La Grand’Vigne – sincerity
La Grand’Vigne is the fine-dining restaurant of the stunning hotel ‘Les Sources de Caudalie’. To be correct, this property is more than a hotel. It is a haven of peace and tranquillity, where design, art, wine, wellness, nature and haute cuisine are blended into a unique hospitality experience. The domain is located in Martillac, right in the heart of one of the world’s leading wine regions, Bordeaux. The famous Château Smith Haut Lafitte is part of the domain and should definitely be part of your visit as well. For more information about Les Sources de Caudalie, please see our hotel section.
La Grand’Vigne is one of the three restaurants and the gastronomic flagship of Les Sources de Caudalie. The restaurant is located at the backside of the hotel’s main building and accessible via the hotel reception. Guests arriving a bit earlier, or those craving for a drink after lunch or dinner, can stop at the beautiful hotel’s French Paradox Bar. A perfect place to enjoy a great cocktail or one of the old armagnacs, cognacs, whiskies, or other great liquors.
The restaurant’s interior is perfectly integrated into the style of the domain, where tranquillity and nature are very important. Spacious, round tables are combined with traditional French chairs and the big windows offer beautiful views on the surrounding lake and vineyards. Set in an eighteenth century glasshouse, with a fireplace from the same century, the restaurant is classic but sophisticated, light and relaxing at the same time. When weather permits, the small terrace in front of the restaurant opens and guests can enjoy their apéritif, coffee, or even the whole meal lakeside.
In the kitchen, Executive Chef Nicolas Masse leads a driven and passionate team. The chef gained experience at several restaurants in Europe, like The Landmark and the Kingston Lodge in London, and the Beaufort in Luxemburg. He returned to France in 2002 to work in the kitchen of the Rosenwoord restaurant at Grand Hotel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. In 2009 he accepted the offer to start at La Grand’Vigne and quickly transformed the restaurant into one of the best of the region.
Nicolas Masse has an eye for the very best seasonal ingredients and transforms them into delicate and traditional dishes. Whether it is local Aquitaine caviar, giant sea bass from La Cotinière, cèpes from Médoc, or sole from Arcachon – only the best is good enough. The chef maintains close relationships with local fishermen, gardeners and other producers, who ensure him the best of their produce. Balance is key in his preparations and the chef highlights the intrinsic flavour of each ingredient on the plate. He only uses the essential products necessary to create dishes that are pure, elegant, but full of flavour. Like one of the first starters of his tasting menu: a juicy tartar of langoustine, covered with a layer of delicate caviar from Aquitaine, and finished with a sorbet of cucumber. Or the delicious pigeon from Miss Le Guen, combined with a stuffed poivrade artichoke, and finished with a cardamom jus.
When your restaurant is located amid some of the world’s best vineyards, it should come as no surprise that wines are extremely important. Aurélien Farouil is the head sommelier and manages the beautifully stocked cellar and the wine menu. Enjoy one of the great wine references from the cellar, or let the sommelier guide you with some pairings with the dishes. For real wine lovers, the ‘Sélection d’exception’ is the best choice. With wines like the Krug Grande Cuvée, Château Smith Haute Lafitte Blanc 2010, and the Château Lafite Rotschild 1998, you know what to expect. Pierre Couturier, the restaurant manager, leads the dining room in style and with discretion.
Together with a stay in one of the beautiful rooms of ‘Les Sources de Caudalie’, and a visit to Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a visit to La Grand’Vigne really is a great example of an ultimate ‘wine & dine’ experience. Executive Chef Nicolas Masse presents a balanced cuisine which highlights the intrinsic flavour of each ingredient on the plate. Pure, elegant, but full of flavour.
La Grand’Vigne scored 86 points of 100 points in our ratings system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
By Sven & Frank
Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte
Phone: +33 5 57 83 83 83