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.

 

The Hedonistic Taster | № 28 | Artesa Winery | Napa Valley

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 28 | Artesa Winery – 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

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster*, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples.

These tasting notes compliment  binNotes | Affordable Burgundy and beyond.“Beyond” includes existing and emerging producers of Pinot Noir worldwide.

Artesa Pinot Noir – Napa, CA.

Today’s Tasting: Artesa Winery – Napa Valley, CA.

Quick – which Napa Valley boasts over four centuries of winemaking?

Answer:  Artesa Winery.  Their labels sums up it up succinctly:  “Est. Barcelona 1151, Napa 1991.”

A new world scion of Spain’s prominent Codorníu family’s cava empire, Artesa Winery estate comprises 350 acres in Carneros, replete with a sleek guest facility designed by Barcelona architect Domingo Triay that sprawls hillside like an exotic odalisque, ornamented with a world-class art collection and recently revamped Tasting Salon. But Artesa’s wines emerge the real treasure in this haven to artistry.

‘Artesa’ means “hand-crafted’ in Catalan, and Portuguese-born Director of Winemaking Ana Diogo Draper imbues both still and sparkling wines with old world soul and new world attitude. My samples represent their 2015 pinot noir production, and a bonus sample of the Codorníu Cuvée Clasico cava from Barcelona as a textural/cultural contrast.

About the 2015 Napa Harvest: A fourth consecutive year of drought yielded small quantities but high quality fruit throughout Napa.

Artesa Winery 2015 Estate Pinot Noir, Los Carneros, Napa Valley, CA.

Wine: Artesa Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir | Los Carneros – Napa Valley

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:  14.6%

Suggested Retail:  $45

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear, deep garnet hue.

Nose:  Pomegranate, graphite, floral notes.

Palate: Cranberry, red cherry, wild berry bouche. Light/medium body, acids, tannins, finish. Surprisingly soft-spoken, elegant, deeply satisfying wine that belies its alcohol level. Excellent quality.

Suggested Pairings:  Personally paired this with marinated wild Alaskan salmon and a late summer salad made from local farmer’s market organic little gems, purple cabbage, radishes, and scallions.

Rating: 93

Artesa 2015 Los Carneros Pinot Noir, Napa Valley.

Wine: Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:  14.2%

Suggested Retail:  $25

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Opaque garnet robe.

Nose:  Cranberry, mulberry, herbaceous backnote.

Palate: Dark and red fruits predominate – blueberry, plum, cherry. Light body, acids, refined tannins.

Suggested Pairings:  An approachable wine suitable for casual, soulful fare such as ratitouille or cassoulet.

Rating: 89.5

Codorníu N/V Cuvée Clasico Cava – Barcelona, ES.

Wine: Codorníu Cuvée Clasico Cava Brut

Vintage: N/V

Alcohol:  11.5%

Suggested Retail:  $15

Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear, pale gold hue.

Nose:  Yellow apple, stone fruit.

Palate: Diffuse mousse, perlage; bright acids, green apple bouche.

Suggested Pairings:  Personally paired with paella – the acids well complimented the briny seafood and saffron.

Rating: 88. Excellent quality/value.

Learn more about Artesa Winery here.

Artesa Winery | 1345 Henry Road, Napa CA 94559

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

 

I want to hear from you. Please leave your comments below, and join the conversation on social media – cheers!

*Author’s Note: The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.

 

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. 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 Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Beaujolais subregions.

A Few Facts about the Côte Chalonnaise:

  • Contains irregular slopes with varying expositions, not always eastern facing, often separated by fields, woodlands and pastures, rather than a continuation of the Côte d’Or.
  • Also includes the Couchois, five communes east of Côte 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, Aligoté, 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-Saône.
  • Principal communes:
    • Rully: Northern village renown for crémant de Bourgogne; also produces reds and whites.
    • Bouzeron:  Primary source for Burgundy’s finest Aligoté.
    • Mercurey: Producer of high-quality reds on par with some of Côte 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 Solutré (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-Fuissé
    • Pouilly-Vinzelles
    • Pouilly-Loché
    • Saint-Véran
    • Viré-Clessé

A Few Facts about Beaujolais

  • Technically part of the Rhône 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 Dorées (Golden Stones), clay and limestone in the south.
  • Boasts 10 Cru AOC’s:
    • Brouilly
    • Chénas
    • Chiroubles
    • Côte de Brouilly
    • Fleurie
    • Juliénas
    • Morgon
    • Moulin-à-Vent
    • Régnié
    • 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 Aligoté in Burgundy’s Côte 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 Côte 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.