Affordable Burgundy + Beyond Takes a Knee

Greetings, Dear Readers:

I’m on hiatus this week spending some much-needed time with visiting family.

In the interim, my heart goes out my intrepid friends and colleagues in Napa and Sonoma enduring the wildfires. You will prevail. No doubt. #WineCountryStrong.

I leave you with a few images from two top-tier Reserve tastings I tippled through this past week, both showcasing stellar New World pinot noir and chardonnay.

Felton Road winemaker Blair Walter produces premium wines, including Burgundy- inspired Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Central Otago, NZ.

The first, a 20th Vintage Vertical Tasting of Central Otago’s Felton Road at San Francisco’s Farallon Restaurant featured winemaker Blair Walter, who teed up four different flights before lunch, then continued the barrage of brilliance throughout a gorgeous four-course luncheon.  In full disclosure, I arrived in time to taste through the final two flights of pinot noirs, (I missed the new releases and chardonnays) and had to depart after the second course. That said, genius attracts notice, however fleeting the encounter.

Generally speaking, the 2011-2015 pinot noirs from Cornish Point and Calvert vineyards sported clarion ruby robes, lean bodies, pristine fruited aromas, animated acids, keen minerality, and a lingering finish.

The final flight, however – 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010 pinot noirs –  proved heart-stopping in their grace, elegance, and finesse.  Bouquets varied from stewed red fruits in Block 2003, to barnyard notes in Block 3 2005, leather notes in  Block 3 2007, savory hints in Block 5 2009,  and sous bois in Block 5 2010. Burgundy-inspired indeed.

Noble of tannins, seamless in structure, haunting in finish, these Felton Road reserve pinot noirs merit inclusion among the pantheon of finest Burgundians in their quality, complexity, and age-worthiness.

More to follow about specific tasting notes, variations in soils, microclimates, farming, and production techniques of Felton Road.

Link to my two-part series in Palate Press on Central Otago wineries here:

Palate Press:  Taking it Slow in Central Otago – Part I

Palate Press: Taking it Slow in Central Otago – Part II

Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association hosts the 2017 Pinot Paradise Reserve Tasting held at Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House.

The second Reserve tasting, Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s annual Pinot Paradise at Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House, offered pours from local legends like Big Basin, Mt. Eden, King’s Estate, Mindego Ridge, and Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards.

A post-tasting Technical Session also featured Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards, Equinox & Barolo Winery, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Thomas Fogarty Winery, and Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards.

You’ll be hearing more about these local wineries in future posts, but the undisputed stand-out of the event was Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association show of support for Napa and Sonoma through #CAWineStrong.

Link to my exclusive interview with Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Winey here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – please feel free to leave a comment below. You can also follow me on social media – links above. Cheers!

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | redThread™.  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 AligotĂ©, 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 AligotĂ©. Pockets of producers include Alice + Olivier de Moor of St. Bris in Chablis, Domaine Naudin-Ferrand of Magny-les-Villers, which straddles Hautes CĂ´tes de Beaune and Hautes CĂ´tes de Nuits, and Domaine Ponsot, Burgundy’s only Premier Cru AligotĂ© from Monts Luisants in Morey-Saint-Denis. I’ve also discovered some fuller, more luxurious AligotĂ©s produced in Meursault.

One must admire AligotĂ©’s perseverance. Despite relegation to blending, segregation to Burgundy’s Bouzeron, and integration into the Kir Royale, AligotĂ© 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 AligotĂ© 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 RomanĂ©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 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 HerlĂ©dan.

“Aunt ThĂ©rèse’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 AligotĂ© in Burgundy’s CĂ´te 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 CĂ´te 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 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 CĂ´te Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Beaujolais subregions.

A Few Facts about the CĂ´te Chalonnaise:

  • Contains irregular slopes with varying expositions, not always eastern facing, often separated by fields, woodlands and pastures, rather than a continuation of the CĂ´te d’Or.
  • Also includes the Couchois, five communes east of CĂ´te 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, AligotĂ©, 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-SaĂ´ne.
  • Principal communes:
    • Rully: Northern village renown for crĂ©mant de Bourgogne; also produces reds and whites.
    • Bouzeron:  Primary source for Burgundy’s finest AligotĂ©.
    • Mercurey: Producer of high-quality reds on par with some of CĂ´te 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 Mâconnais

  • 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 SolutrĂ© (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-FuissĂ©
    • Pouilly-Vinzelles
    • Pouilly-LochĂ©
    • Saint-VĂ©ran
    • VirĂ©-ClessĂ©

A Few Facts about Beaujolais

  • Technically part of the RhĂ´ne Department, but administratively under the aegis of Burgundy.
  • Bordered by Mâcon in the north and Lyon in the south.
  • Soils include granite and schist in the north, and broken yellow limestone known as Pierres DorĂ©es (Golden Stones), clay and limestone in the south.
  • Boasts 10 Cru AOC’s:
    • Brouilly
    • ChĂ©nas
    • Chiroubles
    • CĂ´te de Brouilly
    • Fleurie
    • JuliĂ©nas
    • Morgon
    • Moulin-Ă -Vent
    • RĂ©gniĂ©
    • 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 – 8 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 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.”

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 AligotĂ© in Burgundy’s CĂ´te 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 CĂ´te 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™.  All Rights Reserved.

Wine Writer Confidential | â„– 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 rosĂ© season, which means time to drink some pink!

#wineStudio | “RosĂ© 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 rosé wines from Domaines Paul Mas of Languedoc, including a sparkling Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé NV, plus the popular Côté Mas Rosé Aurore 2016 and Arrogant Frog Rosé 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 CĂ´te Chalonnaise, Mâconnais, 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™. 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 | Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais

(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 “#Winophiles.”

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’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.

Copyrighted 2017 binNotes | red Thread™. 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 CĂ´te 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. CĂ´te” 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.”

 

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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.

Wine Writer Confidential | â„– 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’ll crack out our tastevin for some food and wine pairing through Chablis and the Côte d’Or. 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 Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais, 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 â„– 5

Wine Writer Confidential â„– 4

Wine Writer Confidential â„– 3

Wine Writer Confidential â„– 2

Wine Writer Confidential â„– 1

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