BKWine Magazine | Artisan Winemaker Don Hagge of Vidon Vineyard, Oregon

Dear Readers:

FYI:

 Paris-based BKWine Magazine now features my interview with artisan wine maker and former NASA rocket scientist Don Hagge of Vidon Vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Read the full article here.

Read the full article in Swedish here.

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.

The Hedonistic Taster | № 13 | Vidon Vineyard

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 13 | Vidon Vineyard 

Chehalem Mountains AVA | Willamette Valley, OR.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Tastevin

“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. Santé!

Today’s Tasting:

Vidon Vineyard | Chehalem Mountains AVA  | Willamette Valley, OR.

vidonlogo

“A petite vineyard with a boutique winery.”

Ok, wine astronauts, buckle up and prepare for takeoff as we taste through samples of Vidon Vineyard 100% estate-grown Oregon Pinot Noir – including a 2012-2014 vertical sampler of 3-Clone cuvées and a special series of 2014 single-clone offerings – all crafted by former NASA astrophysicist-turned-artisan wine maker Don Hagge.

These small-lot wines reflect the owner – easy-going, unpretentious and approachable.

View my exclusive interview with Vidon Vineyard owner and rocket-scientist-turned-artisan wine maker Don Hagge here.

14_VidonMirabelleClone115PinotNoir

Wine: VIDON Vineyard  Mirabelle Clone 115  Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.3 %

Suggested Retail: $50

Production: 100 cases.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Obscure ruby robe.

Nose:  Linear red fruit, predominately red raspberry.

Palate: Red raspberry, briary, sous bois notes. Light body, medium acid, minimal tannins/finish.

Suggested Pairings: Perfect, agreeable grab-and-go for game night at the neighbors over lip-smacking finger foods.

 

14_VidonBrigitaClone777PinotNoir

Wine: VIDON Vineyard Brigita Clone 777 Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.3%

Suggested Retail: $50

Production: 125 cases.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Clouded garnet robe.

Nose:  Rainier cherry, pomegranate, cranberry nose.

Palate: Hard red cherry candy, black pepper, bramble, sous bois notes. Light body, medium acids, minimal tannins.

Suggested Pairings: Easy-breezy accompaniment to wild rice and cranberry stuffed game, or seared tuna with pomegranate coulis.

14_VidonHansClonePinotNoir

Wine: VIDON Vineyard Hans Clone Pommard Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 

Vintage: 2014 

Alcohol: 14.3%

Suggested Retail: $50

Production: 148 cases.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Roiled, fuscia-tinged raspberry robe.

Nose:  Hi-toned red fruit, barnyard, noisette finish.

Palate: Red fruits, hazelnut, pepper finish. Light body, medium acids, light tannins/finish.

Although a Pinot Noir,  this wine evokes a Cru Beaujolais from Fleurie or Régnié.

Suggested Pairings: Sidle this little number up to some hazelnut-crusted ahi.

14_Vidon3ClonePinotNoir

Wine: 2014 VIDON Vineyard 3 Clones Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 

Alcohol:  14.3%

Suggested Retail: $40

Production: 710 cases.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Sheer ruby robe.

Nose: Pomegranate, earth, umami back note.

Palate: Bing cherry, red vine licorice, ripe raspberry. Acid plus, medium tannin, raspish finish.

A note about the harvest: Wine wags deem the 2014 Willamette Valley harvest “the vintage of a lifetime,” owing to an unblemished growing season from bud break through harvest,  producing record-breaking quality fruit of exceptional balance.

Suggested Pairings: Bring on the ‘fifth flavor’! This wine pairs well with similar, umami-rich dishes such as a leek and cèpes tart, or stuffed portobello mushrooms.

vidon_pn_nv

Wine: 2013 VIDON Vineyard 3 Clones Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 

Alcohol:  14.3%

Suggested Retail:  $40

Production: 480 cases.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Pellucid ruby robe; slight effervescence that dissipates with decanting.

Nose:  Peat, cherry; slight sulfur notes evaporate with airing.

Palate: Modelo cherry,  rose hip, white pepper bouche.  

A note about the harvest: This wine provides an unabashed portrait of a warm start out of the gate that turned difficult to choreograph at harvest as the rains first threatened, then arrived without mercy. A third of the wine growers chose to harvest early before the rains, another third harvested on schedule in the rain, and the final third harvested in October, which meant the potential for rot.

Vidon Vineyard opted for the former – to harvest before the rains. Welcome to the Willamette Valley.

Suggested Pairings: A conversation starter over just-baked gougères.

vidon_pn_nv

Wine: 2012 VIDON Vineyard 3 Clones Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

Alcohol:  15%

Suggested Retail: $40

Production: 530 cases.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Deep garnet robe.

Nose:  Spice, cranberry, mushroom.

Palate: Linear red fruit and earth bouche, light body, acids plus, medium tannins, minimal finish.

A note about the harvest: Willamette Valley’s 2012 vintage proved one of the most glorious on record, unfurling warm days, cool nights, even ripening, and well-balanced acids and tannins.

Suggested Pairings: Reminiscent of a straightforward, spicy Bourgogne Passe Tout Grains. Pair with a daube, saucisson or equally rustic fare.

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Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

The Hedonistic Taster | № 12b Special Edition | Domaine Drouhin Oregon

The Hedonistic Taster | № 12b Special Edition | Domaine Drouhin Oregon

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 12b Special Edition

Domaine Drouhin Oregon

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Tastevin

“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.

Santé!

Today’s Special Edition Tasting:

Domaine Drouhin Oregon | Dundee Hills, OR.

ddo-logo

Welcome to a Special Edition of The Hedonistic Taster

In honor of the US Thanksgiving holiday, please enjoy these special pours from Burgundian wine maker Véronique Drouhin-Boss of Domaine Drouhin Oregon (DDO), wines provided in conjunction with my recent exclusive interview featuring Roserock Drouhin Oregon.

Drouhin-Boss’s wines unfold on the palate with a lithesome charm, offering attractive pairing options during the holidays.

Amazingly, these wines run between $35-$45, tremendous finds for any Grand Cru or premier Willamette Valley Pinot Noir lover. Moreover, they age beautifully – a bonus for collectors.

Please enjoy – and happy holidays!

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The tasting notes today reflect the wines I sampled from Domaine Drouhin Oregon (DDO), the family’s Oregon estate established in 1987 by father Robert Drouhin, where Veronique has spearheaded wine making since 1988; she also oversees the winemaking at her family’s Burgundy domaine Maison Joseph Drouhin, in addition to the Roserock Drouhin Oregon project. Her brother, viticulturalist Phillipe Drouhin, oversees all wine growing operations on their LIVE-certified estates in Oregon, and in Burgundy.

Drouhin-Boss describes the wines of Domaine Drouhin Oregon as “flirting with Chambolle-Musigny” one of only two Burgundian Grand Cru (the other is Corton) AOC’s allowed to produce both red and white wines, wines of perfumed finesse.

Indeed, the wines of Domaine Drouhin Oregon very much live up to their estate’s adage: “French Soul, Oregon Soil.”

2014-chardonnay_arthur_dh-web-medium1

Wine: Domaine Drouhin Oregon Arthur Chardonnay | Dundee Hills, OR.

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.1%

Suggested Retail: $35

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Luminous straw robe.

Nose:  Aromas of white flowers, stone fruit, citrus.

Palate: Subtle white florals and lemon curd on the mouth. Balanced, ample bouche, with an elegance and refinement that calls to mind Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque № 3 in a glass. Supple finish. Age-worthy 4-5 yrs.

Suggested Pairings: A versatile wine suitable for creamier dishes and traditional cuisine, as well as lighter, seasonal fare.

2014-pinot_noir_dh-web-medium

Wine: Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir | Dundee Hills, OR.

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.1 %

Suggested Retail: $45

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Deep garnet robe.

Nose:  An intoxicating mélange of red raspberry and cassis, dark cherry and plum, baking spice, and roses.

Palate: An intricate, silky millefeuille of savory spices, black fruits, smokey cherry, and hint of evergreen that unfurl on the palate with light-bodied elegance, transforming into a seductive, velvet finish. Age-worthy 10-12 years.

Suggested Pairings: A go-to for any holiday table serving game, fowl, roast beef, or pork loin. For the non-traditionalist, bœuf bourguignon.

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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

Tastevin

“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.

Santé!

Today’s Tasting:

Roserock Drouhin Oregon | Eola-Amity Hills, OR.

fleur-roserock

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.

bouteille-roserock-2

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

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.1%

Suggested Retail: $35

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

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.

 

bouteille-roserock-1

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

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.1 %

Suggested Retail: $35

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

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.

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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.”

fleur-roserock

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.