Pinot Provence, 3/24/05: Yes, this is the second time that I have dined at this restaurant this week, but that's just the way the timing worked out with the wine dinners, oh well. Luckily, the second time proved to be a charm as well as the first. Appetizers: Tuna Ahi Tartare: This was absolutely wonderful, flavorful and nicely prepared. The foie gras was outstanding as well, and the endive salad was nice as well. Starters: Hamilton Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast, California This was a very fruity Sauvignon Blanc, with a nutty, buttery feel, and a nice chewy mouth feel. However, the finish wasn't stellar and it didn't feel integrated. Not bad for the price point, and OK for daily drinking, but not my style 84 pts The main courses, were spectacular, yet again: Kobe Beef Carpaccio with fresh parmesan. Sublime, very tender, with great flavor, the cracked pepper and parmesan gave it a wonderful medley of intense flavors. Veal Cheeks: Extremely flavorful, these braised veal cheeks were wonderfully tender and melted in your mouth. Sea Scallops: Amazing, with new potatoes and vegetables, these sea scallops were just stunningly buttery and went down extremely smoothly. Lamb Ribeye: This was tender, and the dolma were a nice offset that gave this dish a very mediterrean feel. Angus Beef Ribeye with morels: Again, very tender, wonderfully prepared, melted in your mouth and was just delightful. 2nd Flight (pinot): We opened the pinot about 30 minutes before drinking but didn't decant. 2000 Whitcraft Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir (Central Coast, CA) Wow, what a big pinot. This had a dark inky feel, with some oak and tannin initially, with tons of jammy fruit and a nice integrated feel to it. After about 10 minutes in the glass, the oak dissipated a bit and the fruit came out to play. This is a very nice pinot, but perhaps not the typical central coast style, with the tannins and oak, it could be mistaken for a cab initially but its finish was pure Pinot Noir. 93 pts. 2003 Hitching Post Santa Barbara County (Central Coast, CA) This was a young Pinot, and had abundant fruit, with notes of blueberries and crushed violets on the nose. Palate was nice, with less oak than the Whitcraft, but more fruit. Finish was long and graceful. Not quite as stately or integrated as the Whitcraft, the SBC was exuberant and enjoyable. 92 pts. For dessert, we again enjoyed the Chocolat Degustation, which was again amazing. After Eight ice cream, with an espresso cup, chocolate mousse, and a flourless chocolate cake. Just divine. This was accompanied by: 1999 Chateau Rieussec (Sauternes, France) We opened this 3 hours before drinking, and the air time certainly helped. Nose was absolutely delightful, with apricots, creme brulee, and an extremely slight petrol note. Thick, concentrated, and abundantly sweet, the Rieussec was a complex symphony of flavors. Not at all restrained, this young Sauternes pranced about and greatly impressed. Not quite as great as its 2001 brethren, the 1999 still deserves a solid 95 points.