Wine Writer Confidential | № 2

Dear Readers:

L.M.Archer ©2017 Alisha+Brook Photographers.

Welcome to my latest installment of Wine Writer Confidential, where I spill, thrill and chill you with all the news unfit to print about my world of wine writing.

It’s no secret that a virus laid me low last week, rendering me useless, and unable to taste. However, the down time allowed me to ponder a few things…

On Wine, Words, Burgundy, and Battling Shyness in an Extroverted Industry

Recently, a wine blogger whom I respect sent me this:

“…I just finished an ARC of Cork Dork and the writer is talking about Burgundy and there is a line in there are a few sentences that made me think of you. 

“I’ve never watched someone open what was supposed to be an outstanding bottle of Burgundy without a look of mild terror on her face. The wines oxidize, they get reductive, they are fickle in mediocre vintages, and they go through awkward phases in their youth. The people who adore these wines tend to have a masochistic streak, and when you meet a Burgundy fanatic, it’s hard not to puzzle over what trauma – were they hugged enough as kids? – might have compelled them to attempt to master this region.”

Not to say this is you, but it made me think of you, a Burgundy expert…”

Was this a backhanded compliment? An underhanded backstab? A bit of both? I replied ‘guilty’ to the charge of Burgundy fanatic, ‘definitely’ to lack of hugs as a child, but balked at ‘mild terror’ when opening a bottle of the noble juice.

Which got me thinking about my life as a wine writer with a particular passion for Burgundy. It’s no accident that I fell down the rabbit hole of Burgundy. It appeals to those of us reserved in nature. Burgundy requires determination, diligence, and discretion, not only as a vigneron, but as a disciple of the region.

Also no accident that writing chose me as a profession. Suffice it to say that reading “Alice in Wonderland” at age seven opened my eyes to the wonder and power of words. By age eight writing had chosen me, though it took a lifetime of maze-milling before leaping full-time into freelance word-smithing.

But wine writing? For a shy person, wine writing presents an unholy challenge, because the wine industry as a rule attracts extroverts – people who thrive on the company of others. For introverts, incessant socializing exhausts, rather than excites. A fact I tried to ignore at first, with disastrous results.

As a neophyte wine writer, I forced my self to work in a series of tasting rooms – family, corporate, niche, boutique – to learn the nuances of the industry, as well as the artistry of winemaking. But these experiences took their toll, both on me and others. Reserved people as a lot do not understand the social dynamics necessary to lubricate a tasting room; most miss important social cues that others take for granted. The same frustrations held true during my initial wine maker interviews.

Sadly, while the social torture continued, morale did not improve – until a wise mentor told me to ‘flip the script,’ positing that the story problem offered a different narrative. He was right.

I write about what Joseph Campbell coined the ‘Hero’s Journey,’ sharing wine makers’ leaps of faith, overcoming obstacles, and a final battle – usually in a cave – followed by  a victorious return with the boon, or treasure – in this case wine, the redThread™ that binds us all.

As an introvert in an extrovert’s industry, I identify with these people I write about, because I’ve followed their same journey.  I understand the courage needed to follow one’s passion, to overcome obstacles, to do battle in order to create something out of nothing, something that hopefully inspires others.

I’ve also learned that the social liability of shyness – right up there along other no-no’s like bad breath and acne – actually proves an asset as a writer. Talking less means listening more. Seeing more. Feeling more. Sussing out the subtext while others talk all over the obvious.

Do I ever wish someone could wave a magic wand and make me an extrovert? Sometimes. But introversion helped me find my voice. Brought me to Burgundy. Led me to wine makers with stories worth telling. And taught me to stop trying to be something I’m not. In this time of renewal, may you embrace whatever you are. Cheers.

Pssst…hope you like the new website look! Feel free to share your thought below…

 Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread™. All Rights Reserved.
More Wine Writer Confidential:

My latest in France Today: Little Black Book takes on Burgundy!

Now out! France Today | Little Black Book | Burgundy

Dear Readers:

The March 2017 issue of France Today  magazine is out, including my favorite wine places in Burgundy under the Little Black Book section.

You can grab a copy of the magazine at any tabac throughout France, or via international subscription.

I’ve included a sneak peek here for my loyal followers.


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

Wine Industry Insight Features “The New French Paradox”

Wine Industry Insight Features “The New French Paradox”

Dear Readers:

Just wanted to alert you that today’s Wine Industry Insight North American Regional Wine News section features my latest article “The New French Paradox”, now available in the March issue of Oregon Wine Press. 

Nice way to start the week – cheers!

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer \ binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

My latest in Oregon Wine Press: The New French Paradox

My latest in Oregon Wine Press: The New French Paradox

Dear Readers:

I wanted to share with you my latest feature in the March 2017 issue of Oregon Wine Press:

The New French Paradox

by L.M. Archer

The term “French Paradox” emerged in the ’80s to describe that country’s contradictory high-fat diet coupled with its low incidence of heart disease. Today, another “French Paradox” plays out; this one, in Burgundy. While the region grapples with a new normal of rising weather catastrophes, lower yields, as well as increasing land and production costs, domaines and vignerons search for opportunity elsewhere.

The Drouhin family (from left), Laurent, Véronique, Philippe and Frederic, has made a second home here in Oregon. Photo by Mathieu Garçon

For many Burgundians, that search leads to Oregon. Visionaries like Maison Joseph Drouhin rooted early in its volcanic and sedimentary soils. Other houses followed, like Maison Louis Jadot and Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, along with legendary vignerons like Dominique Lafon of Domaine des Comtes Lafon. As a result, today’s Old World Burgundy and New World Oregon enjoy a complementary relationship based upon an overarching respect for Pinot Noir in particular, for terroir in general and for excellence overall. Read more here.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer \ binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

Oregon Wine Press | Three Days of Glory

Oregon Wine Press | Three Days of Glory

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about wine and taste makers.

By L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML


Dear Readers:

I am beyond honored to share my latest feature in the December 2016 issue of  Oregon Wine Press with you, showcasing Scott Wright’s film about Burgundy entitled “Three Days of Glory.

Read the entire article here.

A scene from the movie “Three Days of Glory” features Thiébault Huber of Domaine Huber-Verdereau in Volnay.
A scene from the movie “Three Days of Glory” features Thiébault Huber of Domaine Huber-Verdereau in Volnay. Image Provided courtesy Scott Wright.

Oregon Wine Press is also available in print at participating new stands.

Hope you enjoy the story – I’m looking forward to the film!


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.



The Hedonistic Taster | № 12 | Roserock Drouhin Oregon

The Hedonistic Taster | № 12 | Roserock Drouhin Oregon

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 12

Roserock Drouhin Oregon

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML


“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, a binNotes | redThread™ trade sampling of gorgeous, small-lot artisan pours in an intimate tasting format.

The title derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.


Today’s Tasting:

Roserock Drouhin Oregon | Eola-Amity Hills, OR.


Tasting wines by Véronique Drouhin Boss resembles attending a piano concerto – each pour an elegant opus reverberating with its own inner core of subdued structure and grace.

Recently, I was lucky enough to interview the wine maker about her newest project, Roserock Drouhin Oregon, and taste through the wines crafted from this exquisite vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of Oregon’s Willamette Valley,

Scion of Domaine Drouhin Oregon and Maison Joseph Drouhin in Burgundy, Roserock Drouhin Oregon fashions their cuvées from the estate’s 35 LIVE-certified blocks composed of volcanic soils, favorable aspects, and cooler temperatures overseen by her brother, viticulturalist Phillippe Drouhin.

Véronique Drouhin Boss describes the wines of Roserock as “flirting with Gevrey-Chambertin,” a Burgundian Grand Cru favored by Napoleon and renown for its intense, perfumed flavors.

Her wines raise the bar, and set the standard for Burgundy and Willamette Valley aficionados everywhere.

View my exclusive interview with Véronique Drouhin Boss here.


Wine: Roserock Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay | Eola-Amity Hills, OR.

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.1%

Suggested Retail: $35



Robe: Impeccable pale straw robe.

Nose:  Bosque pear, lemon flower, slight eau d’evergreen.

Palate: Notes of meyer lemon, with an undercurrent of minerality. Light body, bright acids, lilting finish. Brilliant. Elegant. Age-worthy 3-5 years.

Suggested Pairings: Stuffed sole and brown rice with sautéed shallots, seasonal kale and cèpes.



Wine: Roserock Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir | Eola-Amity Hills, OR.

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.1 %

Suggested Retail: $35



Robe: Brilliant, deep ruby robe.

Nose:  Tea rose, potpourri, cranberry and dark cherry nose.

Palate: Floral, dried fruit, black cherry with a back note of evergreen. Light body, supple tannins, superb structure, effortless balance, lingering finish. Age-worthy 7-10 years.

Suggested Pairings: An elegant wine of discretion mean to enhance, not overpower. Suitable for any meal that allows for ample discourse and delight in an artfully laden table.

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

redThread™ Exclusive: Roserock Drouhin Oregon – Véronique Drouhin Boss

redThread™ Exclusive: Roserock Drouhin Oregon – Véronique Drouhin Boss

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about wine and taste makers.

By L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Today’s Exclusive Interview:

Roserock Drouhin Oregon | Véronique Drouhin-Boss

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” -Wm. Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet.”


In 2013, Domaine Drouhin Oregon purchased 279-acre Roserock Vineyard in Willamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills. This acquisition adds to the 225-acre estate in Dundee Hills they established in 1987, and allows for a focused expression of terroir reflective of their Burgundy domaine, Maison Joseph Drouhin.

Véronique Drouhin-Boss, Robert Drouhin’s daughter, holds court as the vigneron for the family’s holdings, including Roserock Drouhin Oregon. Elegant, refined, graceful, her wines capture both the essence of their microclimates, as well as the trademark Drouhin ‘house style’  – ethereal, lilting pours of supple, structured beauty.

In this exclusive interview with Véronique Drouhin-Boss, the artisan provides insights into her life as a wine maker for the family estate, including a bit about her own élevage, or ‘raising up’ in Burgundy.

r/T™: Your family has produced terroir-expressive wines in Burgundy for four generations at Maison Joseph Drouhin (MJD). Can you elaborate about the groundbreaking role that your family played in revitalizing Chablis?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: It is actually my father who played an important role in Chablis, believing, in 1968, about the future of the depressed region. My grandfather was the one who started the estate purchasing in 1918 the Clos des Mouches.

r/T™: Your father Robert proved a pioneer in Oregon as well, establishing Domaine Drouhin Oregon (DDO) in 1987 in the Dundee Hills – the first Burgundian drawn to the region by its familiar climate and promising soils.

How has the purchase of Roserock  in 2013 impacted your family’s winemaking operations?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:  It has not changed our philosophy regarding winemaking. It is, however, a different area than the Dundee Hills, with minor differences in the microclimate and soil. The goal remains the same: producing wines that are elegant, refined, age worthy and showing the character of where they grow.

r/T™: The ‘rose’ portion of the ‘Roserock’ label references Pinot Noir, and the ‘rock’ part of the name references Chardonnays. A third, small portion of reserve wine is held back for ‘Zephirine,’ named after the ’Zephirine Drouhin’ a rose. Where does Roserock fit within the Drouhin ‘style?’

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: Roserock is flirting in style with Gevrey-Chambertin, meaning the wines show a great underlying structure with ample volume and bright flavors. Our Dundee Hills Pinot is more like a Chambolle-Musigny.

r/T™:  Can you elaborate a little bit more about the significance of ‘Zephirine,’ both the wine and the rose?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:  Zephirine was the wife of a man, Monsieur Drouhin, who loved roses. In 1968 , at his request, a rose was made for her by Mr. Bizot, a rosemaker, who gave the name “Zephirine” to his new rose. How well suited for our Roserock reserve cuvée this name is! Like Laurene for our Dundee Hills premium estate pinot noir, Zephirine is a blend of a few carefully selected cuvées from Roserock, showing great complexity and beautiful texture.

r/T™:   In 1988, your father ‘nominated’ you as wine maker for Domaine Drouhin Oregon. Today, you straddle the wine-making fence between Burgundy and Oregon as ‘guardian of the Maison Joseph Drouhin style.”  Your older brother Philippe oversees the vines, striving to achieve ‘natural answers to natural problems.” How do these viticultural and wine making philosophies work together at Roserock?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:  The philosophy is the same at Roserock, both for the viticulture and winemaking; the difference is that we have now been working for almost 30 years at DDO in the Dundee Hills so we have some good experience there. In Burgundy, it is 136 years of experience for our family. Roserock is much newer for us, the soil and microclimate characteristics are a little different, we already have fairly precise ideas on how to manage the vineyard and vinify the grapes but with time we will better understand each individual block. That might lead to a couple more different cuvées in the future.

r/T™:   As a vigneron, do you find your production methods vary much between Roserock, DDO and MJD? 

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: Honestly no, our methods do not vary that much between the three locations. The goal is the same in each place: to produce wines of character that reflect where they come from. There is no secret, but certainly there is a lot of thinking in the viticulture practices and then many tastings to fine tune each wine.

Every working day of the week and this during all year we taste at 11 AM for about one to one-and-a-half hour. When I am in Burgundy, I still taste our wines from Oregon that the winery sends me every month.

r/T™:  In 1986, after earning your advanced degree in Enology from the University of Dijon, you ended up interning with the Letts of The Eyrie Vineyard, the Casteels of Bethel Heights, and the Adelsheims. During your internship, did you notice many similarities between Oregon and Burgundian wine families?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: Living with these three lovely families was wonderful. Oregon and Burgundy wine families have a lot in common. The way of life: easy going, healthy eating, spending time together, was not very different from our life back home.

r/T™:  After your internship, was there anything about Oregon that made you personally want to return and make wine, regardless of your father’s recommendations?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: I was only 24 years old after my internship and did not see right away a future in Oregon for me. I loved the place and the people but did not think I could do something there.

r/T™: Your advanced degree was in Pinot Noir. Did you learn anything about growing/making Pinot Noir in Oregon vs. Burgundy that informed those studies?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:  Pinot Noir is a tricky variety to grow. What is a fact is that in most years it is easier to grow it in Oregon than in Burgundy. My study on Pinot was mostly related to extraction of color which can be a challenge in Burgundy but certainly is not a problem in Oregon. The challenge in Oregon is to keep the natural elegance of the variety. Making wines with deep color and great structure is quite easy, having also the balance, finesse and elegance is not that easy.

r/T™: Domaine Drouhin Oregon’s credo is “French Soul, Oregon Soil.” At the 2016 Oregon Wine Symposium, you accepted the Founders Award, an award which ‘honors people whose longtime work in and for the industry has positively affected the direction and accomplishments of Oregon wine,’ on behalf of your family. Did this award have any significance for you and your family that differed from other awards you have received?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: Yes, we were extremely touched by this award. It came from friends we have known for 30 years. These friends are the same people who did not know us so well 30 years ago, but believed in us. They believed we could, with them, contribute to make Oregon become a recognized region for the quality of its Pinot Noir. It has not been an easy path, but all together, I think we have succeeded in putting Oregon on the map of one of the best Pinot Noir producing region of the world.

r/T™:  You have three brothers. You’re a mother of three. Where you surprised when your father asked you to become the family’s wine maker?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: Since I was the only one who studied winemaking, it did not surprise me so much, but I was still very young and not sure I could fulfill the position. Luckily, I have had help from my father whose long experience in winemaking was very precious.

r/T™:  Do you take your own children into the caves to taste, as your father did with you when you were a child?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:  Not as much as my father did with us when we were young. For us it was easy since we lived above the cellars.

r/T™:  Do any of your children show an interest in keeping the Drouhin style alive for the next generation?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:  For the moment they are still studying, so it is a little early to tell. They all like wine, but also think they should make their own experience for some years before they eventually join the family business.

r/T™: Anything else you’d care to share with readers about Roserock?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss:   Yes, I would like to make it clear that Roserock is a wine from Domaine Drouhin Oregon. It is from a different AVA [Eola-Amity Hills] than the Pinot we produce in the Dundee Hills, but it is made with the same philosophy.

Also we need the readers to become our ambassadors: we can grow the grapes and make the wine but we can’t share it with their families and friends!

r/T™: Finally, if your experience as a vigneron has taught you anything, it’s taught you…?

Véronique Drouhin-Boss: Whatever we do you we remain growers whose crop will always depend on Mother Nature. We have to respect our planet and precious water resources.

View  Roserock Drouhin Oregon tasting notes here.

View Domaine Drouhin Oregon tasting notes here.

All photos (except Véronique Drouhin-Boss) ©Andrea Johnson and reprinted with permission by Domaine Drouhin Oregon | Roserock Drouhin Oregon.

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.