We were invited to join another couple for dinner at the Bella Vista Restaurant in the Biltmore Four Seasons Resort. Their outside patio is such a beautiful place to be. It has almost surrealistic views and ambience with the sounds and the vibration of the surf pounding onto to nearby Butterfly Beach, vistas of the ocean and channel islands in the background and if timed properly, which we did on this night, the ever changing radiation of the sun`s rays while approaching sunset.
To take advantage of these treasures, we arrived early to enjoy some champagne on the patio before joining the other couple.
2008 R&L LEGRAS SAINT-VINCENT BLANC de BLANC BRUT GRAND CRU- I first got turned on to this producer after having the “house” bubbly Brut and Brut Rose at La Tour d`Argent in Paris many times and loving them. Finally and after a few years, I asked the Chef de Cave, David Ridgway, who makes this for them and it was R&L Legras. They were founded in the 16th century and are one of the great names of Chouilly, the famous and most northerly village of the Côte de Blancs. This vintage was made in honour of the winegrowers’ Patron Saint since the 1964.
Tasting notes: the colour was yellow gold; the nose immediately suggested some oxidation which I’m now thinking is part of this house`s style as I had just tasted the NV BdB recently and it had similar oxidative like notes which were not evidenced in the Paris champagnes; it gave peach, apricot and mango with accents of caramel, honeysuckle and almonds; its full bodied, complex and creamy rich; if drunk now, a good chill is recommended; cellaring for at least 10 years also seems about right.
At dinner, I brought our only other wine on the night:
1995 WILLIAMS SELYEM RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR- the ullage is high neck; Burt filled every bottle to the cork so when buying any, I can get a good idea of storage and care by checking the fill; I have a few from the late 80s and early 90s that are at the base of the neck, but not lower; the colour was a cinnamon cloudy red; the nose offered spicy floral and red fruit aromas followed by spicy, cinnamon infused strawberry, red cherry and especially red raspberry; it was medium plus in weight and body, had a soft and easy mouthfeel and a lingering taste of everything coming together at the end; this nicely balanced wine was not showing any real signs of ageing with mostly primary fruit and colour.
I can hardly wait for the next Burt made Pinot which I have already pulled to share with him today on the 4th, a 95` Allen Vineyard.