My latest in Wines and Vines Magazine: Technical Spotlight on Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca: Willamette Valley winery builds a state-of-the-art, quake-resistant production facility  

by L.M. Archer 

Lingua Franca Winery in the Willamette Valley produces premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

When the 2014 South Napa earthquake subsided, wine consultant and master sommelier Larry Stone surveilled the wreckage of his Napa home and thought, “Wherever I work next, it’s gonna be earthquake-proof.” Read more here. Copyright © Wines & Vines

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!

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

 

 

Wine Writer Confidential | â„– 10 | Finalement

Welcome to my final installment of Wine Writer Confidential.

L.M.Archer, FWS | Bourgogne Master Level

That’s right.

As a student of Burgundy, I contend that ‘affordable Burgundy’ is not an oxymoron.

In the coming months, binNotes moves towards a focus upon Affordable Burgundy and Beyond.

The ‘beyond’ includes emerging and existing Pinot Noir regions and the topic of terroir.

Trade sample reviews, tasting events, speaking engagements, judging, and professional consulting will reflect this shift.

I will continue to also cover topics relevant to the publications for whom I work as a professional wine, food and travel journalist.

Thank you for your support throughout this journey to better honor my voice while adding value on the topic of affordable Burgundy – and beyond.

NOTE:

Over the next few weeks, please look for any pending tasting notes and interviews conducted prior the shift in focus.

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

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!

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.

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 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

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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.

Burgundy | Wines of Intention

Today the French Winophiles take a tour of Chablis and Cote d’Or. For those of you who missed the  recap, you can find it here.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Burgundy is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

As a wine writer, I’ve toiled countless hours earning designations and traveling the region to better understand it. I’ve also interviewed numerous Burgundian vignerons and negociants while on assignment for a variety of publications.

Yet, despite my efforts, the only thing I can say certainty is this: the more I learn about Burgundy, the more I realize I need to learn.

Queue the host gig here. Typically, I handle food and wine pairing in my series The Hedonistic Taster, so drilling down into one specific food and wine pairing with photos seemed like a no-brainer. Until it came time to pick the wine. Which touched off a whole new dilemma. Because Burgundy isn’t just a wine region. It’s a religion, replete with its own set of rituals, sacraments, and sins.

Moving to California has upset my altar. It’s also displaced my church, viz., my wine cellar. And so, as I rummaged through our ad-hoc wine refrigerator in search of a perfect pairing for this posting, I ended up a vertical tasting very much in keeping with “The Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam, except the “…jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou…” included two bottles of Domaine Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny, a french baguette, and some ruminations upon Burgundy…

Burgundy: Wines of Intention

L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

I miss our wine cellar, a casualty of our recent relocation. I miss the ritual descent into the basement, the length and curve of the silent hallway, the turn of the time-worn brass knob and pull of the discolored light cord, the click of illumination, the cool grip of air, the dim cast of shadows across neatly arranged rows of bottles of varying shapes and colors.

A room with no view, but natural temperature controls within its compact cement and stone confines, walls cobbled together by the original owners of this 1940’s beach bungalow. Walls flanked by modern, exposed IKEA-style wine racks full of wine club and Costco and wine maker samples. And against the back bulwark, a full-length cabinet with clear doors, doors with locks and hasps, locks and hasps requiring effort to open. Effort, and intention.

A room imbued with a past, a past far removed from its contents, especially those in the cabinet. For those wines demand the cellar’s temperate refuge most. Bottles arranged by village, climat, vintage. Wines flirtatious and fun while young, savory and sagacious with age. Wines of grace, elegance, and refinement.

Wines commanding care, attention and deference. Wines of breeding, and like a thoroughbred, use to crossing the finish line first – but in no hurry to do so. Wines worth the wait.

Wines brimmed with memories – of good friends, fine food, and much laughter. Wines worth sharing. Wines of Burgundy.

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When choosing a Burgundy wine, I consider the following: the subregion, the village, the climat, the producer, and the vintage.

The subregion provides a frame of reference –  such as chiseled, mineral whites from Chablis, elegant reds from the CĂ´te de Nuits, luxurious whites and structured reds from the CĂ´te de Beaune, versatile, affordable reds, whites and crĂ©mants from the CĂ´te Chalonnaise, approachable whites from the Mâconnais, and granitic, affable Gamays from Beaujolais.

The village supplies subtext, the climat nuance, the producer a known level of quality, and the vintage a snapshot of a specific terroir for that given year.

Most people opt to pair Burgundy as the ultimate grace note to a carefully orchestrated meal. I prefer to pair my wine according to the person(s) with whom I’ve chosen to share this holiest of sacraments; the meal proves an inspired afterthought.

Here, then, notes on my vertical tasting of 2008 and 2009 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny wines.

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About Domaine Taupenot-Merme

  • Romain Taupenot and sister Virginie represent the eighth generation at Domaine Taupenot-Merme of Morey-St.-Denis, located in the heart of the CĂ´te de Nuits.
  • The domaine spans thirteen hectares of vines throughout twenty appellations within the Cote d’Or.

You can read more about Virginie Taupenot here.

About Chambolle-Musigny

  • Literally translated, Chambolle means ‘boiling fields’ (campus ebulliens).
  • Considered Cote de Nuit’s most delicate wines.
  • Account for some of the Cote d’Or’s lowest average yields.
  • Musigny, as with Corton, comprise Burgundy’s only two Grand Crus allowed to produce both red and white wines.
  • 2 Grand Crus : Bonnes Mares (red), Musigny (red & white)
  • 24 Premier Crus (red)
  • Musigny appended to Chambolle-Musigny in 1878.
  • Chambolle-Musigny ‘twinned’ with sister city Sonoma in 1960.

You can read more about sister cities Chambolle-Musigny and Sonoma here.

Wine: Domaine Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny Bourgogne Rouge

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2008

Alcohol:  13%

Suggested Retail: $88

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Dusky garnet robe tinting towards tawny; decanting reveals sediment.

Nose:  Initial barnyard bouquet give way to secondary slip-thin red raspberry notes and leathered finish.

Palate: Dry, light body, fading acids, tannins. Waited too long to drink this one. A pity.

Wine: Domaine Taupenot-Merme Chambolle-Musigny Bourgogne Rouge 

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2009

Alcohol:  13%

Suggested Retail: $88

TASTING NOTES:

Robe: Deep garnet robe with discrete amber rimming.

Nose:  Spicey initial attack; opens to secondary notes of red raspberry, sous bois, violets, fading to tertiary hints of truffle.

Palate: Dry, still lively acids, noble tannins, finessed finish. A gorgeous pour.

❦

More posts on The French Winophiles’ Tour of Burgundy, Part 1:

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 Côte d’Or.”

Lynn Gowdy of Savor the Harvest hosts “St. Aubin in Burgundy Invites you to Dine.”

Martin Redmond of Enofylz Wine Blog  throws down “Back To Back White Burgundy; Chablis vs Côte de Beaune.”

Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley of Wine Predator serves up  “Chablis and the Sea.”

Jane Niemeyer of Always Ravenous ladles up “White Burgundy paired with Corn and Lobster Chowder.”

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And don’t forget…

Chardonnay Day | 25 May 2017.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #Bourgogne #Burgundy #Chardonnay Day

A Tour Thru Burgundy – Part 2 | 17 June 2017 | 8-9 a CST

Leave a comment below before June 15th to participate, then follow the conversation on Twitter June17th: #Winophiles

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