True North | Oregon Bound

On the road again…in search of Burgundy, bubbles, and beyond…

This week I head north to Oregon for the Oregon Wine Symposium in Portland before wending my way to the Willamette Valley for a little vineyard tromping, then on to the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration at the Allison Inn & Spa.

You can follow the action via Instagram @binnotes.

And yes…do please continue to watch this space for links to my forthcoming professional features in Oregon Wine Press, Meininger Wine Business International, and South Bay Accent Magazine, as well as my exclusive interview with Hospices de Beaune’s Ludivine Griveau in the upcoming issue of basil + salt Magazine.

Per usual,¬† while I no longer post non-professional features on this site, I do continue to tipple through trade samples in The Hedonistic Taster for all you food and wine aficionados looking for unpretentious, concise tasting notes to help you muddle through the wine maze…

Thanks – look forward to hearing your comments. Cheers!

Copyrighted 2018. binNotes | L.M. Archer | All Rights Reserved.


Fave 5 Highlights of 2017

What an eventful year!

Here’s my Fave 5 highlights of 2017, in chronological order:¬†

1. Meadowood Wine Writers Symposium 2017
Winning a Fellowship to the Meadowood Professional Wine Writer’s Symposium 2017 (WWS17) set the tone for 2017, and introduced me to a slew of savvy industry professionals, Napa Valley winemakers, and top-notch wines.

So when the Wine Country wildfires hit later this year, it was personal.

Personal fave:¬†Meeting up with WWS17 alum Marie Oskarsson – noted Swedish author, sommelier, and¬† journalist – while in Gothenburg working on a pending international feature I’m doing on Swedish sommeliers.

2. International Pinot Noir Celebration 2017

A media pass to the 31st Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration featuring “The French Adventurers: Burgundians Making Pinot Noir in Oregon” felt more like winning the Burgundian lottery.

Kicking things off at the The Grand Seminar included commentary by – and wines from – these French luminaries:

  • V√©ronique Boss-Drouhin of Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Roserock Drouhin Oregon and Maison Joseph Drouhin.
  • Jacques Lardi√®re¬†of R√©sonance and Maison Louis Jadot.
  • Dominique Lafon of Lingua Franca and Domaine des Comtes Lafon.
  • Jean-Nicolas M√©o of Domaine Nicolas-Jay and Domaine M√©o-Camuzet.
  • Alexandrine Roy of¬† Phelps Creek Vineyards and Domaine Marc Roy.

I also scored a berth at University of Pinot “Meteorology 325: The Impact of Vintage in Burgundy”¬†Besides tasting more fabulous wine, we received a master class on Burgundy, terroir, and¬†vintage from host Allen Meadows.

Panelists included¬†Chisa Bize of Domaine Simon Bize et Fils, Mathilde Grivot of Domaine Jean Grivot, and √Čtienne de Montille of D. de Montille, who shared their personal harvest notes, including a particularly riveting account of the cataclysmic 2016 harvest.

Aside from seminars and tastings, off-campus ‘field trips’ rounded out an over-packed itinerary, including a tour of¬†Chapter 24 Vineyards¬†Witness Tree Vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills AVA with winemaker Felipe Ramirez,¬†a private tasting at¬†Bells Up Winery in Chehalem Mountains AVA¬†with Dave and Sara Specter, a sidebar with John Grochau of Grochau Cellars, and dinner with Jeff Knapp and Kitri McGuire of Visit McMinnville.

Personal fave: Profiling winemakers from emerging pinot noir regions, including New Zealand’s Paul Pujol of Prophet’s Rock¬† and Duncan Forsyth of Mount Edward for Palate Press,¬†¬†and South Africa’s Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck Wines for¬†BKWine Magazine.

3. Women in Wine

“Ataxaria: ‘a state of serenity or calm.”¬†

What happens when a group of talented ‘women of wine’ retreat to California’s Lake County in late September? “Ataxaria: Yoga & Meditation for Women,” brainchild of¬† USA Today’s Lauren Mowery, proved the right combination of ‘reset’ and ‘restore’ over a long weekend of yoga, hiking, local wine tasting and farm-to-table fare, plus a lot of laughter.

Personal fave: Sirsee seminar with Amy Bess Cook, founder of Women-owned Wineries of Sonoma County. Wine Sistahs in the house!

Bonus:  Check out her recent interview in Grape Collective here.


4. Bubbles!

Ok – so I’m still not sure how I ended up falling down the rabbit hole of the¬†Champagne Master Level designation I earned in November, but I can verify that I did drink more champagne over the course of the rigorous program than most people drink in a lifetime. In the process,¬†I developed a new appreciation for Champagne’s complex history, geology, production techniques, and the art of assemblage.

I also admit that, despite an unbreakable bond with Burgundy, I do consider Champagne the ‘flip side’ of Burgundy – same c√©pages (pinot noir, chardonnay), but different textures, and terroir. Well worth the effort.

Personal fave: Reviewing¬†Champagne expert and author Caroline Henry’s¬†new book Terroir Champagne¬† – an invaluable study guide for any student of bubbles.

5. Hospices de Beaune

The view from the cramped press room overlooking the Hospices de Beaune wine auction never gets old. Ever. Nor do the official tastings,  luncheon, and press conference prior to sounding the auction gavel.

During three days covering the 157th Hospices de Beaune wine auction,¬† I rushed between obligatory press tastings and events to conduct a one-on-one interview with Domaine Hospices de Beaune managing director Ludivine Griveau for the February 2018 issue of basil + salt magazine, sneak a peak inside the Burgundian cellars of Oregon vignerons V√©ronique Drouhin-Boss of Maison Joseph Drouhin, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Comte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, and Matthieu Gille of Domaine Gille for the February 2018 issue of Oregon Wine Press, and attended an exclusive,¬†invitation-only preview of¬†¬†Three Days of Glory¬†at Beaune’s Les Ateliers du CineŐĀma,¬†a film about Burgundy by Oregon wine importer Scott Wright and filmmaker David Baker.

Bonus: You can get the inside scoop Three Days of Glory in the March 2018 issue of Oregon Wine Press prior to the international  Newport Beach Film Festival premier in April 2018.

Personal fave: Getting lost in Bourgogne Hautes-C√ītes de Nuits under softly setting afternoon sunlight. Though we¬† missed our Roi Gevrey-Chambertin tasting and dinner, the magnificent views brought much solace.

So grateful you’ve been here to share 2017 with me…looking forward to more adventures in 2018!

Have your own 2017 fave event or wine? Please do share in the comment section below!

Cheers, and Best Wishes in 2018!

Copyrighted 2017-2018. binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

Joyeux No√ęl! ¬°Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! God Jul!

Dear Readers:

Holiday Greetings to all, wherever you are in the World!

Porte St. Nicolas-Beaune. ©L.M. Archer

Thanks for enjoying the tastes of affordable Burgundy, Bubbles and beyond with me in 2017 – best wishes to you and yours in the New Year!

Santé!  Salud!  Salute!  Skål!  Cheers!


Always a treat to hear from you ‚Äď please feel free to leave your comments below, or on Twitter/Instagram¬†@binnotes.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

Affordable Burgundy, Bubbles and Beyond

Happy Holidays, Dear Readers~


Still in deep deadline mode, but wanted to share a bit of ‘research’ I’ve been doing for a piece I’m working on for¬†basil + salt magazine, slated for publication in early 2018…I’ve included the producer names with the images in case you want to try these on your own at home before you read my article…so many bubbles, so little time…May your holidays be cozy, bright – and full of bubbles!



Always a treat to hear from you – please feel free to leave your comments below, or on Twitter/Instagram @binnotes.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.