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 Aligot√©, 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 M√Ęconnais,¬†Aligot√© resides primarily in the C√īte Chalonnaise village of Bouzeron.¬†Notably, the village grows the superior Aligot√© Dor√© varietal, rather than the lesser clone, Aligot√© Vert.

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

One must admire Aligot√©’s perseverance. Despite relegation to blending, segregation to Burgundy’s Bouzeron, and integration into the Kir Royale, Aligot√© 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 Aligot√© 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 Roman√©e-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 goug√®res (cheese puff pastries) featured in the authentic French cookbook “Recipes from the Ch√Ęteaux of Burgundy” by Gilles and Bleuzen du Pontavice, with photos by Claude Herl√©dan.

“Aunt Th√©r√®se’s gourg√®res,” 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: C√īte Chalonnaise, M√Ęconnais & 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 M√Ęcon.”

Michelle Williams of Rockin Red Blog regales us with: A Journey Through Burgundy Part 2, Exploring M√Ęconnais 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: M√Ęconnaise and Beaujolais.

Jane¬†Niemeyer of Always Ravenous¬†explores Discovering Rully Chardonnay + Bouzeron Aligot√© in Burgundy’s C√īte 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 C√īte 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‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved

A Tour of Burgundy, Part 2 | Not Too Late to Join Us June 17th!

Greetings! I’m away June 14th – June 18th at¬†2017 Celebrate Walla Walla Wine

but wanted to remind you:

I’ll still be hosting The French #Winophiles¬†

Tour of Burgundy, Part 2 – June 17th – 10 a CST

Scroll below for the Tour Guide…and a few fun facts!

This month the #Winophiles’ ‘virtual’ Tour of Burgundy wends its way south through the C√īte Chalonnaise, M√Ęconnais and Beaujolais subregions.

A Few Facts about the C√īte Chalonnaise:

  • Contains irregular slopes with varying expositions, not always eastern facing, often separated by fields, woodlands and pastures, rather than a continuation of the C√īte d’Or.
  • Also includes the¬†Couchois, five communes east of¬†C√īte Chalonnaise known for producing robust, expressive Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc regional wines.
  • Contains no Grand Crus.
  • Production: ~62% red, 38% white
  • Principal Varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Aligot√©, Gamay (Gamay used in regional AOC’s Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire and Passe-Tout-Grains.)
  • Derives¬†its name from the industrial, non-vinious village Chalon-sur-Sa√īne.
  • Principal communes:
    • Rully: Northern village renown for cr√©mant de Bourgogne; also produces reds and whites.
    • Bouzeron: ¬†Primary source for Burgundy’s finest Aligot√©.
    • Mercurey: Producer of high-quality reds on par with some of C√īte d’Or’s finest premier crus.
    • Givry: Another producer of quality value red wines.
    • Montagny: Southern aromatic white wine-producing village.

A Few Facts about the M√Ęconnais

  • Considered the true start of “Southern Burgundy,” with a warmer climate than Northern Burgundy, and featuring more Romanesque architecture.
  • Undulating hills crescendo southward into massive rock outcroppings, including the famous rocks of Vergisson and Solutr√© (seen above.)
  • Contains no Grand Crus.
  • 85% vineyards planted to Chardonnay.
  • Major producer of quality white wines, as well as rustic reds sourced made mostly from Gamay.
  • Principal Communes:
    • Pouilly-Fuiss√©
    • Pouilly-Vinzelles
    • Pouilly-Loch√©
    • Saint-V√©ran
    • Vir√©-Cless√©

A Few Facts about Beaujolais

  • Technically part of the Rh√īne Department, but administratively under the aegis of Burgundy.
  • Bordered by M√Ęcon in the north and Lyon in the south.
  • Soils include granite and schist in the north, and broken yellow limestone known as Pierres Dor√©es (Golden Stones), clay and limestone in the south.
  • Boasts 10 Cru AOC’s:
    • Brouilly
    • Ch√©nas
    • Chiroubles
    • C√īte de Brouilly
    • Fleurie
    • Juli√©nas
    • Morgon
    • Moulin-√†-Vent
    • R√©gni√©
    • Saint-Amour
  • The birthplace of ‘Beaujolais Nouveau,’ a post-harvest release begun in 1970 and celebrated ¬†the 3rd Thursday of November each year.
  • Gamay comprised most Beaujolais rouge, mostly produced¬†by carbonic maceration.

Link here more about #Winophiles virtual Tour of Burgundy.

Link here for #Winophiles Travel Guide to Burgundy | Part I.

About the French #Winophiles:

The French  #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. Topics include regions, routes, food, travel, history, profiles, tastings…we expand widely and seek to learn.

Here’s the French #Winophiles’ Tasty Tour Guide

for the virtual

Tour of Burgundy- Part 2 | Hashtag #Winophiles

 Saturday, June 17th, 2017 Р8 a PST | 10 a CST | 11 a EST:

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 Burgundy.”

Michelle Williams of Rockin Red Blog regales us with: “A Journey Through Burgundy Part 2, Exploring M√Ęconnais 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: M√Ęconnaise and Beaujolais.”

Camilla Mann of Culinary Adventures with Cam tipples through “Touring Burgundy by Glass: It’s the End of the School Year and I Need a Drink!”

Jane¬†Niemeyer of Always Ravenous¬†explores “Discovering Rully Chardonnay + Bouzeron Aligot√© in Burgundy’s C√īte 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 C√īte Chalonnaise.”

L.M. Archer of binnotes.com pours forth on “Burgundy’s Overlooked ‘Other’ White Wine.”

‚̶

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

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread‚ĄĘ. ¬†All Rights Reserved.

Wine Writer Confidential | ‚ĄĖ 7

Dear Readers:

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 ros√© season, which means time to drink some pink!

#wineStudio | “Ros√© en Mas” – Domaines Paul Mas | June 6th, 6-7 p PST

Not all rosé comes from Provence!

Join me and my #wineStudio compatriots this Tuesday, June 6th from 6-7¬†p PST as we taste through a trio of tasty ros√© wines¬†from Domaines Paul Mas of Languedoc,¬†including a sparkling C√īt√© Mas Cr√©mant de Limoux Ros√© NV, plus the popular C√īt√© Mas Ros√© Aurore 2016 and Arrogant Frog Ros√© 2016.

Nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Languedoc enjoys a rich winemaking history, often claiming fame as France’s oldest sparkling wine region.

Domaines Paul Mas encompasses a sprawling portfolio of wine estates dotting Southern France, helmed by Jean-Claude Mas, or ‘The Man,” a fourth-generation vine grower and first generation wine maker. Jean-Claude Mas describes his wines as “Rural Luxe,” or artful appreciation of life’s simple pleasures.

You can follow along on Twitter at #wineStudio – hope to see you on June 6th at 6 p PST!

#Winophiles |  A Tour Through Burgundy | Part 2

I’m also reprising my role as host for the The French #Winophiles virtual Tour of Burgundy, Part 2 on June 17th from 11 EDT.

For those of you unfamiliar with The French Winophiles, members include wine, food and travel social media influencers and writers, with a particular focus upon French wine paired with food, wine and travel themed-topics.

On June 17th, “A Tour of Burgundy, Part 2″ ¬†takes us on a tour of the¬†C√īte Chalonnaise, M√Ęconnais, and Beaujolais. Join us on Twitter at #Winophiles.

Learn more about the #Winophiles virtual Tour of Burgundy here.

Food, Wine and Travel writers & Bloggers: Care to join the Burgundy Tour? Feel free to leave a comment below. Santé!

 

The Hedonistic Taster | Mt. Beautiful 

Enjoy my latest installment of The Hedonistic Taster, featuring New Zealand’s Mt. Beautiful here.

Please feel free to check back for more tasting notes on wines from other artisan winemakers again soon. Cheers!

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

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

An Invitation to Tour Burgundy, Part 2 | 17 June 2017

Take a Tour of Burgundy with the French Winophiles

Join us for this month’s French Winophiles!

¬†A Tour of¬†Burgundy¬†Part 2¬†| C√īte Chalonnaise, M√Ęconnais

(Beaujolais optional)

June 17, 2017 | 8 am PST, 10 am CST, 11 am EST)

Find out more here.

 

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, June 13th¬†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 ‚Äú#Winophiles.‚ÄĚ

Publish your post between 12:01 a.m-8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 17th. 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‚Äôll provide the HTML code that you can easily put in your initial post ‚ÄĒ which will link to people‚Äôs 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.

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

Wine Writer Confidential | ‚ĄĖ 6

Dear Readers:

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 a busy time of the year, but here goes…a few updates for you:

#wineStudio | Arinzano | May 9th 

Ever wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona? Well, here’s your chance to at least virtually taste the wines of that region!

Yes, it’s a new month, which means a new round of virtual tastings with #wineStudio, my fave virtual wine community of wine writers, industry professionals, and social media influencers.

This Tuesday you can follow us on Twitter at #wineStudio from 6-7 p PST as we kick off a taste through the wines of Arinzano from Navarra, Spain.

Not only does this winery boast the prestigious Vino de Pago designation, but it also hosts a robust enotourism program, including…wait for it… a very cool annual Running of the Bulls tour to nearby Pamplona. ¬°Salud!

Want to learn more about Arinzano?

You can read my interview with Pago de Arinzano winemaker and CEO Manuel Arinzano here.

You can view my Hedonistic Tasting notes on Arinzano wines here.

#Winophiles |  A Tour Through Burgundy | Part 1: May 20th

I’m also hosting the Facebook Group The French Winophiles¬†through¬†a Tour of Burgundy this May and June.

For those of you unfamiliar with The French Winophiles, it’s a formatted program that occurs on the third Saturday of each month. Members include wine,¬†food and travel writers and enthusiasts who share a link to their themed food and wine pairing post with the group prior to the scheduled date, then meet for a tweet-up on that date. This May 20th and June 17th the topic is Burgundy.

On Saturday, May 20th, we‚Äôll crack out our tastevin for some food and wine pairing through Chablis and the C√īte d‚ÄôOr. You can join us from¬†8-9 am PST, (10 am CST) on Twitter at ¬†#Winophiles.

On June 17th, Part 2 takes us on a tour of ¬†food, wine and travel through the¬†C√īte Chalonnaise, M√Ęconnais, and Beaujolais.

Food, Wine and Travel writers & Bloggers: Care to join the Burgundy Tour? Feel free to leave a comment below or IM me @binnotes. Santé!

‚̶

 More Wine Writer Confidential:

Wine Writer Confidential ‚ĄĖ 5

Wine Writer Confidential ‚ĄĖ 4

Wine Writer Confidential ‚ĄĖ 3

Wine Writer Confidential ‚ĄĖ 2

Wine Writer Confidential ‚ĄĖ 1

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread‚ĄĘ. 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 +¬†C√īte 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 M√Ęconnais.
  • 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/Ch√Ętillonnais
    • C√īte d’Or (C√īte de Nuits and C√īte de Beaune)
    • C√īte Chalonnaise
    • The M√Ęconnais
    • Beaujolais – Administratively only (Technically, Beaujolais belongs to the Rh√īne 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 H√ītel¬†Dieu in 1851.

Chablis Quick Facts:

  • Chablis also includes the Grand Auxerrois and Ch√Ętillonnais 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 ‚Äėring‚Äô which today includes the cliffs of Dover, Chablis, Champagne‚Äôs Aube region, and the Upper Loire‚Äôs 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 C√©sar-Pinot¬†Noir blends.
    • The village of V√©zelay may grow Melon de Bourgogne.
  • Chablis‚Äô 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
    • Vaud√©sir

C√īte d’Or Quick Facts:

  • Also know as “La Route des Grands Crus” the ‘golden slopes’ of the C√īte d‚ÄôOr¬†encompass Burgundy‚Äôs¬†celebrated¬†C√īte de Nuits and C√īte de Beaune.
  • C√īte de Nuits produces¬†89% ¬†red¬†wine, and contains 24 Grand Cru, all red but one (Musigny).
  • C√īte 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‚Äôre 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‚Äôd just like to get a sense of who‚Äôs 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 ‚Äú#Winophiles.‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôll provide the HTML code that you can easily put in your initial post ‚ÄĒ which will link to people‚Äôs 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

C√īte Chalonnaise¬†+ M√Ęconnais (+ Beaujolais)

‚̶

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved.

La Grand S√©duction | La Paul√©e SF 2016

La Grand S√©duction | La Paul√©e SF 2016

Welcome to binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ

Inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.

by L.M. Archer FWS, Bourgogne ML

La Grand Séduction | La Paulée de San Francisco 2016 

‚ÄúThe heart has its reasons which Reason knows nothing of‚Ķ‚ÄĚ-Pascal

French men and their mistresses. It’s a common practice little understood by puritanical Americans. Unless you’re a lover of Burgundy. Then you understand. Understand infatuation in a beauty beyond understanding. Intoxication in an¬†ethereal being beyond¬†beguiling.

Burgundy. A demure, perplexing diva who requires patience, rewards fealty, and demands stamina.

Viola! Enter¬†La Paul√©e de San Francisco 2016,¬†brainchild of¬†Daniel Johnnes,¬†Wine Director for Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group,¬†founder of La Paul√©e de New York, and the co-founder of La F√™te du Champagne.

La Paulée de San Francisco 2016 proffers Burgundy aficionados a week-long series of fêtes designed to showcase the region, events that artfully combine American bravado with Burgundian discretion.

Two prime examples of this enticing juxtaposition include¬†¬†Off the Grid Tasting¬†held March 1, 2016 at Bluxome Street Winery, showcasing established and emerging wine talent throughout Burgundy, ¬†followed by the¬†Grand Tasting¬†on¬†March 5, 2016 at Fairmont San Francisco, which highlighted traditional prestige domaines. While different¬†in approach, both sold-out events¬†showcase¬†the impact¬†of the vigneron and the vintage upon the voice of the wine, as well as the¬†significance¬†of¬†sommeliers in helping¬†‘interpret” ¬†their stories to consumers.

Here are, then, a few impressions of the vignerons, vintage, and vine whisperers so essential to the success of La Paulée de San Francisco 2016:

Vignerons

We are here for nature to show us her best. The wine grower must pledge to be modest, honorable, and humble towards all the riches of nature that are concentrated in such a small place.” – Henri Jayer

The French have¬†no word for ‘wine maker.’ In Burgundy, one does not ‘make’ wine, but assists in its development,¬†much as a parent raises a child.

And despite the meteoric rise in land and auction prices, the vignerons of Burgundy evidence a trademark modesty that belies their star power upon the world wine stage.

Indeed. At¬†La Paul√©e de San Francisco 2016 Grand Tasting,¬†luminaries from¬†Dominique Lafon of Domaine des Comtes Lafon to Veronique Drouhin-Boss of Maison Joseph¬†Drouhin and¬†Ludivine Griveau of Hospices de Beaune held court with American collectors, wine professionals, and media with a¬†social grace and personal ease belying their¬†star power. Most wore jeans, many sported¬†scarves, all¬†shared wry¬†smiles as they moved ¬†from table to table trying¬†one another’s wines and making droll¬†remarks in their native tongue. Enchant√©!

Vintage

“2013 – a dagger in the heart of the C√īte de Beaune.” – Bill Nanson, Burgundy Report

La Paul√©e de San Francisco 2016 displayed the 2013 vintage in all it’s arresting complexity. 2013 –¬†¬†a year of low yields, intense triage, and high drama. As described by Bill Nanson in his always prescient Burgundy Report,¬†2013¬†unraveled from the start, including¬†a cloudy, cool, wet flowering ¬†resulting in coulure and millerandage,¬†followed by wind, followed by summer in late June…followed by the infamous ’23rd of July’ hailstorm, that cut through¬†Savigny, Volnay, Pommard and Beaune with greater intensity than a¬†British revanche during the Hundred Year war…many a tear shed (privately, of course – this is Burgundy, after all), a few bankruptcies filed, and then a cooling, rot-bearing September. In a ‘race between ripeness and rot,’ a heavily triaged harvest rolled out into October. The result? Wines Jancis Robinson refer to as ‘fresh and focused.’¬†In short, a year of character. And stunning whites, including those of Chablis, Meursault, St. Aubin, and the M√Ęconnais.

Vine Whisperers

But this is America. And America loves celebrities.¬†While the event pays homage to Burgundy,La Paul√©e de San Francisco 2016 also¬†serves as the stage upon which the city’s celebrity sommeliers strut and fret their stuff with the coiled energy of a team of toreadors.¬†¬†From the likes of Chef Sommelier Joshua Thomas of Prospect, to Bobby Conroy of Benu, Haley Guild Moore¬†of Stock & Bones, Rebecca Fineman of Sociale,¬†and Petra Polakovicova of Epic Steak House,¬†these ‘vine whisperers’ interpreted the nuances of Burgundy’s regions, producers, and vintages to participants with passionate aplomb.

La Paulée de San Francisco 2016 serves then as a touchstone for any true student of the vine, and witching stick for those in search of authenticity.

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread‚ĄĘ. All Rights Reserved