02` Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois and 97` Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir

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Blake Brown
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:36 pm
Location: Santa Barbara

02` Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois and 97` Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir

Post by Blake Brown » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:56 am

We traveled to Beverly Hills/ Westwood to enjoy a dinner with a friend and meet one a friend of his I had not met personally, but have grown to know and respect from some of his posts on WineBerserker forums.

That superlative evening was captured in a previous report featuring 06` Comtes de Champagne, 86` Mouton, 97` Ornellaia and 01` Sandrone Cannubi at an Italian restaurant, La Bruschetta.

To enjoy our own special evening out, I made reservations at Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air for the next night.

We were seated in a pre-requested quiet, romantic booth set up for 2 on the large, attractive outside patio and settled in for a grand evening. Aside from a little unnecessary issue with the corkage policy when confronted by our overly zealous waiter, we enjoyed wondrous, creative Puck designed dishes along with personalised and professional wine service from the well informed sommelier who knows many common folk as we learned throughout the evening.

We drank:

2002 BILLECART-SALMON CUVEE NICOLAS FRANCOIS BRUT- 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay; my first introduction to this vintage for this house`s tete du cuvee and I’m now a fan; following the yellow gold color came aromas of wild flowers and sweetened citrus and stone fruit which on the palate translated into honeyed, caramel, talc and toasty brioche accented lemon, lime, orange, white peach and bing cherry with a streak of minerals running through to the end; it had medium plus viscosity, lots of complexity and finished like a still wine that just wanted to hang around and please; the overall profile stayed pretty much the same throughout the entire evening as it was kept on ice; loved it.

The sommelier graced us with a pour of sake and 2 small well paired appetizers between courses and wines:

TENZAN SHICHIDA JUNMAI 75 SAKE- translucent silver color; the nose had loads of honeyed pear and apple notes with a hit of vanilla and minerality past mid palate; it was surprisingly mild, elegant and light in weight.

1997 WILLIAMS SELYEM ROCHIOLI RIVERBLOCK VINEYARD RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR- consistent with Burt`s claims of filling all bottles to the cork line, there was very little loss of the ullage, if any; the color was a still youthful dark red and the nose was redolent of cinnamon, spice and fresh red fruit; now, significantly encouraged to taste it, I found more of the cinnamon and spice accenting red raspberry, red cherry and strawberry and enough energy to support its still youthful vibrance; the mouthfeel was amazing with a silky and velvety texture and my sensory receptors went wild; the surprising thing about this bottle was I expected more of the darker, mature Pinot fruit profile of plum, blackberry and black cherry that I’ve experienced in many previous 97` RBs, but this did not go there; the wine was so elegant and pleasing, I just had to text Burt with the report.

A good night.


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