On Heritage, Honey…and Judgement

Dear Readers:

As a wine and lifestyle writer, my assignments immerse me in a myriad of topics. As a judge, I must taste and tipple through a slew of selections.

Here’s a glimpse through a sample of this past week’s itinerary:

Pascal Brooks.
Image: ©L.M. Archer.

Heritage 

As a wine writer, one of the stories I’m working on now for a vinous publication includes this young ‘old soul,’ Pascal Brooks. Pascal’s late father Jimi Brooks founded Brooks Wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and pioneered biodynamics in the region.

Getting the buzz on bees from Emily Bondor of Santa Cruz Bee Company and Hum & Hive co-owner Gary Maricich. Images: ©L.M. Archer

Honey

As a lifestyle writer, I’m sleuthing out a story for a regional publication on Bay area culinaries and luminaries helping to preserve area bee colonies from collapse,  including Hum & Hive owners Jodi and Gary Maricich, here hosting a class on bees taught by bespoke beekeeper Emily Bondor of Santa Cruz Bee Company.

International Chocolate Salon 2018 standouts: Basel Bazlamit of Basel B Inc. Chocolate & Confections, Shannon and Wlady Grochowski of La Châtelaine Chocolat, and Karla McNeil-Rueda of Cru Chocolate.                           Images: ©L.M. Archer

Judgement

As a judge, I notched another year at the SF International Chocolate Salon – this one held at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. For unabashed chocoholics, this event’s for you – lashings of artisan chocolatier love, all under one roof!

Personal faves: Opulent Basel B Inc. hand-painted artisan edibles, sumptuous Parisian-inspired La Chatelaine Chocolates, and ever-elegant, award-winning Cru Chocolate.

That it….Watch this space for links later to the published stories…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 Meininger Wine Business International, Vol 1. 2018: SOMMELIERS AND ROCK STARS

Meininger Wine Business International: The magazine for the global wine trade.
Meininger Wine Business International

Dear Readers:

Super excited to share a sneak peak of my latest in  Meininger Wine Business International, Vol. 1 2018 on SOMMELIERS AND ROCK STARS, now available to subscribers:

“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…” Preview page one of two here.

 

 

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

Hospices de Beaune 2017 Debrief

I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to the record-breaking 2017 Hospices de Beaune wine auction, and wanted to share a few images with you to get a flavor of the tour and all it entailed.

I’ll be hunkered down for the rest of the holiday season writing several pending stories for publication in a number of wine and lifestyle magazines, but be sure to share more information with you as deadlines loom after the first of the year. In the meantime,  happy holidays, all – and safe travels.

As always, great to hear from you in the ‘Comments’ section below and on social media – cheers!

All images and text Copyrighted 2017 binnotes.com | L. M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.

 

Affordable Burgundy + Beyond Sidebars| Gothenburg + Paris

Hi Dear Readers:

I’m still en route to Hospices de Beaune 2017 wine auction in Burgundy, with sidebars to Gothenburg, Sweden to conduct interviews for a forthcoming article I’m doing on Swedish sommeliers, and to Paris for research on a pending project.

Please enjoy these photos of travels to date – you can follow my entire tour on Instagram or Twitter @binnotes.

As always, great to hear from you in the ‘Comments’ section below and on social media – cheers!

All images and text Copyrighted 2017 binnotes.com | L. M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.

Burgundy Bound

Dear Readers:

I’m traveling on assignments for the balance of 2017, indispensable Yoga Paws and Lazenne wine carrier in tow.

First stop Sweden, followed by the fabled Hospices de Beaune wine auction in Burgundy, before returning stateside later this month for some South Bay sleuthing amidst a little US Thanksgiving gratitude. December brings me deep into Northern California wine making territory, and concludes with a long slog of elbow grease at the keyboard.

Find out about publication dates for pending features here later. In the meantime, feel free to follow along live throughout the tour:

 Instagram +Twitter: @binnotes.

Always a treat to hear your comments – thanks for leaving them below.

Cheers!

 

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

The Hedonistic Taster | № 30 | Animo 2015 Heritage Sauvignon Blanc | MMFE – Napa Valley

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 30 | Animo 2015 Heritage Sauvignon Blanc –  Michael Mondavi Family Estate | Napa Valley

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Tastevin

“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Today’s Tasting: Animo 2015 Heritage Sauvignon Blanc – Michael Mondavi Family Estate  | Napa Valley

Napa and Sonoma wineries are open for business, folks –  as today’s trade sample proves.

Animo” in Italian means ‘heart’ or ‘spirit’  – an apt descriptor for this wine, and the Wine Country community.

Michael Mondavi Family Estate represents ‘Old Growth’ Napa, a firmly rooted fourth-generation winery with a prestigious pedigree. In 1996, they purchased Animo vineyard atop Atlas Peak, and Heritage Block in 2006.

Farmed sustainably employing 19th century trellising, Heritage Block contains Sauvignon Blanc vine cuttings sourced from Oakville’s historic ToKalon vineyard, vines considered the oldest in North America, and directly traceable to Bordeaux’s famed Château d’Yquem.

Animo Sauvignon Blanc seamlessly blends this old world heritage with a new world indomitability. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “If wine be the music of love, pour on!”

 

2015 Animo Napa Valley Heritage Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine:   Animo 2015 Napa Valley Heritage Sauvignon Blanc

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:  14.4% 

Suggested Retail:  $65 [6 barrels produced.]

Specs

Robe:  Clear straw robe.

Nose:  Gooseberry, citrus, cut grass aromas.

Palate:  Aromas carry through on the bouche. Bright acids, medium-light body, medium finish.

Suggested Pairings:  A classic sauvignon blanc clever enough to pair with shrimp skewers and Thai dipping sauce.

Rating: 91

Learn more about The Michael Mondavi Family here.

Want to learn more about how to help the victims of Wine Country wildfires?

Link to Wine Industry Insights Wine Country Wildfire Relief/Resources here.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

 

Always nice to hear from you, dear readers…please feel free to leave your comments below and on social media – cheers!

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

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.