05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

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Blake Brown
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05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#1 Post by Blake Brown » June 26th, 2020, 8:18 am

A fabulous semi-social night back out and to our favorite local restaurant, The Stonehouse.

We discovered The Stonehouse, located on the premises of the San Ysidro Ranch, re-opened almost 2 weeks ago and we just had to jump back in, hoping the menu was decent and that all of our favorite servers would have returned.

They have rearranged the seating to allow for more distancing and still we could sit at our preferred outside patio table and be served by our #1 favorite server; meanwhile, all the others stopped by our table throughout the evening to say hey and elbow bump.

The menu was somewhat restricted and limited to only what they were offering as opposed to also including their sister restaurant, The Plow & Angel, located below. Regardless, there were numerous good options and we ate well.

As is our MO, we also drink well by taking a fine champagne and a Burt Williams made Pinot Noir. In this case:

2005 LOUIS ROEDERER CRISTAL BRUT- some have called this a lesser vintage for Cristal and I’ve yet to drink one that was less than stellar, especially including this one; it was nicely evolved and ready to please with a hallmark of beautiful balance; it had the requisite toasty brioche as well as some talc and sandalwood and wood spices to enhance the citrus and stone fruit notes; it was full on, had a smooth, creamy texture and long finish; basically, it was the complete package and perhaps the best 05` Cristal I’ve had.

1995 WILLIAMS SELYEM ALLEN VINEYARD RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR- 13.7% abv; high neck fill; cinnamon red color with no signs of aging; the cork was fully in tack with 50% saturation; this release has shined ever so brightly every time I’ve tasted it over many years; in fact, the 95` may be my fav of all of the Burt made Allen Pinots; this bottle, like almost all previous bottles, had cinnamon, clove and spice laden red raspberry and strawberry in the nose, joined by red cherry on the palate; it had a medium body, soft and smooth mouthfeel and a long, welcomed finish; the hallmark may be its incredible balance as was the Cristal. Simply amazing new world Pinot at age 25.

How wonderful this evening was. We were surrounded on 2 sides by beautiful flowers planted on the stone wall in our corner {see photo}. My view included fantastic views of the ocean, channel islands and lower Montecito village and we both treasured the timing of another magnificent sunset aura. This on top of the quality of service, food and wines, and most importantly, my sweetie sitting across from me, all made for a glorious night.

Cheers,
Blake
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"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Chris Seiber
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#2 Post by Chris Seiber » June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am

I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.

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Nick Christie
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#3 Post by Nick Christie » June 26th, 2020, 9:47 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
That's because of your keen wit... and Blake's devotion to top class wines of a certain specificity ;)

I, too, think the '05 Cristal is underrated and I am very happy to see it improve in your company, Blake!

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Blake Brown
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#4 Post by Blake Brown » June 26th, 2020, 10:26 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
Thanks Chris. Yes, I know you know the MO here. Look forward to sharing some of the same with you and the OC guys or should I say, The Book Club.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Blake Brown
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#5 Post by Blake Brown » June 26th, 2020, 10:28 am

Nick Christie wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:47 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
That's because of your keen wit... and Blake's devotion to top class wines of a certain specificity ;)

I, too, think the '05 Cristal is underrated and I am very happy to see it improve in your company, Blake!
May I always live up to your comment of devotion. My intent is set.
And Nick, I truly appreciate your kind words re the showing of the Cristal.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Nick Christie
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#6 Post by Nick Christie » June 26th, 2020, 1:07 pm

Blake Brown wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 10:28 am
Nick Christie wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:47 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
That's because of your keen wit... and Blake's devotion to top class wines of a certain specificity ;)

I, too, think the '05 Cristal is underrated and I am very happy to see it improve in your company, Blake!
May I always live up to your comment of devotion. My intent is set.
And Nick, I truly appreciate your kind words re the showing of the Cristal.
You're a good dude, Blake. I raise this glass of Krug 167 to you, which, thankfully, is also on song. We are fortunate, you and I.

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T. Melloni
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#7 Post by T. Melloni » June 26th, 2020, 2:23 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
Ha! I had the same thought.
And then happy to read the notes and see the pictures.
Salud!
Tho m@s (sometimes); You can call me T.

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Steve Nordhoff
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#8 Post by Steve Nordhoff » June 26th, 2020, 5:40 pm

Great post Blake, and a beautiful spot.
ITB -Riverain Vineyards

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Blake Brown
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#9 Post by Blake Brown » June 26th, 2020, 7:06 pm

Steve Nordhoff wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 5:40 pm
Great post Blake, and a beautiful spot.
05` Cristal rocks Steve- I know you'd like it. Maybe the 4 of us go to the Ranch when you come to SB.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Blake Brown
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#10 Post by Blake Brown » June 27th, 2020, 8:39 am

It's extremely rare for me to ever have any Burt made Williams Selyem wine left over, but we each actually did have a decent pour to enjoy 2 nights after the grand opening.

I was super surprised to find that the wine changed dramatically from the first go around. The cinnamon, clove and spice accents were just perceivable and the raspberry, strawberry and red cherry fruit now shows up as black currant and blackberry; even the texture seemed to be more viscous. No way would I call this 95` Allen, but it was really good, just different after 48 hours.

Cheers,
Blake
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6DF4AD7C-B34D-46E8-BB21-97FBFDED53CE.jpeg
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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Nick Christie
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Joined: November 20th, 2016, 1:37 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#11 Post by Nick Christie » June 27th, 2020, 9:17 am

How wonderful to have the wine be in such a powerful place that can still evolve.

Flavor-wise, we seem to be echoing each other from across the country... shared an '87 J. Wile Cali Cab last night (12.5%!) and it was in precisely that black fruit evolutionary stage. Black current and dark soil. Truly a wonderful combination.

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M. Dildine
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#12 Post by M. Dildine » June 27th, 2020, 9:36 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
As could I. And I always enjoy the vicarious thrill from reading these!
Cheers,

Mike

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Blake Brown
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Re: 05` Cristal and 95` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot

#13 Post by Blake Brown » June 29th, 2020, 12:46 pm

M. Dildine wrote:
June 27th, 2020, 9:36 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 9:16 am
I could have guessed the thread author just from seeing the two wines. Glad you had a great experience and thanks for sharing.
As could I. And I always enjoy the vicarious thrill from reading these!
My MO is becoming pretty easy to recognize. Life is good and may it always include a fine bottle of Cristal or other top champagne and a Burt made Pinot.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

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