#Wine Notes LIVE from #France

Burgundy's Cote de Nuits - world's most elegant Pinot Noir producing area.jpg

Bonjour, dear readers. No, binNotes has NOT been remiss in blogging duties while in Burgundy…just without wifi.

But here in Avignon, where binNotes resides south for a little sun before heading back to Paris and then stateside -viola – le wifi works!

I have to admit – it’s hard staying on point in Burgundy with days that start at 8 a and end at 11 p…involving much tasting and vineyard visits and more tastings and eating, then domaine visits and more tastings and then again more eating and drinking…the lines get slurred after awhile.

But make no mistake. Burgundy IS all that, and a bag of chips…truffle chips, to be exact. Oh, and please don’t ask Burgundians what kind of pinot noir they make. They don’t make pinot noir – they make Burgundy. Big difference.

Elaboration will continue next Terroirist Tuesday. Suffice it to say we have A LOT to talk about, dear readers. A lot. Burgundy…A Love Story continues…stronger than ever. Sante!

Copyrighted 2013. All Rights Reserved.


…in case you haven’t noticed, binNotes has a new look. That’s not all.  In October, binNotes changes hats at Lachini Vineyards to Guest Blogger during my upcoming studies in Burgundy and travels in France.

Look for upcoming October guest blogs at: lachinivineyardsblog.com.

In addition:

I’ve got some great events coming up, including attending Restaurant Zoe’s Burgundy Wine Dinner with Peter Wasserman this Monday, September 30th –  can’t wait to share the experience.

NOTE: Peter Wasserman’s mother is legendary  Wendy  Wasserman, a guest instructor at French Wine Society’s Master Level Bourgogne Program in which I’m enrolled. The Immersion program includes studies at Burgundy Wine School, guided by esteemed instructor Jean-Pierre Renard.

No, this isn’t an info-mercial. I’m just super-excited to geek out!

NOTE: WordPress has started incorporating random ads into sites of bloggers who do not pay to ‘opt out’, as a means of collecting revenue.  Regrets – those ARE info-mercials.


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Seattle Chocolate Salon 2013

So many chocolates, so little time! Tough gig judging the Seattle Chocolate Salon 2013 today at Bell Harbor Conference Center…a picture’s worth a thousand words…enjoy!

binNotes’ fave: Indulge Chocolate Co’s. Basil Chocolate Truffle bar…delish!

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#BLEND 2012: And the Winners Are…

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The results are in for 2012 Blend! Congrats to Distefano Winery for winning 1st Place “People’s Choice Best Red Blend” and to fellow table mates Ann and Walter of  Walter Dacon Wines for winning 2012 Blend Awards‘ *3rd Place “Red Proprietary Blend Over $20.” binNotes’ other favorite blend of the day: Camaraderie Cellars Elegance 2008.

Also a special shout out to table pal Executive Chef Adam Johnson and Crew Cave B Inn for crowd favorite Crispy Pork Belly with Estate Apple Butter & Pickled Garlic…off the hook.

2012 Blend “People’s Choice” Award Winners: 

Votes cast by 2012 Blend Event participants include:

People’s Choice Best White Blend:

1st Place (TIE) – Patterson Cellars Forbidden White 2011, Columbia Valley

1st Place (TIE) – Alexandria Nicole Cellars Shepards Mark 2011, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills

2nd Place – Brian Carter Cellars Oriana 2010, Columbia Valley

People’s Choice Best Red Blend:

1st Place – DiStefano Winery Domenica 2008, Columbia Valley

2nd Place – Woodward Canyon Estate Reserve 2009, Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley

3rd Place – Chateau Ste. Michelle Artist Series Meritage Red Blend 2008, Columbia Valley

*2012 Blend Award Winners:

Monday, September 10th Blind Tasting by seven (7) member industry professional panel include:

White Blends Under $20:

1st Place – Eye of the Needle Harvest White NV, Columbia Valley

2nd Place – Maryhill Winemaker’s White 2010, Columbia Valley

3rd Place (TIE) – Alexandria Nicole Cellars Shepherds Mark 2011, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills

3rd Place (TIE) – Smasne Cellars Konner Ray White 2010, Upland Vineyard, Snipes Mountain

White Blends Over $20

1st Place – Patterson Cellars Mélange Blanc 2011, Columbia Valley

2nd Place (TIE) – McCrea Cellars Sirocco Blanc 2009, Yakima Valley

2nd Place (TIE) – Brian Carter Cellars Oriana 2010, Columbia Valley

Red Proprietary Blend Under $20:

1st Place – Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Red Blend 2010, Columbia Valley

2nd Place – Waterbrook Mélange Noir 2009, Columbia Valley

3rd Place (TIE) – Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux 2010, Horse Heaven Hills

3rd Place (TIE) – Smasne Cellars Farm Boy Bunk House Red 2010, Columbia Valley

Red Proprietary Blend Over $20:

1st Place – Smasne Cellars Gravel Bar Red 2009, Columbia Valley

2nd Place – Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain 2009, Red Mountain

3rd Place – Walter Dacon Wines Skookum Red 2009, Columbia Valley

Red Bordeaux Blends Over $20:

1st Place – Gamache Vintners Nicholas 2008, Columbia Valley

2nd Place – Chateau Ste. Michelle Artist Series Meritage Red Blend 2008, Columbia Valley

3rd Place (TIE) – Fidelitas Optu Red Wine 2009, Columbia Valley

3rd Place (TIE) – Hightower Cellars Red Mountain Red Wine 2008, Red Mountain

Red Rhône Blends Over $20:

1st Place – Rôtie Cellars Southern Blend 2010, Washingotn State

2nd Place – Airfield Estates Mustang 2010, Yakima Valley

3rd Place – Brian Carter Cellars Byzance 2008, Columbia Valley

Have a blend you consider award-winning to add to the list? Feel free to leave it in the comments below – cheers!

WWYBD This Weekend? #BLEND 2012

Don’t forget Washington States’s 3rd Annual BLEND Event at  Seattle’s Bell Harbor International Conference Center this SUNDAY, September 16, 2012 from 3 – 6 pm.

Savor a seriously strut-worthy synthesis of local and international sips while chowing down on stone-cold savories  and gourmet goodies from the likes of:

  • Taylor Shellfish Farms
  • KIND Snacks
  • Sartori Cheese
  • Smitten: Artisan Truffles


  • Barrel Blending Stations manned by local vine masters
  • Bubble Lounge featuring sparkling wine and oysters
  • Espresso Martinis shaken and stirred by Fonté Coffee and Project V Distillery

Don’t delay – just DO IT! Cheers!

Image: columbiablend.com 

The Future of Wine Buying?

Image: binNotes©

binNotes dropped by the Total Wine Grand Opening in Bellevue yesterday to eyeball over 8000 labels under one roof, including spirits. As a local specialty wine importer observed while perusing the Bordeaux aisles “This changes the whole landscape of wine buying in Washington state.”

The French section highlights some mind-blowing selections of Bordeaux and CDP/Rhone, classic Burgundy/Beaujolais options, an assemblage from Loire that disserves the region’s diversity, and disappointingly scant choices from Alsace, Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence and Corsica. Champagne the Region lives among the general, well-stocked Champagne the Beverage section.

Sidenote: A quick peek at the Spanish section reveals some hidden Reserva gems among the Jovens and Crianzas.

Whether a wine collector or simply a bargain-hunter – have fun browsing. Cheers~