Our Annual Champagne-infused trip to Maui

We travel to Maui with another couple every March. They supply the condo, we supply the wine, euchre partners and more. I’ve posted threads on a couple of the trips. Here’s the 2022 edition.

I packed so much champagne I left little room for clothing, but hey, it’s a beach vacation. Ten 750’s (any more and the VinguardValise is way over 50#), plus two magnums in styrofoam shippers in my suitcase. I also packed 4 glasses to my wife’s chagrin (no video, but picture her shaking her head at my geekiness). Anyone who’s traveled to Hawaii knows there’s barely a case of adequate glasses amongst all of the islands.
My notes show I don’t typically need an excuse to open a good bottle especially since March of 2020 when we hastily left the island early into a changed world. Last year, I said I brought my “A game”, so I don’t know what to say about this year other than “turn it up to eleven”.
One of the wines thus far showed a little blunting, maybe due to travel shock versus my own sensory inconsistencies. The other seem difficult to believe it could have been any better pre-flight.
Sorry for the redundancy; I’ll be posting the individual tasting notes in the “What Champagne are you drinking” thread, as that’s where I personally search for tasting notes.

I hope some of you enjoy this travelogue as much as I’ve enjoyed some of yours.

Cheers, and open the good bottle.



Jealous! No Maui for us this year…have fun! champagne.gif

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We arrived in the morning. We had a nice dinner at Longhis, a new restaurant at the Marriot Ocean Club Kanapali. After more than a decade, they finally have a nice restaurant on the property.
With the meal, we opened a 2008 Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons. This was one of the toughest cork extractions I’ve had, but the struggle (which included a broken cork and a corkscrew) was worth it. The wine walks the line between power and grace, youth and maturity. So stunning, it distracts from conversation. Lemon cream, warm yeasty brioche, chamomile, ginger. It started strong yet improved through the night. This was a perfect start to our champagne-enhanced holiday!

Great wine with a fun dinner on the beach last night. The 2009 Cristal has never shut down. Like the Pierre Peters Chetillon, it combines brawn and elegance, with lemon cream, orchard fruit & patisserie. I’ve had other bottles show slightly better, which might have been due to travel shock. However, for me, I suspect palate variability is more common than bottle variability.

Apologies for the dark photo. Marybeth is appalled enough at me photographing bottles during meals. Using a flash would lead to the dreaded fork-in-thigh syndrome.


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I’m glad we missed this storm. Right in front of the Marriot Kanapali Pool.

Another near perfect 2002 Cuvèe Nicolas François Billecart. It’s a vinous, ripe champagne; never overripe. The rich biscuit notes attest to the twenty years of age, and ten on the lees. Although it is 6:4 Pinot:Chardonnay, the smaller percentage ripe Chard is more evident on the nose and palate. The only imperfection is the blank disgorgement date. I’ve said it before; Billecart Salmon triumphed in 2002.


Do you know what the lot number(s) is/are on your bottle of the 2002 Nicolas Francois? I’m interested in figuring out what you might have had as this bottle has had multiple disgorgements across at least 2014-2019 which is a wide swing for a regular vintage wine release.

Sadly, that bottle is in the recycling bin at last night’s restaurant. From the photo, I see two numbers on the back label, but I’m not sure if they’re lot numbers. What I see are 4330338, and NM-116-001. I still have several of these to open, so I’ll look for it next time.


Thanks. The 4330338 number isn’t a lot number, but from what I can tell more of a label identification number. This is a wine that I have been tracking across disgorgements to see how that affects things so I am interested in any data points. I’m a sucker for wines that are disgorged over such a long time period such as the 2002 Billecart Nicolas Francois.

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This is an ambrosial rosè. Pure class, elegance and balance. Amongst my favorite rosè champagnes. With each new bottle I fall deeper for this winery.

I wonder when they will move that thing. My kids had a great time playing on it in December, someone told me it had been there most of 2021.

I was there in October and it was NOT there.

2002 Piper Heidsieck Cuvèe Rare paired with euchre games. Time has been kind to this wine. Warm baguette, orange cream, tropical fruits. I’ve really liked my last several bottles.
NV Egly-Ouriet Rosè. This is one of my favorite rosès, but this didn’t show as well as typically. We opened it with a nice dinner at Honu. Perhaps it was a different base/disgorgement, or travel shock. It was lean, showing savory strawberries, spice, sandalwood; much better with food, air, and after losing its chill. While it didn’t show quite as well as my last few, the glasses were appreciatively drained by meal’s end.

Love honu

I have always loved that '02 Rare. Unfortunately I don’t have much left, but I think the '08 is great too.

Always a must-tag post, thanks for all the notes so far Warren. Agree in my limited knowledge re glassware–when I visited, the local guys I met up with, they all brought their own :slight_smile:

Maluhia and enjoy the rest of your time there



A late afternoon post-beach card game is enhanced with 2006 Dom Perignon. I didn’t love this for the first several years after release, but it’s blossomed into a beautiful wine. Less reductive notes than most vintages, and great concentration and length. It’s an outstanding DP for current consumption.
Dinner at Sale Pepe Pizzaria e Cucina in Lahaina was complemented with 2007 Billecart Salmon Cuvèe Elisabeth Salmon. Orange peel and lemon, orchard fruit and strawberries. It’s still a baby, substantial yet elegant now; better times ahead.

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With euchre on the deck after another perfect beach day, the near-perfect 2012 Vilmart Emotion Rosè. This has been one of my favorite champagnes since the first time I tried it. Orange cream, cherry, rose and honeysuckle, great structure, long finish. Perhaps it is perfect.



Next up. 2006 Taittinger Comtes in magnum. Great accompaniment to a nice dinner. This was as good as ever. My last magnum was the only tight ‘06 Comte I’d ever encountered, but this one was wide open and luscious.

Krug 160 eme. Bold, dense, autolytic. I liked my last two bottles of this more. Maybe travel shock, but some of our other bottles this week showed better.