Wine Reality TV: Best Bottle

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS

Wine Reality TV: Best Bottle

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…Ok, so it was only a matter of time…

 Video courtesy Mance Media.

…Wine Reality TV. Of course. Thoughts? Leave your comment below…cheers!

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved.


 Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS

August is Washington State Wine Month!

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Hey, Dear Readers:

August is Washington State Wine Month!

Care to share how do you plan to celebrate?

Leave a comment below, or send a tweet @binNotes #WaWineMo



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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. |  Image courtesy: Washington State Wine Commission

Why I Write About Wine


Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

Why I Write about Wine 

By L.M. Archer, FWS

Wine Geek on board.

“It’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its
presumption.” - James Thurber

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Lately, I’ve been asking myself why I write about wine.

Probably because I’ve been on the road a lot lately to various wine regions, talking to a lot of people.

My focus tends towards terroir, the people who tend the vines, and those who make the wines.

I try not to take wine too seriously, but I do care deeply about the people and wine regions I visit.


I write about wine because I think that some people hunger to connect with something deeper

than a 140-character tweet about what wine pairs well with Wagyu beef.

I write about wine because I think some people thirst to read about people

with dreams and aspirations,

fears and frustrations -

just like them.

But, unlike them,

people who have taken

a leap of faith

to follow those dreams,

despite their fears.

Dreams involving wine -

the red thread

that binds us all -

joining us

over meals,



I know I do.

I write about wine because I think people yearn for a dose of real-life heroes -

 antidotes to real-life TV with talk-show chasers.

Writing about wine – it’s been a learning curve.

Understanding that there is no such thing as a free sample.

Or event invite.


Writing about wine, I’ve made mistakes along the way.

And a few typos.

I’ve learned that

I’m a taster, not a drinker.

A listener, not a schmoozer.

That I value long-term relationships, not short-term soundbites.

That typos are correctable,

But not first impressions.


Some cringe-worthy stories there – stories for future posts…

Just not today…

Today I wanted to share why I write about wine…

why I choose to write about wine…

why I want to write about wine.



What about you, dear reader? Thoughts? Feel free to leave your comments below.


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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. Image courtesy Leeanna W. Horse.


Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS

WITWIB? International Pinot Noir Conference 2014

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It’s time! binNotes heads south this weekend for the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, OR.  – the heart of the WV…stay tuned for updates.

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved.

Time out from the ‘hood…

 Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS

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Taking a break…..enjoy some cloudscapes from the ‘hood…see y’all back here next week…



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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. All images courtesy the author.

Meet the Winemaker: Anne Parent – Domaine Parent

Welcome to binNotes: Meet the Winemaker

Today’s Exclusive:  Anne Parent, Domaine Parent

Pommard – Burgundy FR

by L.M. Archer, FWS

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A winemaker’s story is a true hero’s journey –  involving obstacles, an occasional mentor, and the ultimate reward – in this case, wine. Details may vary, but never the storyline.

Today’s winemaker, Anne Parent of Domaine Parent hails from Pommard in Côte de Beaune, part of Burgundy‘s illustrious Côte d’Or wine region.

Anne Parent’s winemaking heritage harkens back 12 generations, including an ancestor who served as wine supplier to Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States.

binNotes first encountered Anne Parent at the Terroirs et Signatures de Bourgogne 2014 Seattle Trade Show – her wines ferocious in flavor and unflinching in tensile structure – a combination of power and finesse, coupled with undeniable character.

binNotes brings you this formidable winemaker, in her own words:

Who or what brought you to winemaking?

“Actually, I have wanted to have this job since I was a little girl. When my father retired, my sister Catherine and I took over the Domaine. Winemaking has always fascinated me, it thus came very naturally. “

Share with readers the brief history of Domaine Parent. What makes it unique?

“The origin of the Parent family dates back to the 17th century in Volnay, and then one of our ancestors came to Pommard to settle down. Catherine and I represent the 12th generation of winegrowers, which is quite unique. We represent the very long history of this family, who has always owned vineyards on Pommard, which is our specialty.

Last but not least, our ancestor Etienne Parent became the Burgundy wine supplier of Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the USA.”

Some Burgundian-trained women winemakers speak of having to fight for a place in school and in the vineyard. As a formidable vigneron, industry leader (past VP of BIVB) and founder of Femme et Vins de Bourgogne, you seem inured to the battle. Do you find Burgundy more receptive to women winemakers today?

“Indeed, during ages women could not go into the cuveries, mainly for religious reasons.

Mentalities have now changed a great deal and today, despite its authentic and traditional aspect, Burgundy is open-minded, and lots of women are involved in wine production.

In the old days, sons always succeeded to their fathers, or daughters had to marry winegrowers.

Nowadays, women are renowned to be as professional and skilled as men.”

What was your impetus for starting Femme et Vins de Bourgogne? Has the success of the organization surprised you? 

“My first motivation was the need to share and exchange technical information on winegrowing and winemaking.

Moreover, it was important to go and taste at each other’s Domaine, to learn to know each other and defend women status in wine properties.

When we created this association in 2000, we were only 6. Today we are more than 40, representing the 5 Burgundy sub-regions: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Châlonnaise, and Côte Mâconnaise.

This is why I am particularly proud of this association, which promotes diversity of Burgundy wines, wine culture, and the know-how and competence of the women who are involved in winemaking.”

You’ve taken a leadership position in the reclassification process of Pommard Grand Crus. Many readers may not know the history of Pommard’s original 1935 classifications. Explain the reasoning for the reclassification, and its impact if approved.

“The two Premiers Crus “les Epenots” and “les Rugiens” that we are trying to reclassify in Grand Cru had already been proposed when the INAO (National Institute of Appellations of Origin) was created in 1935. At the time, winegrowers had not been able to agree because they were afraid of higher taxes and lower yield. In the confusing context of the time, Premiers Crus were better sold than Grand Crus. Thus, the proposal did not succeed.

Today, everybody agrees on the renowned quality of these two Premiers Crus, which has always been more highlighted than the other Premiers Crus, and that Pommard would deserve to have one or two Grand Crus. The official reclassification request was officially processed to the INAO in 2014, but it is a long and complex procedure, and we cannot know today what the result will be.”

You’ve spoken with great force and affection about the clay soils of Pommard, and the wines created there – expressive, intense, complex. Yet you also work with other regions as well: Corton, Ladoix, Monthelie, Volnay. How do these various terroirs impact the flavor profiles of the wines produced there, as compared to your beloved Pommard? Do you have a favorite? 

“Pommard is an appellation with a certain character, and much personality.

Wines can be powerful, intense, and solid, but also refined, elegant, stylish, complex and sensual.

Pommard is one of the greatest appellation of great wines of Burgundy, and especially of Côte de Beaune. It produces exclusively Reds, with a good potential for ageing. Pommard cannot be compared to any other appellation.

Of all the charming and seductive Premiers Crus which we produce at Domaine Parent, my two favorites are “Les Epenots” and “Les Chaponnières.”

Domaine Parent is in the process of 100% biodynamic certification. What led you to invest in biodynamic farming? What challenges do you face? 

When my sister Catherine and I took over the Domaine in 1998, we very quickly orientated ourselves towards sustainable winegrowing methods. We also have worked a lot on soil analyses and terroir organic matters.

We wanted to go further in this process, by personal philosophy. We had the feeling that we could work differently, respecting the environment, protecting our health and bringing more precision in our wines.

We are now certified organic. We also use biodynamic processes. These cultural methods make us work more rigorously, observe more and we need to be very reactive, but the challenge is definitely worth it and we see the benefits every day.”

Anything else you care to share with readers about your domaine, your wines, or about Burgundy that readers may not know? 

“Burgundy is not complicated but rich of appellations.

It is a patchwork of different terroirs, and an alchemy between the two authentic and historical grape varieties : Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is made of multiple and mysterious terroirs and “climats” of our villages, and different winegrowers and winemakers.

Balance is the main goal at Domaine Parent, be it in its vineyards or in its wines.”

One final question: “If wine making has taught me anything, it’s taught me…  

“If wine making has taught me anything, it’s taught me to stay humble in front of nature, to be amazed in front of vineyards, and realize that if oenology is a science, winemaking is an art.”

 For more information:

Bourgognes Parent| 3 rue de la Métairie 21630 POMMARD |TEL +33 3 80 22 15 08 | FAX + 33 3 80 24 19 33



Thank you:

Anne Parent – Domaine Parent

 Alix de Gramont – Bourgognes Parent

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved.

Ode to Walla Walla: Of Syrah, Savage Beauty, and Stones

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

Ode to Walla Walla: Of Syrah, Savage beauty, and Stones.

By L.M. Archer, FWS

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I learned a few things last weekend attending Celebrate Walla Walla Syrah 2014.

As a pinot-swilling, Burgundy-burnished, less-is-more type of wine lover, I had my doubts about problem child syrah.

Syrah...a varietal the Wine & Spirits critic and guest speaker Patrick Comiskey so brilliantly calls “the right amount of wrong” and “a bit sauvage”,  introduced itself with personality and wit and balls-out brashness. And it was good.

Toto, we’re not in Kansas, or Burgundy, or the Willamette Valley anymore.

We’re in Walla Walla. And I’m here to tell you that Walla Walla syrah has stones.

I kept thinking about that ‘problem child’ moniker. Syrah…the Rhone varietal introduced in the United States by California’s Rhone Rangers, then over-produced with homogeneous monotony by its various ‘adopted’ regions.  The problem child varietal mishandled, mismanaged, misunderstood – like so many adoptees.

Until Walla Walla.

Walla Walla beckoned like anyone who understands a wild thing. Carefully. Patiently. Without expectation.

Walla Walla unhobbled this varietal, giving it free reign upon the lilting hills and valleys, lulling it with its breezes and soft summer sunlight.

And it was good.

The wild child did what any wild child does. It balked, taking, but not giving.

And then, as time unfolded, it understood. It was safe here. Safe to dance, sing, grow upon the vast landscape.

And so…it started giving back to the hands that tend it.

The hands that tend it, but never tame it.

For syrah cannot be tamed.

No, syrah will always be Walla Walla’s wild child.

The one most likely to arrive early and leave late on that 3-day weekend to Vegas… maybe with a  pet tiger.

The houseguest with the most colorful stories to tell, mainly raunchy.

The wine you choose to crack open with your friends, not to impress your boss.

The  wine with backbone and bravado, castanet-clicking its flamenco-fueled frenzy across your palette.

The wine belting out a sensory aria that blows your mind, breaks your heart and busts your gut.

The wine sure to tattoo a one-two punch across your taste buds.

Syrah. A little bit ‘sauvage’ indeed. At least in Walla Walla.

Walla Walla syrah has stones. It’s rocked my world.




Celebrate Walla Walla Syrah cast, crew, and winemakers

Heather Bradshaw – Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. All images courtesy the author.