Trade Show Confidential: NZ Wines SF

 

NZ Wine 2018 San Francisco Trade Tasting and seminar, Gallery 308 – Fort Mason Center. Image: ©L.M. Archer.

Did you know that New Zealand produces more than just Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir? Watch out, wine world! This remote upstart is killing it in the aromatics, sparkling and syrah departments, too. More on that in future features.

In the meantime, enjoy a few scenes from yesterday’s standing-room only trade seminar, led by New Zealand Wines’ David Strada,  Steve Isso of Dobbs Ferry and Debbie Zacharias of Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant, followed by the New Zealand wine tasting, all set against an ever-stunning backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Personal faves:

Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir, Central Otago – 2016

Robe: Clear ruby.

Nez: Florals, spice, dry red fruit.

Bouche: Channeling Burgundy…supple, light body, balanced acids, tannins, lilting finish. A wine to lighten the soul.

Pegasus Bay BEL CANTO Riesling, North Canterbury – 2015 

Robe: Burnished golden.

Nez: Petrol, yellow flowers, exotic banknote of ambergris.

Bouche: Dry, light body, alluring acids, beautiful balance, luxurious mouthfeel, lengthy finish. Yes, please. A wine to drink, drink, drink.

Kusuda Syrah, Martinborough – 2009

Robe: Deep garnet.

Nez: Savory, umami, smoked mussel funk.

Bouche: Unicorn wine alert. Surprising light/medium body, gracefully integrated acids, tannins; smooth finish. A wine to make you think.

Huia Vineyards Sparkling Wine, Marlborough – 2011

Robe: Amber

Nez: Brioche, marzipan, zesty lemon.

Bouche: What the what?!? It’s not from Champagne?! Quietly explosive pinpoint perling, gloriously creamy mouthfeel, precise, elegant, balanced. A wine to celebrate.

Link here for more information on New Zealand Wines.

Cheers, all – and please feel free to leave your comments below. As always, thanks for your follows on social media!

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

My Latest in Santa Cruz Mountains Winemaker Association “Meet the Winemaker” Series

Delighted to learn that Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrower Association‘s April 2018 “Meet the Winemaker” series features my profile of Silver Mountain Vineyards, a leader in sustainability.

Read more here.

Don’t forget:

April 21st is Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Celebration Day!

 Like discovering new wines? Like meeting artisan winemakers?

What are you waiting for?

Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Celebration Day is for you!

Learn more here.

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

Springing Forth

Happy Spring, Dear Readers!

As you enjoy this holiday weekend, I’ll be springing forth with some exciting new features in a few notable publications…details on Monday. 

Some of the wines offered by the vintners and growers of Monterey County for the annual invitation-only local trade tasting at
La Playa Hotel, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

In the meantime, enjoy these views from the recent Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association trade tasting I attended at La Playa Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association 2018 Trade Tasting at La Playa Hotel, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Pssst…for more hints about my upcoming features, follow me:

Instagram  @binnotes.

Cheers – and  holiday greetings to you and yours!

 

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

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountain Vineyards

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountain Vineyards

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountains Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne + Champagne  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, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples. The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.

These tasting notes focus upon Burgundy, bubbles and beyond, including emerging pinot noir and bubbles producers worldwide.

Today’s Tasting: Silver Mountain Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

Jerold O’Brien is used to shaking things up on Silver Mountain Winery.

Nestled at 2,100 feet amidst a quietly spectacular redwood forest, Silver Mountain Vineyards sports vistas spanning Monterey Bay to San Francisco Bay.  The nonconformist and former air force pilot/silver speculator founded Silver Mountain Vineyards in 1979.

His winery sits atop the sandstone-laden San Andreas Fault, within view of the  North Pacific plate. O’Brien’s unfortunate proximity to both fault lines proved fateful when he lost the first winery and three years of production in the 1989 earthquake.

Rebuilding post-earthquake allowed O’Brien the opportunity to implement sustainable designs that support his tenant “to respect Mother Earth and set an example on how to save the planet.” Silver Mountain Vineyards now boasts one of the largest solar arrays in the Santa Cruz Mountains, an extensive rain water-collection system, shaded area to reduce storage, and an artificial cave for barrel storage. O’Brien contends it may be the most sustainable winery in the area.

O’Brien insists upon practicing organic farming, earning CCOF certification in 1991 for his efforts.

Today, Silver Mountain Vineyards produces award-winning estate and single-vineyard sourced, small-lot Burgundy-inspired wines – plus private, premium label winemaking for a few high-quality wine growers in the region.

Wine:  Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondrés Grapefield Chardonnay – Santa Lucia Highlands

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol:  13.5%

Suggested Retail: $34 (Link)

Link to Producer Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear, gold robe.                                          

Nose:  Delicate melba toast, butterscotch aromas.

Palate: Medium body, lush, golden apple bouche.

Wine:  Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondrés Grapefield Pinot Noir – Santa Lucia Highlands

Vintage: 2010 

Alcohol:  14.1%

Suggested Retail: $44 (Link)

Link to Producer Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Deep purple-raspberry robe.

Nose:  Bramble berry nose.

Palate: Light body, dark berry – raspberry, blackberry, blueberry bouche. Acids, tannins, finish +.

Wine: Silver Mountain Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2012

Alcohol:  13.3%

Suggested Retail: $44 (link)

Link to Producer Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Deep garnet robe.

Nose:  Forest floor, dark berry, truffle, barnyard notes.

Palate: Black fruit, bramble, black cherry bouche. Light/medium body, acids, tannins, finish +.

 

Silver Mountain Vineyards 2010 Méthode Champenoise Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine.

Wine: Silver Mountain Vineyards 2010 Méthode Champenoise Pinot Noir Sparkling 

Vintage: 2010

Alcohol:  12.5%

Suggested Retail: $44. AVAILABLE TO CLUB MEMBERS ONLY.

Producer Specs: Once-in-a-decade wine, sourced from Mun’s Vineyard. The winemaker produces only enough to disgorge 20+ cases each year for 8 years, starting in 2015.

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear pêche robe, pinhead beading, diffuse mousse.

Nose:  Brioche, salmonberry, stone fruit on the nose.

Palate: Light body, bright acids, creamy bouche. Unicorn wine, representative of the Santa Cruz Mountains – complex, earthy, ethereal. A rare find, indeed.

More about Silver Mountain Vineyards here.

 402 Ingalls St, Ste. 29, Santa Cruz 95063
408-353-2278 (at the winery)
Friday 3:00-7:00 PM, and Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-5:00 PM.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

Always grateful to hear from you – please feel free to leave your comments below. Many thanks for your follows on social media – cheers!

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

My Latest in MWBI: SOMMS & Rock Stars

“Sweden’s sommeliers are recognised as some of the best in the world. They’re also highly influential. L.M. Archer asks them what makes them tick…”

Now available in Meininger Wine Business International Vol I 2018 – link here.

(Full feature available to subscribers.)

 

Always grateful for your comments – please feel free to share your thoughts below. Many thanks for your follows on social media.

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

Intention, Trust, Transparency…and Rebranding

Winemaking is an art. It’s also a business. So is wine writing.

Grape growing takes patience. Thought. Care. Effort.

Nothing gets planted, harvested, and produced without intention, without trust, without transparency.

As a wine writer, I strive to emulate the same intention, trust and transparency practiced by those about whom I write. And yet…

My final redThread™ wine maker interview at the end of 2017 verified what I’d already suspected. That final interview I failed to follow my own standard procedures, which resulted in a few errors, since corrected.

But the entire situation bothered me. Why? Because I realized that I was more concerned about getting the interview done, than getting it right. I resented the non-renumerated time spent, time needed for my professional work. My heart just wasn’t in it. I lacked intention. I lost trust. I almost lost transparency. Almost.

In truth, blogging does not make me happy. Writing makes me happy. Professional writing makes me happiest.

To that end, binNotes.com will be rebranding in second quarter 2018, replaced by lmarcher.com. The new site will showcase my professional writing portfolio. It’s a work in progress, one I will share with you once completed. I’m still teasing out hosting platforms, site designers, and migration issues while juggling assignments, the odd family emergency, and an extended stay up north in May for Oregon Wine Month. In the meantime, binNotes will continue to feature links to my professional work, and highlight The Hedonistic Taster trade tasting notes.

Writing is a calling. It’s also a craft. Who knows why I find endless merriment in the tortured, meticulous summing and subtracting of words across a blank page, all in an endless quest to tell a story that rings true in people’s hearts, minds and souls? I just do. Hence my need to protect and honor this privilege.

May you, too, find the courage to protect that which feeds your soul. Cheers~

 

Always grateful for your comments – please feel free to share your thoughts below. Many thanks for your follows on social media.

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

My latest in Winebusiness.com | Double-Header!

Wow – what a sweet ‘slide home’ and start of a bon weekend!

Nice to learn I have a double-header in today’s Winebusiness.com –  two of my latest features in subscriber publications:

Swedish Sommeliers & Rockstars in Meininger Wine Business International

and

A Woman’s Place is in the Domaine: An Exclusive Interview with Ludivine Griveau of Hospices de Beaune in Basil & Salt Magazine.

These stories happen because of an international brother-and-sisterhood of sommeliers and winemakers.

In Sweden, heartfelt thanks to “Team Nordic”: Marie Oskarsson, noted journalist and writer, Helena Wolff of Gothia Towers, Emma Ziemann of Thornstroms kok, Cathrine Suzeau of Koka, Tina Johansson Rubén Sanz Marino of PM & Vanner,  Robert Andersson, and Jonas Sandberg of Folii Wine Bar and La Paulée Nordic, and the fine media folks at Systembolaget.

 In Burgundy, special gratitude to Virginie Taupenot-Daniels of Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne and the incomparable Ludivine Griveau, first female winemaker at Hospices de Beaune.

Enjoy the weekend, all!

Always great hearing from you below, and for your follows on social media – cheers!

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