The Hedonistic Taster Celebrates the Solar Eclipse | ‚ĄĖ 27 | Brooks Winery | Willamette Valley

The Hedonistic Taster¬†| ¬†‚ĄĖ¬†27 | Brooks Winery – Willamette Valley, OR

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Tastevin

‚ÄúWine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster*, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples.

These tasting notes compliment ¬†binNote | Affordable¬†Burgundy and beyond.‚ÄúBeyond‚ÄĚ includes existing and emerging producers of Pinot Noir worldwide.

Santé

Hey! Did you know that the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21st 2017 passes over Brooks Winery?

Today’s Tasting: Brooks Winery РWillamette Valley, OR. 

Much has been written about the history of Brooks Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley – about its founder Jimi Brooks, about his untimely passing in September 2004 at the age of 38 to an aortic aneurism, and about the remarkable banding together of community to complete his unfinished harvest that year.

Much, too, has been written about the legacy of Brooks Winery – about Jimi’s son Pascal, just eight when his father passed, about Pascal’s future, and about that of the winery. A film,¬†American Wine Story, ¬†even chronicles the story.

Much less has been written about Jimi’s sister Janie Brooks Heuck – about her assumption as Business Manager of Brooks Winery upon Jimi’s passing, about her active role helping raise nephew Pascal, about her tireless efforts burnishing the Brooks Winery brand, achieving Demeter biodynamic certification, expanding the vineyard holdings, all while residing full-time in Pebble Beach, CA. with her husband and family.

These tasting notes derive from a private tasting conducted by Janie Brooks Heuck at The Bench at Pebble Beach with myself and Suzanne Kendrick of New Zealand’s Wine-searcher.com.

A gracious host, Brooks Heuck put us through our paces with three whites and three Pinot Noirs, all creations of long-time Brooks Winery artisan winemaker Chris Williams. These wines echo with the soul of Beaujolais-trained Jim Brooks in their elegance and refinement, but they also capture the unfettered, utterly authentic spirit of the Willamette Valley. The seaside scenery only enhanced these pours.

Wine: Brooks Winery Riesling РWillamette Valley, OR.

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:  12.5%

Suggested Retail:  $18

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Light straw robe.

Nose:  Honeysuckle, stone fruit, slight mineral nose.

Palate: Acacia, citrus zest bouche with mineral core; acid plus, medium body and finish. Seamlessly structured, eminently quaffable.

Suggested Pairings:  A wine of freshness and linearity worth pondering sans food and without interruptions.

Rating: 94

Wine:   Brooks Winery Pinot Blanc РWillamette Valley, OR.

Vintage:  2016

Alcohol:   13%

Suggested Retail:  $20

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Pale lemon robe.

Nose:  Fleurs blanches, almond, citrus notes.

Palate: Light body, slight residual sugar on the palate, soft finish.

Suggested Pairings: A wisp of a wine to savor as an apéritif with small savory bites.

Rating: 92

 

Brooks Winery 2016 Amycas White Blend, Willamette Valley, OR.

Wine:   Brooks Winery Amycas White Wine РWillamette Valley, OR.

Vintage:  2016

Alcohol:  13.5%

Suggested Retail:  $20

Specs

TASTING NOTES:  

Robe:  Light lemon robe.

Nose:   Ginger, citrus, hint of honeysuckle on the nose.

Palate: Lemon zest, tropical fruit.  Light body with a bit of unctuousness, lingering finish.

Suggested Pairings:   The ginger notes beg for Asian or Indonesian fare.

Rating:  90

Brooks Winery 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.©L.M. Archer

Wine:  Brooks Winery Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol:  13%

Suggested Retail:  $28

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear garnet robe.

Nose:  Persimmon, high-toned red fruit, slight herbal backnote.

Palate:  Red currant, red raspberry bouche; light body, balanced acids and tannins, medium finish. Reminiscent of a Bourgogne rouge. Exceptional quality for the price.

Suggested Pairings:  

Rating: 95

Brooks Winery 2014 La Chenaie Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR.

Wine: Brooks Winery La Chenaie Pinot Noir

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol:  13.2%

Suggested Retail:  $48

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear ruby robe.

Nose:  Blackberry, red raspberry, loam, basalt.

Palate:  Black and red fruits carry through on the mouth, as does a rugged plumb line of flinty basalt. Acids and tannins plus, but round out over time; medium body, medium long finish.

Suggested Pairings:  A wine weighty enough to serve with roasted pork loin or rack of lamb.

Rating:  94

Brooks Winery 2014 Rastaban Pinot Noir –
Willamette Valley, OR.

Wine:   Brooks Winery Rastaban Brooks Estate Pinot Noir

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol:   13.2%

Suggested Retail:  $60

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear ruby robe.

Nose:   Bramble berry, dark raspberry, loam on the nose.

Palate:  A brooding, Heathcliff-on-the-moors type of wine with a dark black fruit, herbaceous bouche and textured mineral core; acids and tannins plus, medium body, full finish.

Suggested Pairings: A wine intense enough to roundhouse through the thickest Prime rib.

Rating: 94

Learn more about Brooks Winery here.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

 

I want to hear from you! Please leave your comments below, and join the conversation on social media – cheers!

 

*Author‚Äôs Note: The title ‚ÄúHedonistic Taster‚Ä̬†derives from the term ‚Äėhedonistic tasting,‚Äô coined by legendary¬†Burgundian vigneron¬†Henri Jayer.

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

 

The Hedonistic Taster Takes on National Pinot Noir Day | ‚ĄĖ 26 | Grochau Cellars – Willamette Valley

The Hedonistic Taster¬†| ¬†‚ĄĖ¬†26 | Grochau Cellars – Willamette Valley, OR.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne MLTastevin

‚ÄúWine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster*, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples.

These tasting notes compliment ¬†binNote | Affordable¬†Burgundy and beyond. “Beyond” includes existing and emerging producers of Pinot Noir worldwide.

Santé!

Did you know that August 18th is National Pinot Noir Day?!

Today’s Tasting: Grochau Cellars – Willamette Valley

Some wines sear the soul and haunt the palate. Grochau Cellars strike such a nerve. On the nose, these wines seduce, flatter, cajole – only to attack the palate with tensile nerve and unflinching precision before finishing with haughty grace – much like a taunting tango dancer. Or a really lean, mean (ok, maybe not mean), ex-professional Loire Valley bikeracer-turned-wineseller-turned Willamette Valley winemaker like John Grochau.

Grochau earned his stripes most notably at Erath Winery, and later with Doug Tunnel of Brick House Vineyards, before starting Grochau Cellars in 2002.

Recently, while in Oregon attending IPNC,  I had the honor and privilege to sit down with John Grochau for a private tasting of Grochau Cellars wines.

I have long admired Grochau Cellars wines for their consistency, quality, and ridiculous affordability, especially his Commuter Cuvée Pinot Noir.

These wines did not disappoint.

Grochau Cellars 2016 Melon de Bourgogne. ©L.M. Archer.

Wine: Grochau Cellars Melon de Bourgogne | Willamette Valley, OR.

 Vintage: 2016

Alcohol:  13%

Suggested Retail:  $18

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Pale lemon robe.

Nose:  Stone fruit, hint of wet stone, florals on the nose.

Palate: Bright acids, light body, lingering finish.

Suggested Pairings: Never heard of¬†Melon de Bourgogne? It’s a white grape originally from Burgundy transplanted to the Loire Valley’s Nantais, a wine region famous for Muscadet. This one’s talking to you. It wants seafood. Now.

Rating:  92

 

Grochau Cellars 2014 Bunker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, OR. ©L.M. Archer.

Wine: Grochau Cellars Chardonnay РBunker Hill Vineyard | Willamette Valley, OR.

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol:  13.3%

Suggested Retail:  $23

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Pale gold robe.

Nose:  Mild, discrete hints of fleurs blanches on the nose. 

Palate:  Did not see this one coming. White Burgundy Рsay hello to my little friend Meursaultmeets-Puilly-Fuissé. Lovely juxtaposition between a smooth entry, rich mouthfeel, and polished finish against a chiseled brightness and elegant core.

Suggested Pairings: A texturally interesting wine that compliments lightly sauced or roasted fish or fowl served along seasonal sides like grilled mushrooms.

Rating:  93

Grochau Cellars 2014 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR. ©L.M. Archer.

Wine:   Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir  | Dundee, OR.

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol:  13.7%

Suggested Retail:  $33

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear, crimson robe.

Nose:   Red fruit, dried florals on the nose, with an herbaceous back note.  

Palate: Red fruit and spice bouche, fresh acids, medium body, refined finish. Raffine.

Suggested Pairings: A wine for all seasons and reasons, especially with duck, pheasant, or turkey during lengthy, memory-worthy feasts with family and friends.

Rating:  95

Grochau Cellars 2014 Bjornson Vineyard Pinot Noir

Wine: Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir РBjornson Vineyard | Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, OR.

Vintage:  2014

Alcohol:  14%

Suggested Retail:  $38

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear ruby robe.

Nose:  Dark red fruit, baking spice, earth on the hose.

Palate:  Brooding, red cherry and spice bouche with medium-plus acids, mineral core, muscular tannins, and firm finish.

Suggested Pairings:  Rack of lamb, pork loin or beef.

Rating:  92

Learn more about Grochau Cellars here.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

 

Yes, I want to hear from you! Please leave your comments below, and join the conversation on social media – cheers!

 

*Author’s Note: The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‚Äėhedonistic tasting,‚Äô coined by legendary¬†Burgundian vigneron¬†Henri Jayer.

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

My latest in BKWine Magazine: Tasting Suo Red Collection ‚ĄĖ2 and Stellekaya Hercules from South Africa

Dear Readers:
Here’s¬†more on ‘Affordable Burgundy + beyond’… my latest in BKWine Magazine:
“Tasting Suo Red Collection ‚ĄĖ2 and Stellekaya Hercules from South Africa”
by L.M. Archer

If you‚Äôve never tasted the wines of South Africa, you need to start ‚Äď now!

Arguably one of the globe‚Äôs most overlooked wine regions, South Africa hammocks the continent of Africa between the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the Indian Ocean on the East. As an emerging New World producer, South Africa enjoys some of the world‚Äôs oldest wine growing soils and most diverse ecosystems, including the UNESCO World Heritage Fynbos (meaning ‚Äėfine-leaved‚Äô) ecoregion, home to one of the planet‚Äôs largest biomes.

These tasting notes compliment my South African artisan winemaker interview with Ntsiki Biyela. Read the full tasting notes here.

Read Swedish translation of full tasting notes here.

 

‚Ěß

I want to hear from you! Please feel free to leave your comments below, and to follow me on social media – links above!

Cheers~

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

My latest in BKWine Magazine: Ntsiki Biyela, the first black female winemaker in South Africa

Wines of South Africa: Part 1 of 3

Ntsiki Biyela, the first black female winemaker in South Africa

by L.M. Archer

What would you do if you won a scholarship to study a program you knew nothing about, at a place where you didn’t speak the language?

Well, if you’re Kwa-Zulu Natal-born Ntsiki Biyela (En-tee-kee Bee-ye-la), you successfully attend University of Stellenbosch, learn Afrikaans, the regional dialect, and emerge as South Africa’s first black female winemaker. Read more here.

Read the Swedish translation here.

 

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

The Hedonistic Taster | ‚ĄĖ 25 | Dynamic CA Duo: Bonterra + Conn Creek Winery

The Hedonistic Taster¬†| ¬†‚ĄĖ¬†25 | Dynamic CA Duo:

Bonterra РMendocino + Conn Creek Winery РNapa

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Tastevin

‚ÄúWine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Henri Jayer

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

The title derives from the term ‚Äėhedonistic tasting,‚Äô coined by legendary¬†Burgundian vigneron¬†Henri Jayer.

Santé!

Today’s Tasting:

Bonterra Organic Vineyards  | Mendocino, CA. +

Conn Creek Winery | Napa, CA.

This Hedonistic Taster focuses on a pair of California rosé wines featured in a summer virtual tasting hosted by #wineStudio, an online wine community to which I belong.

Bonterra Organic Vineyards’ 2016 Ros√©, crafted from certified organically grown grapes, hails from Mendocino County in Northern California.

Conn Creek Winery 2016 Rosé saddles up from Napa Valley, along the historic Silverado Trail.

Both small lot, high quality wines favor low alcohol and vivid freshness. Enjoy!

Wine: Bonterra Organic Vineyards Rosé

Vintage: 2016

Alcohol:  12.9%

Suggested Retail:  SOLD OUT.

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Pale rose petal hue.

Nose:  An intoxicating mélange of watermelon, pear, nectarine notes on the nose.

Palate: Stone fruit and melon flavor profiles continues through on the palate. Light body, finish. A poised, refreshing pour.

Suggested Pairings:  Lovely with fresh melon and ultra-thin slices of aged prosciutto.

Rating:  90

 

Wine: Conn Creek Winery Small Lot Rosé of Malbec | Atlas Peak РNapa Valley

Vintage: 2016

Alcohol:  12.5%

Suggested Retail:  $24

[NOTE: This is a small lot production – only 100 cases made.]

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:    Opulent copper-coral robe.

Nose:  Luxuriant aromas of apricot, orange zest, and a heady herbal backnote.

Palate:  Wow. A glorious homage to Provence-style rosé wine Рbeautifully balanced, well-structured, light-to-medium body, with grace, heft and texture.

Suggested Pairings: I want this wine at the ready in my cellar to surprise and amaze guests skeptical about the ‘seriousness’ of pink wine.

A sensually appealing, yet bro-worthy wine sturdy enough to pair with ribs, but delicate enough to compliment fish or salad. Yes, please.

Rating: 92

 

‚̶

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

The Hedonistic Taster | ‚ĄĖ 24 | Domaines Paul Mas | Languedoc, FR.

The Hedonistic Taster¬†| ¬†‚ĄĖ¬†24 | Domaines Paul Mas¬†

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Tastevin

‚ÄúWine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Henri Jayer

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

The title derives from the term ‚Äėhedonistic tasting,‚Äô coined by legendary¬†Burgundian vigneron¬†Henri Jayer.

Santé!

Today’s Tasting:

Domaines Paul Mas | Languedoc, FR.

“Luxe¬†Rural” – An appreciation for the simple things in life.

This summer, fourth generation vine grower and first generation wine maker Jean-Claude Mas unleashed a trio of his “luxe rural” ros√© wines as part of a “Ros√© en Mas” virtual tasting for #wineStudio, an online wine community to which I belong.

I wanted to share my tasting notes from the event with you for a few reasons.

Firstly, the wines of Domaines Paul Mas provide exceptional value. They also evince enough character and coloratura for any meal, occasion, or season.

Additionally, as a student of Burgundy, I also find that the wines of Domaines Paul Mas provide an unparalleled example of that very French concept of terroir, or sense of place – in this case a taste through the¬†Languedoc, France’s ‘destination’ wine region for fine¬†ros√©. Enjoy!

Wine:¬†C√īt√© Mas Ros√© Aurore – Sud de France | Pay d’Oc IGP

Vintage: 2016

Alcohol:  13%

Suggested Retail:  $10.99

Specs: A blend of 50% Grenache Noir, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:   Clear salmon robe.

Nose:  Strawberry, nectarine, Jolly Roger watermelon candy.

Palate:  Delightfully briney, tart yet fleshy Queen Anne cherry bouche. Medium body, acid, finish.

Suggested Pairings:  The texture, depth and complexity of this wine belies its pricetag. Serve this any time of year with poultry or fish.

Score: 88

Wine:¬†C√īt√© Mas Cr√©mant de Limoux Ros√© NV | Jean-Claude Mas √† Ste. Hilaire

Alcohol:  12%

Suggested Retail: $15.99

Specs:  70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin, 10% Pinot Noir.

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear coral robe, vibrant beading, diffuse mousse.

Nose:  Effervescent pamplemousse (grapefruit) aromas.

Palate: Crisp, clean, bright grapefruit notes carry through to a brilliant finish.

Suggested Pairings: Did you know that Limoux ranks as France’s oldest sparkling wine regions? For under $20, this gorgeous-hued¬†cr√©mant¬†accents any brunch, baby or bridal shower.

Score: 87

Wine:¬†Arrogant Frog Ros√© | Pay d’Oc | Languedoc

Vintage:  2016

Alcohol:  13%

Suggested Retail:  $9.99

Specs:  100% Syrah

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Pale rose petal pink robe.

Nose:   Resinous cheery blossom.

Palate: Salinous red fruit. Medium body, acid plus, bright finish.

Suggested Pairings:  For under $10, this is your go-to wine for parental gameside hob-nobbing or unpretentious poolside, patio and picnic gatherings.

Score: 86

‚̶

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!

Learn more about Domaines Paul Mas here.

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

The Hedonistic Taster | ‚ĄĖ 23 | Graham Beck M√©thode Cap Classique | South Africa

The Hedonistic Taster¬†| ¬†‚ĄĖ¬†23 | Graham Beck M√©thode Cap Classique | South Africa

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne MLTastevin

‚ÄúWine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Henri Jayer

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

The title derives from the term ‚Äėhedonistic tasting,‚Äô coined by legendary¬†Burgundian vigneron¬†Henri Jayer.

Santé!

Today’s Tasting:

Graham Beck Méthode Cap Classique | South Africa

This tasting marks the first in my focus on ¬†Affordable Burgundy + Beyond.¬†Here, I taste through a bit of ‘beyond’ – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay-based bubbles from South Africa.

‚̶

If Champagne has a soul sister, it may be M√©thode Cap Classique. Specific to South Africa, Cap Classique employs the same ‚Äútraditional method‚ÄĚ used to make Champagne, whereby the second fermentation occurs in bottle.

A key figure behind establishing South Africa‚Äôs M√©thode Cap Classique sparkling wine is Pieter ‚ÄúBubbles‚ÄĚ Ferreira, cellarmaster at Graham Beck Wines in Robertson. Champagne-trained, South African inspired, Ferreira favors an elegant, crisp ‘house style’ that compliments the region’s diverse cuisine.

These tastings notes compliment a recent Skype interview I conducted with Pieter Ferreira hosted by Wines of South Africa. Please look for the forthcoming interview here later this summer.

Authors Note: I was delightfully surprised to meet Pieter at IPNC this past weekend, and can vouch that he is every bit as effervescent as his wines. 

Wine: Graham Beck Brut Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling Wine (51% Chardonnay, 49% Pinot Noir)

Vintage: N/V

Alcohol:  12 %

Suggested Retail:  $17

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear gold robe, pinpoint beading, effusive nuclei, diffuse mousse.

Nose: ¬†Beautiful¬†‘eau de boulangerie’ notes of ¬†brioche, toast, yeast.

Palate: Clean citrus, amber, toasty bouche; medium finish.

Suggested Pairings: A better question to ask is what not to pair this wine with? The perfect apéritif, amuse-bouche, seafood sidekick, or all-around scene stealer for any occasion.

Score: 94

Wine: Graham Beck Brut Rosé (55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay)

Vintage: N/V

Alcohol:  12.5%

Suggested Retail: $17

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Clear coral robe, vibrant beading, diaphanous mousse.

Nose:  An intoxicating admix of salt-air, fynbos, red fruit nose.

Palate: Alluring red raspberry bouche with hints of almond and brioche, combined with a surprising, and delightful, herbaceous backnote.

Suggested Pairings:  A joyful elixir. Pairs well with life.Absolutely fave stunning rosé sparkling wine, hands down, for the price point and quality.

Score: 95

Learn more about Graham Beck Wines here.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

‚̶

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

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

Cheers!

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