Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wine Lunch at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte’s Restaurant La Grand’ Vigne (2 Stars Michelin, Chef: Nicolas Masse) – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Picture: Sommelier Aurélien Farrouil and Christian Schiller

We visited Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte in the morning. Following the visit and tasting we enjoyed lunch at Restaurant La Grand’ Vigne, prepared by Chef Nicolas Masse (2 stars Michelin). The restaurant is part of the Les Sources de Caudalie, a complex comprising a hotel, several restaurants and a health spa, which the owners of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte constructed next to the Château.

I already posted about the visit of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte here: Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

This posting covers the outstanding wine lunch at Restaurant La Grande Vigne.

Picture: Les Sources de Caudalie

Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Florence and Daniel Cathiard

The noble Bosq family started growing grapes here as early as 1365. The property was purchased in the 18th century by Scotsman George Smith, who gave the estate its present name. Current owners are Florence and Daniel Cathiard. Both Florence and Daniel were professional skiers belonging to the French Olympic ski team in the mid-1960s (with triple gold medal legend at the 1968 Winter Olympics Jean-Claude Killy). After their career in sports, Daniel built a supermarket and sporting goods store imperium and Florence an advertising agency. In 1990 they bought Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte with the wealth generated by the sale of all their assets. They brought the quality of Smith-Haut-Lafitte wines to the level for which they were once renowned.

Pictures: At Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte

La Grand’ Vigne ( Inspired by 18th century ornamental greenhouses, the restaurant La Grand' Vigne invites you to discover a sincere and generous cuisine which evolves with the season. La Grand’ Vigne is in a refined setting overlooking a small lake with swans, and it features a small terrace on which enjoy meals, weather permitting.

The decor and the 18th century fireplace that dominates the dining room recall the various shades of red wine grapes as they ripen in order to create a warm, comfortable ambiance that enhances the pleasure during a romantic dinner, or a business meeting in a private room.

2 Stars Michelin

Michelin: The cuisine in this charming 18C orangery is steeped in the flavours and colours of nature. The work of a young inspired chef, Nicolas Masse, who is a past master at combining flavours and textures with flawless accuracy to regale our senses. Deliciously sumptuous, down to the impeccable service.

2 stars: Excellent cuisine, restaurant worth a detour.

4 folks and knifes Excellent standard. Particularly charming or characterful.

Chef Nicolas Masse Chef Nicolas Masse is considered one of France's great rising talents, gaining his second Michelin star in February 2014. He shows off seasonal produce from the hotel's own vegetable garden, local farmers and the nearby Atlantic, using ingredients such as pigeon, Aquitaine caviar, lobster, wild turbot, in gastronomic restaurant La Grande Vigne. There’s an appropriately grand wine list. He also creates simpler, bistro-style cuisine in the Table de Lavoir, in a reconstructed washhouse, or wine and tapas-style snacks at the Rouge wine bar.

Nicolas Masse ( Nicolas Masse, Born in Cherbourg is an English Channel region chef. He won his first star at the Michelin Guide in 2007 and 2010.

Son of an engineer of the nuclear industry, Nicolas Masse started his training as a cooker as novice at the Hotel Sofitel in Cherbourg. He got his CAP degree in Cherbourg, then he obtained his professional certificate in Hérouville-Saint-Clair (Calvados) working in the same time at the Deauville Casino. Then he learnt with Alain Lamaison at La Cabro d’or at Baux-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), then at la Villa Belrose at Gassin (Var). He tried his luck abroad, in England, in London in particular, he was Chief of Party at the Landmark in 1997, then at the Kingston Lodge. Then he joined the Beaufort in the Luxembourg.

In 2002, he flew on its own leading the kitchens of the Rosewood restaurant at the Grand Hotel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). He got his first star at the Michelin Guide.

In 2009 he joined the restaurant La Grand’Vigne des Sources de Caudalie in Martillac. One year later he got back his star in the guide.

Sommelier Aurélien Farrouil (Winespectator August 7, 2015)

Winespectator: Growing up in Bordeaux with no family ties to the wine industry, Aurélien Farrouil, 32, nevertheless found himself drawn to wine at a young age. He worked at his first Vinexpo—a massive international trade show held in the region every two years—when he was still a teenager, and quickly gained an understanding of how extensive the world of wine could be.

Farrouil attended hotel school in Talence, earned a diploma in wine and spirits marketing, and staged in many hotels and restaurants in France, including Michelin two-star recipient Michel Rostang in Paris. Les Sources de Caudalie, a luxury hotel owned by the Cathiard family of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan, finally brought him back to his native Bordeaux. He has been with their high-end restaurant, La Grand’ Vigne, a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner, for more than 10 years, moving from assistant sommelier up to head sommelier.

The Wine Luncheon

Expression d'un terroir

Greetings from the kitchen

The tomatoes and herbs from the vegetable garden

The farm egg
Swiss chards juice

Roasted wild hake
Spinach emulsion and iodized royale cream

Roasted filet of veal from Bazas
Young vegetables


Chocolate and lime


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