NV Ruinart Rose & 97` Williams Selyem Allen Pinot Noir

We had two stellar wines for a recent grand dinner at the Stonehouse Restaurant at the San Ysidro Ranch in Monteicto:

NV RUINART BRUT ROSE- selected to compliment the next wine, this fabulous rose is one I`ve had many times and cherished each and every bottle; this bottle was as good as any before it and when opened, it had a few years of cellaring going for it; the nose had nice floral notes especially that of rose petals and fresh red fruit; the taste included the expected red raspberry and red cherry with some strawberry notes coming in by mid palate; it had such a fine creamy mousse and along with the rich and elegant flavors, served to provide a complete treat; we savored every sip.

1997 WILLIAMS SELYEM ALLEN VINEYARD RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR- with our palates properly prepared by the bubbly for the hallmark fruity notes in this wine, it was probably as good as any bottle I`ve had of this; it just shined full on and delighted all sensory perceptions; the aromatics had very inviting toasty red raspberries, the taste profile had some of that as well as some still primary bright fresh spicy strawberries and red cherries; it was smooth and lush on the palate, beautifully balanced and if there was anything different about this bottle, it might have been a bit more expressive and fuller bodied than the numerous winners previously; this was IMHO, the KIND and at age 19, it can go many more years offering great pleasure; truly remarkable.

With the great ambience provided by the upstairs outside patio on a bluebird evening, excellent, attentive and well timed service along with fine creative cuisine, it was the consummate dining experience.