Hospices de Beaune 2017 Debrief

I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to the record-breaking 2017 Hospices de Beaune wine auction, and wanted to share a few images with you to get a flavor of the tour and all it entailed.

I’ll be hunkered down for the rest of the holiday season writing several pending stories for publication in a number of wine and lifestyle magazines, but be sure to share more information with you as deadlines loom after the first of the year. In the meantime,  happy holidays, all – and safe travels.

As always, great to hear from you in the ‘Comments’ section below and on social media – cheers!

All images and text Copyrighted 2017 binnotes.com | L. M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.

 

Burgundy Bound

Dear Readers:

I’m traveling on assignments for the balance of 2017, indispensable Yoga Paws and Lazenne wine carrier in tow.

First stop Sweden, followed by the fabled Hospices de Beaune wine auction in Burgundy, before returning stateside later this month for some South Bay sleuthing amidst a little US Thanksgiving gratitude. December brings me deep into Northern California wine making territory, and concludes with a long slog of elbow grease at the keyboard.

Find out about publication dates for pending features here later. In the meantime, feel free to follow along live throughout the tour:

 Instagram +Twitter: @binnotes.

Always a treat to hear your comments – thanks for leaving them below.

Cheers!

 

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

Napa + Sonoma + Burgundy + Beyond

Today broke like any other. Alarm, bird song, coffee. A rush to dress and gas and nudge onto Hwy 17 towards San Francisco for a day of tastings and bubbles  studies.

No time to check social media. Until the first ping.

“Are you ok?” Ping  “?” Ping. “Fire in Sonoma.” Ping. “Fire in Napa.” “Are you ok?!”

Ping. Ping. Ping.  Scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram brings a bombardment of incomprehensible images  –  images of trees, homes, wineries in flames. Wineries I recognize. Homes of people I know. Trees that once shaded memorable drives through remarkable Wine Country.

Napa and Sonoma burning.

And then reality intrudes. My reality. My wine writer life. Car parked, roster checked, spit cup and wine glass presented, and wine tasting begins.

Wines presented by importer+distributor Veritas Wine at High Treason for Becky Wasserman & Co., a bespoke Burgundian wine agency representing an elite portfolio of artisan domaines. Expect more on this bedrock of Burgundian wine culture in future posts.

But not today. Today thoughts and prayers go out to Napa + Sonoma.

You can find out more about how to help by following the Napa Register.

Learn more about Becky Wasserman & Co. here.

Learn more about Becky Wasserman in this interview on I’ll Drink to That here.

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

 

My latest in Wines and Vines Magazine: Technical Spotlight on Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca: Willamette Valley winery builds a state-of-the-art, quake-resistant production facility  

by L.M. Archer 

Lingua Franca Winery in the Willamette Valley produces premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

When the 2014 South Napa earthquake subsided, wine consultant and master sommelier Larry Stone surveilled the wreckage of his Napa home and thought, “Wherever I work next, it’s gonna be earthquake-proof.” Read more hereCopyright © Wines & Vines

I want to hear from you! Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Psstt…And please do follow me on Instagram, Facebook and other social media – you can find the icons above on the left-hand side of this site.

Cheers!

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

 

 

Burgundy’s Overlooked ‘Other’ White Wine

Burgundy’s Overlooked ‘Other’ White Wine

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

My instructor at BIVB once described Chardonnay as the drama-free, fair-haired child that gets along with everyone. But every family has at least one problem child passed over in lieu of a more popular one.

In Burgundy, it’s Aligoté, Burgundy’s ‘other’ white varietal, a more angular version of sibling Chardonnay. A thin-skinned, rather tart white grape grown in Burgundy, styles vary from unctuous to austere.

While Chardonnay dazzles wine lovers from Chablis to the Mâconnais, Aligoté resides primarily in the Côte Chalonnaise village of Bouzeron. Notably, the village grows the superior Aligoté Doré varietal, rather than the lesser clone, Aligoté Vert.

This does not mean that other areas of Burgundy do not cultivate Aligoté. Pockets of producers include Alice + Olivier de Moor of St. Bris in Chablis, Domaine Naudin-Ferrand of Magny-les-Villers, which straddles Hautes Côtes de Beaune and Hautes Côtes de Nuits, and Domaine Ponsot, Burgundy’s only Premier Cru Aligoté from Monts Luisants in Morey-Saint-Denis. I’ve also discovered some fuller, more luxurious Aligotés produced in Meursault.

One must admire Aligoté’s perseverance. Despite relegation to blending, segregation to Burgundy’s Bouzeron, and integration into the Kir Royale, Aligoté endures, and may yet prevail. With global warming on the rise, interest in this early-ripening grape increases across the wine region. (S)he who laughs last, may indeed laugh best.

A. & P. de Villaine counts at the top of Bouzeron’s Aligoté producers, today’s featured wine. If the name sounds familiar, the ‘A’ in A. & P. de Villaine stands for Aubert de Villaine of fabled Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Cote d’Or; his nephew Pierre de Benoist directs the domaine.

Tasting Notes

Wine: Domaine A. et P. de Villaine Bouzeron Aligoté

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol: 12.5%

Price: $32

Spec  (Note: Thanks to Soif Wine and Bar in Santa Cruz for stocking this wine.)

Robe:  Clear, pale gold hue.

Nez:    Discrete notes of mustard blossom, lemon, fleurs blanches.

Bouche:  Tart lemon zest, bright minerality; dry, light-bodied, vivacious.

I’ve chosen to pair this wine with a traditional recipe for gougères (cheese puff pastries) featured in the authentic French cookbook “Recipes from the Châteaux of Burgundy” by Gilles and Bleuzen du Pontavice, with photos by Claude Herlédan.

“Aunt Thérèse’s gourgères,” pg. 61

“50 cl. milk, 5 g. salt, 125 g. butter. Bring these ingredients to the boil. Remove from the heat and add 250 g. of flour. Stir for a minute over the heat to dry out the pastry. Remove from the heat and add eight (8) eggs, two by two, followed by 125 g of diced gruyere. Put into a greased ring-shaped baking tin or in small heaps onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven.”

The recipe omits oven temperature ( Try 450 F.)

Good luck improvising with your own cheese variations – part of the charm of using these old recipes.

 June 17th 2017

concludes my guest hosting of 

The French #Winophiles 

A Virtual Tour of Burgundy, Part 2: Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais & Beaujolais.

 Here’s the Tour Guide for Part 2:

Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick serves up “Salmon and Morels with the Domaine Wines of Louis Max.

Jill Barth of L’Occasion shares “Historic Vineyards of Mâcon.”

Michelle Williams of Rockin Red Blog regales us with: A Journey Through Burgundy Part 2, Exploring Mâconnais with #Winophiles.

Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley of Wine Predator takes on: “Bourgogne with Beef Bourguignon from an Instant Pot.”

Lynn Gowdy of Savor the Harvest steers us through “Navigating Southern Burgundy: Mâconnaise and Beaujolais.

Jane Niemeyer of Always Ravenous explores Discovering Rully Chardonnay + Bouzeron Aligoté in Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise.”

Nicole Ruiz Hudson of Somm’s Table schools us with “Cooking to the Wine: Jean-Marc Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis with Clam and Burrata Pizza.”

Wendy Klik of A Day in the Life on the Farm dips her toe in “Provence meets Burgundy.

Lauren Walsh of The Swirling Dervish swirls up Mercurey Rising: Pinot Noir from Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise.”

Link to the Virtual Tour of Burgundy, Part 1

I want to hear from you! Please leave your comments below. Cheers!

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

A Tour of Burgundy, Part 1 | Not to Late to Join Us May 20th!

Have a Thirst for Burgundy?

It’s not too late to join The French Winophiles for a Virtual Tour of Burgundy on May 20th 2017 at 10 a CST!

For those unfamiliar with the program, The #Winophiles are a group of wine writers and bloggers that love French wine. Each month we focus on an area or aspect of French wine, with topics ranging from regions, routes, food, travel, and history, to profiles and tastings…we expand widely and seek to learn.

Burgundy is the focus of the May and June 2017 #Winophile program.

Please join us May 20th as we taste through Chablis and the fabled Cote d’Or from 10-11 a CST via Twitter using hashtag: #Winophile.

Here’s our May 20th Burgundy Tour Guide for your perusal:

Jeff Burrows of foodwineclick lures us to “Northern Burgundy Served Up With Rabbit.”

Jill Barth of L’Occasion schools us on “Thomas Jefferson in Burgundy.”

Michelle Williams of Rockin Red Blog tipples towards “A Journey Through Burgundy, Part 1 Chablis and Côte d’Or.”

Lynn Gowdy of Savor the Harvest hosts “Saint-Aubin in Burgundy Invites You To Dine.”

Martin Redmond of Enofylz Wine Blog  throws down “Back to Back White Burgundy: Chablis vs. Côte” d’Or.”

Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley of Art Predator serves up  “Chablis and the Sea.”

L.M. Archer of binnotes mulls over “Burgundy: Wines of Intention.”

…and Jane Niemeyer of Always Ravenous ladles up “White Burgundy paired with Corn Soup.”

 

 

See you on Twitter this Saturday morning, May 20th  at 10:00am central (time conversion here). Your invitation is the hashtag #Winophiles. 

And don’t forget….#ChardonnayDay is May 25th. Here’s a link to the press release.

Santé!

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread™. All Rights Reserved.

An Invitation to Tour Burgundy, Virtually! | 20 mai 2017

Take a Tour of Burgundy with the French Winophiles!

Join us for this month’s French Winophiles!

What: A Tour of Burgundy Part 1 | Chablis + Côte d’Or 

When: May 20, 2017 | 10 am CST

 

Map of Burgundy ©BIVB.

Burgundy Wine Region Quick Facts:

  • Stretches 140 miles from Chablis to the Mâconnais.
  • South 3.5 hours by car or 1.5 hrs. by train from Paris.
  • Enjoys a semi-continental climate.
  • Comprises 6% French wine production.
  • Produces 62% white wines,  28% red wines, and 10% sparkling (*BIVB – 2017.)
  • Contains 20% of all French Appellations (AOC’s):
    • 33 Grand Cru AOC’s
    • 635 Premier Cru AOC’s
    • 44 Village AOC’s
    • 23  AOC’s
  • Primary varietals:  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
  • Subregions include:
    • Chablis/Grand Auxerrois/Châtillonnais
    • Côte d’Or (Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune)
    • Côte Chalonnaise
    • The Mâconnais
    • Beaujolais – Administratively only (Technically, Beaujolais belongs to the Rhône department.)

Burgundy: Some history….

  • Benedictine and Cistercian monks oversaw wine production in Burgundy from 909 AD until 1789, introducing stone walls, or clos, around vineyards, codifying named sites, or climats, and cultivating Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as the region’s primary varietals.
  • Prior to the Revolution, France’s royal Dukes of Burgundy ruled the region from 1363-1477, outlawing Gamay.
  • Burgundy established the first Hospices de Beaune wine auction at the Hôtel Dieu in 1851.

Chablis Quick Facts:

  • Chablis also includes the Grand Auxerrois and Châtillonnais sub-regions.
  • Chablis boasts distinctive chalky limestone clays composed of dead oyster fossils. The biomass originated in a tropical sea that once covered the region, long before glaciers formed, tectonic plates shifted and crusts uplifted.
  • Fun Fact: These dead baby oysters settled into layers, eventually morphing into clays with a chalky consistency. With each plate shift and uplift, the chalky sea bed layers dispersed, forming a ‘ring’ which today includes the cliffs of Dover, Chablis, Champagne’s Aube region, and the Upper Loire’s Sancerre region.
  • Chardonnay accounts for 100% of Chablis’ wine production, with the following exceptions:
    • The village of St. Bris may cultivate Sauvignon Blanc.
    • The village of Irancy may produce César-Pinot Noir blends.
    • The village of Vézelay may grow Melon de Bourgogne.
  • Chablis’ AOC Hierarchy includes:
    • Chablis Grand Cru
    • Chablis Premier Cru
    • Chablis
    • Petit Chablis
  • Chablis has (1) Grand Cru with (7) distinctive climats:
    • Blanchot
    • Bougros
    • Les Clos
    • Grenouilles
    • Preuses
    •  Valmur
    • Vaudésir

Côte d’Or Quick Facts:

  • Also know as “La Route des Grands Crus” the ‘golden slopes’ of the Côte d’Or encompass Burgundy’s celebrated Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.
  • Côte de Nuits produces 89%  red wine, and contains 24 Grand Cru, all red but one (Musigny).
  • Côte de Beaune produces 57% red, 43% white wines, and includes 8 Grand Crus, all white but one (Corton).

HOW TO JOIN US
If you are a wine writer or blogger, this is your invitation to join in! Posts on travel, food, wine and lifestyle in Burgundy are all welcome.

Contact me to tell me you’re in: Include blog url, Twitter handle, and any other social media details. If you know your blog post title, include that…but you can also send that a bit closer to the event. We’d just like to get a sense of who’s participating and give some shout-outs and links as we go. Contact me below.

Send your post title to me by Wednesday, May 17th to be included in the preview post. I will prepare a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. Your title may or may not include “#Winophiles.”

Publish your post between 12:01 a.m-8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, May 20th. You can always schedule your post in advance if you will be tied up that morning.

Include links to the other #Winophiles participants in your post, and a description of what the event is about. I’ll provide the HTML code that you can easily put in your initial post — which will link to people’s general blog url.

Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts’ to comment and share. We have a Facebook group (French Winophiles) for participating bloggers to connect and share, too. If you need an invitation please let me know.

NOTE: Sponsored posts are OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample.

For an overview of the region: 

Link here to my article about Burgundy Wine Region in The Good Life France.

And don’t forget!

Join us for Burgundy | Part 2: June 17, 2017

Côte Chalonnaise + Mâconnais (+ Beaujolais)

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread™. All Rights Reserved.