite waiter, we ate some of our favorite dishes while drinking some of our favorite wines and catching a beautiful sunset over the Pacific and Santa Barbara Channel Islands in the background:

MV KRUG GRANDE CUVEE BRUT 169eme Edition- 375 ml; typically, we take a 750 ml bottle of champagne, but having had a ton of bubbly a few days before, we deferred and took a split; I’ve only tasted this edition from a couple of 750s and all have been young and seemingly searching for its ultimate place and how it is going to get there; this smaller bottle was no exception as it went through shifts and changes throughout the evening and finally landed in a good place; it featured an unexpected wild tropical fruit profile that included mandarin, tangerine, guava, kiwi, passion fruit, honeydew melon, citrus, especially lemon and nutty, marzipan; ginger and honey provided nice accents and the oily texture added to the sensorial pleasure; as indicated from the interpretation of the ID code on the back label, this a blend of 146 wines from 11 different years, the youngest coming from 2013 and the oldest, 2000; its final composition is 43% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 22% Meunier; added to the 2013 base is a 40% blend from their reserves and then all is aged for 7 years.

1995 WILLIAMS SELYEM HIRSCH VINEYARD SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR- we drank my last bottle of this in March at this same table and it was so good, I just had to seek out more and found this bottle in an auction; most of my previous notes are applicable here as it was almost a perfect duplicate: this vintage has been one of my favs of all of the Hirsch Pinots Burt made and our bottle was as good as the last one, the best ever; the fill was just short of the cork as he intended to fill every bottle to that position; the color was a dark red purple with no signs of aging; the nose offered an amazing array of spicy red and dark fruit which on the palate translated into red and black raspberry and red plum with an even bigger hit of the spices; it was medium to full bodied, had a smooth texture and a long finish with spicy black raspberry lingering; I was so elated to find this showing so well at age 27 and almost more amazing than any other thing is that is was so youthful and seemingly close to what it initially presented way back when first tasted in 1998; we were blessed to have another treasure and acknowledged it while also toasting to our friend who we dearly miss.

I’m grateful for another grand evening at our treasured venue.



Sounds excellent Blake. Wish I had a cellar full of older WS treasures.

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The cellar is not as full as it has been, but there is still about 50 Burt made bottles remaining from vintages 1988-1997.