Last Update! : Anniversary Wines; Next up, 1996 Dom Perignon

Marybeth and I just arrive to a beautiful house we rented in Bend, Oregon for a short anniversary trip. Just the two of us. We’ll be hiking, fly fishing, and chilling, and of course, eating and drinking well. Our original anniversary reservations were to Paris & Champagne. Like everyone else in the world, 2020 didn’t go as planned. Our backup trip was Tofino or Whistler, which were also nixed by our American persona non grata status. So it’s Bend, and we love it.
Life doesn’t go as planned, but life is very good.

Night one, upon our arrival in Bend, we shared another beautiful bottle of 2002 Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Rare. It’s in the optimal zone (for me) of youthful freshness meeting early signs of maturation, with citrus, almond brioche, honeysuckle. We were road-weary after the eight hour drive last night, and neglected to notice there was still a glass worth left in the bottle until I awoke this morning. Even after sitting uncorked at room temperature, it was still beautiful with breakfast.

Night Two:
2008 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons; Unbelievably good. Dense lemon cream and citrus peel, apricot, honey and white flowers. There’s also a savory brown spice component. It’s yeasty with a long mineral finish. The flavors and acidity amplify and crescendo into a long finish. It’s still taut, and probably a long way from it’s prime drinking window. Fantastic BdB. It paired perfectly with Charlie’s Schrenckii caviar.

Night three:
Another fun bottle of 1996 Calon Segur. We’ve been opening a bottle nearly every year since release. This was the most advanced of any bottle we’ve opened. The tannins, which just a few years ago were still impenetrable, were fully resolved. Great melange of currant, leather, licorice, five spice. Great with Flannery tenderloin seared in cast iron.

Night four; our anniversary!
1996 Dom Perignon.

I thought I only had very old disgorgements, but this was an auction purchase from 2018 that I suspect was a more recent disgorgement. I’ve read some tasters finding advance bottles, but this wine was a beauty.
Upon opening a bit cold, it was restrained but with perfect balance and little tertiary characteristics. It took a bit of air and warming to show its true character. Once it opened up, it was a thriller. Dense and generous, with lemon, orange, yellow orchard fruit, heady brioche, roasting hazelnuts, jasmine and a very savory note I couldn’t put a name on. This bottle could have lasted another decade or more. I don’t know how this can be so good considering how many cases they produce.

This week we’ll open one of my three remaining 1996 Dom Perignon from one of the original disgorgements. I’m hoping it held up. '96 was a good year to marry! We’ve also opened a '96 Calon Segur every anniversary since release. The last three were stunning. I have enough of these to last 30 years, as well a two three liter bottles for the 25th (next year) and 30th anniversaries. That’s assuming we can celebrate with a large group of friends by then…



Happy anniversary! We spent a week in Bend a couple of years ago, and loved every minute of it. Some fantastic wines!

Happy anniversary, Warren. It looks like you’re at least drinking well. I’m not sure what’s open now over in Bend, but if you’re looking for restaurants try Ariana, Zydeco, Joolz, and Trattoria Sbandati for dinner, and McKay Cottage for breakfast.

Happy anniversary to you and your wife. Enjoy your getaway. Tight lines on the water!
That is quite a lineup and the appetizers don’t look too bad either. Didn’t you do a trip report a year or two ago where you were drinking premier Champagne daily.
You live good, Warren!

Happy anniversary! Enjoy the time and wines! champagne.gif

Happy Anniversary, Warren! I like the ratio of champagne to still wines.


Happy anniversary Warren and Marybeth!!

What year is that Rare? And look out for alcohol poisoning; that’s a lot for to people at dinner!

2002 Cuvee Rare. That’s all of the wine for two of us over five days.

Funny Jim, you have a better memory than me! It was a Hawaii trip where as usual, our wines were very champagne-centric.



Thanks Marshall! That’s really helpful, better than the google search I did this morning. You can’t trust TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.


Have a great trip, and post a note 0n the Rare when you get back (all of the wines, actually!)


Love the 02 Piper. Used to be able to get this for $100 but not anymore.


True John,

That and the 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires. A lot of critics and others were reporting unfavorably about these wines (“good, not great”), while I was buying cases, especially the Millénaires!


Happy Anniversary to Marybeth and to you, Warren! Looks like you have quite a nice assortment of wine to celebrate. And, if you are hiking, it sounds like the problem that you were having with your foot is in the past!


Happy anniversary! Love the 02 Rare…

Me too! Thanks, Hank.

Yes, thanks Ed! It lasted 24 and fully resolved. Uric acid well below 6. A mystery.

Yes, happy anniversary and nice line-up! I just sourced some '96 Dom, so I am curious how yours shows.

Happy Anniversary!!
If you are staying near “downtown” don’t forget to go to Market of Choice and pick up a bottle of South Sister gin…makes a great old fashioned.

We were just there this afternoon!

Way off topic, Warren. I noticed in a couple of your replies you were able to quote multiple people in a single post. I have seen it used by other folks also. How do you do this? And does each person that you are quoting receive notification of your reply? Very useful I think. Thanks. Cheers!