Terroirist Tuesday

 Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday.

by L.M. Archer, FWS

Follow    binNotes | a wine blog: |   Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest

Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday binNotes is out of pocket this week.

Enjoy binNotes Guest Post: The Good Life France: Burgundy – France’s Most Seductive Wine Region

Don’t Miss out! Underground Cellars: Sonoma Winecation #Giveaway


Follow    binNotes | a wine blog: |   Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. All images ©2014 Courtesy the author.

Published: The Good Life France – Burgundy Wine Region

 Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS

Follow    binNotes | a wine blog: |   Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest

It’s Official!

 My featured guest blog on Burgundy’s Wine Region is now published in The Good Life France.

Read it here.



Follow    binNotes | a wine blog: |   Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest


Janine Marsh – The Good Life France

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved.

Burgundy: France’s Most Seductive Wine Region

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog. Today’s Terroirist Tuesday: binNotes’ Guest Blog for The Good Life France  later this week.

Burgundy: France’s Most Seductive Wine Region

by L.M. Archer, FWS.

Follow binNotes:   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest    |   Facebook

Burgundy seduces, intoxicating first-timers and return visitors alike with its charm – and wines.

Easily accessible by train or car, Burgundy lies south of Paris approximately 190 miles. Comprised of three departments, five subregions, and over 3800 domaines, Burgundy offers an endless array of wine tasting options. Moreover,  its quaint lifestyle and respect for tradition provides a lovely interlude from the hectic pace of city life.

In Burgundy, two grape varietals rein supreme: the noble Pinot Noir, and the fair-haired Chardonnay. Home to notable Grand Crus such as Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, and Romanée-Conti, Burgundy also boasts the production of affordable Crémant de Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligoté, and Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains, among others.

Here, terroir serves as touchstone for understanding the ‘soul’ of Burgundy’s wine. When planning your trip to Burgundy, understanding its subregions will help you get a lay of the land.


Yonne: Chablis, Grand Auxerrois

Located in the western part of Burgundy, the Yonne department includes famed Chablis and lesser-known Grand Auxerrois wine subregions. Here, high profile Chablis pours up mineral-driven Chardonnays – thanks to its famous chalky soils. Nearby  under-the-radar Grand Auxerrois proffers pocket-friendly pours of unusual diversity, including Sauvignon Blanc in St. Bris, César-Pinot Noir blends in Irancy, and Melon de Bourgogne in Vézelay.

I love Chablis for its expansive horizons, bright light and sense of independence from the rest of Burgundy. I also enjoy the affordable off-the-beaten track selection of wines made from secondary varietals that abound here.


Cote d’Or: Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beane, Hautes Côtes

The golden slopes of the Côte d’Or encompass Burgundy’s celebrated Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune subregions, glistening from Dijon to Santenay.  While Côte de Nuits wears the crown for world-class reds, Côte de Beaune holds forth with its ‘Royal Court’ of sumptuous whites, including Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, as well as velvety reds like Pommard and Volnay. The Cote d’Or also includes the lesser-ranked but higher altitude Hautes Côtes (upper slopes) that rise behind Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune.

Many consider the Cote d’Or the heart of Burgundy, and Beaune its center of the universe. It’s where I go to wander  the cobblestone streets, marvel at the weekly market, and lose myself in the quiet grandeur of this most aristocratic place.

Saône-et-Loire: Côte Chalonnaise & Mâconnais 

Beyond the high-rent Côte d’Or department lies Burgundy’s southern outpost, home to the Côte Chalonnais the Maconnais subregions, and some of Burgundy’s most budget-friendly wines.

Côte Chalonnaise lays claim to the birthplace of Burgundy’s Crémant de Bourgogne. Postcard picturesque villages like Mercurey supply a host of supple, reasonably-priced reds, while wine co-op capitol Montagny plants a flag for fresh, inexpensive whites.

Mâconnais anchors Burgundy in the south with its rolling hills, jutting escarpments, and famously refreshing whites like famous Pouilly-Fuissé.

This region serves my favorite source of super-affordable, easy-quaffing whites. Mâconnais wine makers share a desire to try harder, to exceed expectations – maybe because they fall in the shadows of bigger shouldered Chablis and Cote d’Or. I also enjoy Macônnais for its proximity to another favorite wine region, Beaujolais.

All in all, Burgundy offers wine connoisseurs, neophytes and voyagers alike unimaginable treasures worth discovering, for those fortunate enough to venture there. Like any seductress, Burgundy waits patiently  with a sly smile for you to unlock her charms.

Follow binNotes:   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest    |   Facebook

Copyrighted© 2012-2014. All images courtesy the author. All Rights reserved.

Thank you: Janine Marsh, The Good Life France


Écoutez! FWS Update

 Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS

Follow    binNotes | a wine blog: |   Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest


It’s official! binNotes has passed the FWS Bourgogne Master Level Program exam.

Whew…time to break out the Crémant de Bourgogne!

Thanks to my dear readers, friends, family, freelance clients, and co-workers for putting up with me during the past few months as I lived, breathed, and dreamt BOURGOGNE all day, every day…Burgundy, the most Magnificent of Obsessions. Well worth the effort.



Follow    binNotes | a wine blog: |   Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved.

Terroirist Tuesday: Get Your #Terroir On, Part 2

Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday. Today’s Topic: Terroir, Part 2

Follow binNotes:    Facebook    |    Twitter    |     Pinterest

by L. M. Archer, FWS

Welcome back! First, a shout out to thedrunkencyclist, who graciously pointed out that these Terroirist Tuesday quizzes lack a clear winner, only general results. True. Unfortunately, while PollDaddy looks pretty, it only quantifies the answers, not qualifies them, viz, doesn’t say who answered what.

Ok, ok. binNotes promises to post future quizzes without visually appealing but statistically unappealing PollDaddy – opting instead for the good ole’ ‘Comments’ section to track results. This should make the competitive at heart among you – everyone – enjoy the experience a bit more.

So without further ado – let’s cut to the chase and post the Terroir quiz results (press ‘View Results’) and  the answers below.

Well. Those are the results. Here are the answers:

1. Terroir refers to: All of the above. 

  • A viti-vinicultural concept regarding a defined piece of land.
  • A term derived from the word ‘territory.’ 
  • A Burgundian term describing the various climactic, topographical and vinicultural influences contributing to a wine’s unique personality.

2. In Burgundy, the term ‘climat’: Refers to a defined piece of land.

3. In Burgundy, a cadastral unitIs a technical term used by geographers to describe a parcel of land.

That it – we’ll unpack the term terroir in Terroirist Tuesday: Terroir: Part 3…after a few fun sidetrack posts, including binNotes first guest-blogging gig on all things Burgundy for The Good Life France.

In the meantime…remember: Life without wine is no life at all…thanks for stopping by. Santé!

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. All photos courtesy of the author.

Follow binNotes:    Facebook    |    Twitter    |    Pinterest

Terroirist Tuesday: Get Your #Terroir On!

Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday.

“The concept that the particulars of a zone – the combination of soil, climate, grape type, and, perhaps, human history – are responsible for producing very special characteristics that are unique to a quite specific spot …reveals the truth about wine and anchors us to a respect for the natural world that is fundamental to our well-being.”

- Neal I. Rosenthal, “Reflections of a Wine Merchant.”

In preparation for the topic of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, binNotes tests your skills on all things terroir. Bon chance!

Follow binNotes:    Facebook    |    Twitter    |     Pinterest

by L. M. Archer, FWS

See you back here next week with the answers…In the meantime, enjoy this video on Burgundy terroir…Santé!

Video: Courtesy BIVB Vins de Bourgogne.

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. All photos courtesy of the author.

Follow binNotes:    Facebook    |    Twitter    |    Pinterest

Terroirist Tuesday: Côte Chalonnaise: Meet the Winemakers

Welcome to Terroirist Tuesday: Côte Chalonnaise, Part 3 of 3 | Meet the Winemakers: Domaine du Meix Foulot

by: L. M. Archer, FWS

Domaine du Meix Foulot | Agnès Dewé de Launay, Winemaker
Le Meix Foulot | Touches | 71 640 Mercurey

In the slender shadow of Burgundy’s supermodel Cote d’Or lies the girl next door, Côte Chalonnaise. And like the girl next door, Côte Chalonnaise is the wine region folks barely notice – but once noticed, rarely forget.

The wine village of Mercurey, considered the heart of Côte Chalonnaise, produces some of the region’s finest red and white wines. binNotes recently visited one of Mercurey’s most historic and prestigious domaines, Domaine du Meix Foulot.

Situated upon the ruins Château de Montaigu, a castle built in approximately 950 AD at the request of the Duke of Burgundy, the vineyards of Meix-Foulot have belonged to the family of Launay for more than two centuries. Patriarch and domaine owner Paul de Launay, a man of towering height and formidable abilities, passed the wine making baton to his equally towering and talented daughter, Agnès Dewé, in 1996. A woman of grace, humor and pragmatism, Agnes provided our group a glimpse of the domaine’s wine making facilities, housed in an immaculately restored stone outbuilding. Here, she touched on her wine making  approach – she follows ‘no recipes’,  espouses minimal intervention, and engages the wisdom and patience of a mother overseeing the ‘élevage’ of a high-spirited child.

Domaine du Meix Foulot comprises over twenty hectares farmed as ‘close to nature’ as possible, and includes notable Mercurey 1er Cru Clos du Château de Montaigu,  a 1.9 hectare monopoly climat. Vines average 35 years, grown on a clay-limestone soil.

Tasting Notes:

Diffuse golden October sunlight glazed the turning hillsides of Domaine du Meix Foulot during the late afternoon of our visit. Bottle carrier of wines in hand, Agnès held court ‘in field,’ overlooking the vineyards from which each wine derived. The effect – magical. The ability to take notes – thwarted by juggling  glasses and sensory overload. But the impressions garnered still haunt.

Mercurey offers some of Burgundy’s most affordable 1er crus, with D. du Meix Foulot a prime example. Clear ruby robes, bright red fruits, light body, medium acid, soft tannins, balanced structure, and delicate finish – these are wines of versatility that span many courses, including lamb, risotto, and soft cheeses.

In the end, Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Les Veleys and Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Clos du Chateau de Montaigu emerged as clear binNotes favorites. Rosenthal Wine Merchant  imports to the US; consult your local wine shop to arrange a special delivery – well worth the effort.

Tasting Menu:

Mercurey Rouge 2009 D. du Meix Foulot
Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Clos du Chateau de Montaigu – monopole
Mercurey 1er Cru 2009 – Les Veleys
Mercurey 1er Cru 2008 – Les Veleys

This concludes binNotes Terroirist Tuesday series on the Côte Chalonnaise. See you again next week for a sneak peek at binNotes series on the Côte d’Or. Santé!

Côte Chalonnaise: Parts 1 and 2 live here:

Côte Chalonnaise, Part 2

Côte Chalonnaise, Part 1

Thank you:  D. du Meix Foulot - Agnès Dewé de Launay et de la familleBIVBFWS

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. All images courtesy of the author.

Follow binNotes: | Facebook | Twitter Pinterest

Leave your comments below…cheers!

The Good Life France – Guest Blogger



binnotes.com | a wine blog is delighted to announce I’ve been asked to guest blog on all things Burgundy at The Good Life France, an online publication with a following of over 150,000 worldwide featuring articles on living in France – including its culture, gastronomy and travel.

Follow binNotes for links to forthcoming The Good Life France  guest blog posts:

Facebook    |     Twitter    |    Pinterest


Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved.

Terroirist Tuesday: Côte Chalonnaise – Part 2

Welcome to Terroirist Tuesday! This week’s topic: Cote Chalonnaise, Part 2 of 3

by L.M. Archer, FWS

Welcome back, dear readers! Well, how did you do on last week’s Côte Chalonnaise Geek Quiz? Answers below:

1. The Cote Chalonnaise includes the following subregion(s): Côtes du Couchois

Nice try. Cote d’Or claims The Châtillonais , and Chablis the Grand Auxerrois.

Some other fun factoids about Côtes du Couchois:

  • It’s small – ~15 acres total. (~5.90 hectares.)
  • #1 Varietal: Pinot Noir.
  • It holds a Regional appellation: Bourgogne du Chouchois.

2. Côte Chalonnaise produces: More white than red wine.

  • White production = 55%
  • Red  production =  45%

Major white wine producing villages include:

  • Bouzeron: 100% Aligote.
  • Rully: Chardonnay accounts for 2/3 wine production  Also, the first Burgundian appelation to craft sparkling wine in the méthode traditionnelle, and the center of Burgundy’s Crémant de Bourgogne production.
  • Montagny: 100% Chardonnay.

3. Cote Chalonnaise soils: Most resemble Côte de Beaune to its north.

Complex question, just like Burgundy’s soils!

Here’s the story: A big, bad gap, called the Blanzy Rift, separates the Côte de Beaune from the Côte Chalonniase. Despite the rift,  the soils of northern Côte de Chalonnaise most resemble Côte de Beaune’s Jurassic limestone and marls.

Moving south, the soils age. Southern Côte Chalonnaise’s Montagny mix it up with Liassic and Triassic limestone, sand, clay and quartz.

4. Burgundy’s only village appellation for aligoté: Bouzeron.

Hold on to your hats for this one! Bouzeron is Burgundy’s only 100% Aligoté appellation!

A vigorous white varietal with bigger berries than that of Chardonnay,  Aligoté produces a lean, clean wine of medium weight.

Bouzeron’s most famous producer of aligoté’?  None other A. et P. de Villain of Cote de Nuits’ esteemed DRC.

Well, that concludes this week’s Terroirist Tuesday…hope you had fun and  learned something!

Join binNotes for the next Terroirist TuesdayCôte Chalonnaise, Part 3: Meet the Winemaker, featuring Agnès Dewé de Launay of Domaine du Meix Foulot, Mercurey. Santé!


binNotes travels closer to home this week for a peek inside the 2014  Washington State Wine Awards. Stay tuned!

Thank you: BIVB

Test your wine skills – take a binNotes Geek Quiz here:

Côte Chalonnais: Geek Quiz

Chablis: Geek Quiz

Maconnais: Geek Quiz

Burgundy Geek Quiz

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. All images courtesy of the author.

Follow binNotes: | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Leave your comments below…cheers!

Terroirist Tuesday: Côte Chalonnaise – Geek Quiz

Welcome to Terroirist Tuesday! This week’s topic: Cote Chalonnaise, Part 1 of 3

by L.M. Archer, FWS

Today we test your wine skills on Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise – home to a ‘mixed case’ of wines and wine styles. Let’s see how you do – answers posted next week:

Have fun, and see you back here next week with the answers. Santé!

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. All images courtesy of the author.

Follow binNotes: | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Leave your comments below…cheers!