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.

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 Côte de Nuits, luxurious whites and structured reds from the Côte de Beaune, versatile, affordable reds, whites and crémants from the Côte 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.


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 Côte 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


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


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.

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

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

Holiday Exclusive I | Guest Wine Writer Series

Holiday Exclusive I |  Guest Wine Writer Series

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about wine and taste makers.

By L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

During this holiday season, I wanted to take time extend a heartfelt thanks to my Guest Wine Writers Series 2016 participants for the joy you’ve brought to readers here.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, I invited some of my fellow wine writers to join me here on the first Friday of every month in 2016 to shine a light on any rare, obscure, or under-appreciated wine region for which they felt a special passion.

Each writer brought their own inimitable voice, style and skill to the page, capturing readers’ imaginations worldwide.

Didn’t catch the series? Here’s a recap:

№ 1: Village Voice columnist Lauren Mowery  goes wild for South African Wines.

№ 2: Travel and wine authority  Sarah May Grunwald dishes on the Women of Georgian Wine.

№ 3 Wine scientist Erika Szymanski delves into New Zealand Chardonnay.

№ 4Triple threat Jeff Burrows traverses the Wines of Liguria.

№ 5Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay schools us on the Wines of Hungary.

№ 6 Terroir Champagne author Caroline Henry reveals the secret life of Champagne’s Bioenergetic Wines.

№ 7Petite wine industry influencer Cindy Lowe-Rynning tipples on Maremma: Together, But Different, in Tuscany.

№ 8:  Jura Wine author Wink Lorch offers her Exclusive on Jura Wine.

№ 9: Millennial lifestyle blogger Demetra Molina urges you to move Beyond Retsina:  7 Reasons You Should be Drinking Greek Wine.

№ 10: Award-winning writer Jill Barth wings us through The Wines of Baux de Provence.

In light of its success, I’ve agreed to reprise the Guest Wine Writer Series in 2017, with a few modifications. Look for the 2017 series to run bi-monthly on the last Friday of the month, rather than the first Friday monthly.

In the meantime, thanks for your ongoing appreciation of inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | red thread™. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Thanksgiving | Live from BKWine Magazine

Happy Thanksgiving | Live from BKWine Magazine

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about wine and taste makers.

By L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Dear Readers:

This week, my wine writing cornucopia overflows, including a glorious interview with Véronique Drouhin-Boss about her latest Oregon project, Roserock Drouhin Oregon in Eola-Amity Hills, a sampler of the wines, plus a special tasting of her wines from Domaine Drouhin Oregon in Dundee Hills.

Moreover, I’m thrilled to introduce my newest wine maker series for BKWine Magazine, this one focusing upon  – you guessed it – Oregon artisans.

Here’s a link to my BKWine Magazine exclusive interview with Craig Camp and Steve Hall of  Troon Vineyards – Applegate Valley AVA, Southern Oregon.

And here’s a link to my BKWine Magazine Troon Wine interview  – the Swedish translation.

So much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday, including you.

Thank you so very much for the opportunity to share inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers, stories about true heroes who struggle to hand-craft exquisite works that enhance our lives on celebrations like today.

Thanks, too, for your ongoing appreciation of these artists and their stories, many over-looked by the main-stream media.

Please enjoy, and happy holidays!

Link to my exclusive interview in BKWine Magazine with Troon Wines here.

Link to BKWine Magazine Troon interview – Swedish translation – here.

The Hedonistic Taster | Lenné Estate | Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir

The Hedonistic Taster | Lenné Estate | Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir


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

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, a binNotes | redThread™ trade sampling of artisan wines.

Today’s Tasting:

Lenné Estate | 2014 Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley

Lenné Estate 2014 Eleanor's 114 Pinot Noir is made from the fruit-forward 114 clone.
Lenné Estate 2014 Eleanor’s 114 Pinot Noir is produced from the 114 clone, known for its fruit-forward, red-raspberry characteristics.

If you’re a wine enthusiast or collector and don’t have any Lenné Estate Pinot Noir in your cellar, you may want to rethink that strategy.

Owner/wine maker Steve Lutz painstakingly burnishes small lot, artisan juice from his pristine Yamhill-Carlton estate in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

These wines reveal an intricacy, sultriness, and structure that only enhance over time.

(For more about the story of Steve and Karen Lutz and Lenné Estate, here’s a link to my feature in Oregon Wine Press.)

WineLenné Estate Jill’s 115 Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol: 14.3 %

Suggested Retail: $55.00


Note: #954 of 1200 bottles made.


Robe: Noir-tinged ruby.

Nose: Black and red fruit, earth, spice, dried herbs.

Palate: Cassis, sumac and Betty Bacall smoke-throated back notes.

Suggested Pairings: You know how to whistle, don’t you? Pair this with venison loin lashed lightly with a cassis port reduction.


For more on Lenné Estate:

The Hedonistic Taster | Lenné Estate 2014 Jill’s 115 Pinot Noir 

The Hedonistic Taster |Lenné Estate 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

 The Hedonistic Taster № 8 | Lenné Estate.

You can find out more about the story behind Lenné Estate’s hard-fought road to success here in my article about owners Steve and Karen Lutz in Oregon Wine Press.


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

redThread™ Exclusive: Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Glynis Hill

redThread™ Exclusive: Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Glynis Hill

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.

by L.M. Archer FWS, Bourgogne ML

Today’s Exclusive Interview: Diversity in Wine | Part 3 of 3

Glynis Hill 


“You might be surprised to learn that I did not grow up in a household where fine wine was regularly consumed; nor am I a culinary expert,” shares Glynis Hill, today’s Diversity in Wine guest. “Instead, I am a scientist for whom wine is a marriage made in heaven between my technical background and the artistry of wine and culinary delights.”

A full-time Regulatory Impact Analyst/Environmental Scientist in Washington, DC., Glynis Hill also authors Vino Noire, a site dedicated to “Style and Quality for the Urbane.”  I know her through a media tasting we both attended in Sonoma this past summer, where she stole the show with her engaging wit, passion, and eloquence.

Here, Glynis Hill shares her experiences navigating the world of wine in Part 3 of Diversity in Wine. I hope this series resonates with you. Please feel free to share your thoughts below in the ‘Comments’ section, and thank you again for taking time to engage in this important conversation.


­ r/T™:  Glynis, you are a scientist with an appreciation for the technical, and a passion for the ‘artistry’ of wine. Who or what inspired you to enter the world of wine?

GH:  I love the ideal of a vine stressing and digging deep into soil, and producing a fruit that becomes a commodity which is sold all over the world! My inspiration comes from the love of traveling, and what better vacation than traveling to viticultural locales around the world?

And as luck would have it, during a visit and wine tasting at Vision Cellars in Windsor California, vintner Mac McDonald (winemaker and vineyard owner) inspired me to get into the wine business.

­r/T™: Walk readers through your journey thus far in the world of wine. What was it like taking that ‘leap of faith’? Did you have an ‘aha’ moment when you knew this was your path?

GH: A thirst to gain more than “novice” wine knowledge began while dining and being presented a wine list that resembled an encyclopedia. It was my mission to garner the meaning of a bin number, vintage, varietal, and how the wine­-producing regions affected the wine in the bottle.

My “aha” moment was as an African­-American female ordering a familiar red wine in a small rural town in North Carolina, and the bartender tried to make me feel like I didn’t know what varietal or which brand I ordered. I then explained to him I could “blind taste” that particular Cabernet Sauvignon anywhere, and that it was not the wine in my glass.

As he tried to debate me, an older Caucasian gentleman sitting at the end of bar asked to taste the wine in my glass. I handed him my glass, he tasted the wine and said, “that’s not the Cabernet Sauvignon she ordered,” apologized to me, and told the bartender to send a bottle to my table “on the house.” He was the owner of the restaurant:­). That’s when I truly said I would immerse myself in the culture of wine.

­r/T™:   Any mentors who have helped or inspired you along the way?

GH: No, I don’t have any mentors in the business.  However, I would love for Master of Wine Debra Meiburg to be my mentor. But as stated above, Mac McDonald was the one who suggested I get into the business.

­r/T™:   Any obstacles or challenges you’ve encountered?

GH: Challenge: ­ At this time it’s balancing my full time job workload with my passion to do more wine related travel and events.

Obstacle and Challenge: ­ Overcoming the perception that people of color aren’t wine savvy or educated about wine in general.

r/T™:   As an African-­American woman, do you find the world of wine embraces diversity? Or do you feel like you have to work twice as hard to earn credibility/acceptance?

GH: Yes and No and it depends…I have been the unfortunate recipient of wait[ing] and getting irritated and/or defensive when I ask questions about wines; questions they may not know the answers to, and assumed I shouldn’t either.

Overall, as an African-American woman, YES we have to work harder to earn credibility period end of story:­). Hence, the reason I refused to start blogging without credentials first; I want to be taken seriously in this business. I felt acquiring WSET Level II at a minimum was essential!

r/T™:   Do you have any favorite wine region(s)? Any favorite varietal(s)? Any favorite wine maker(s)?

GH: My favorite wine regions depends upon the wine varietal and style…Rosé from Provence, Pinotage from South Africa, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandels from California. Brown Estates [and] Turley Wines are my favorite winemakers.

r/T™:  What’s the most memorable wine place/person/event you’ve encountered thus far?

GH:  Domestically, Brown Estates, where Deneen, David, and Coral’s father personally gave me a tour of the wine cellar, which is augured [into] the mountain on their property; after the tour he shared his award-winning wines, and told us the story of his mother, a horticulturist who taught him the art of cultivating grapes.

Internationally, ­South Africa at the Mulderbosch Vineyard, where I got the chance to meet the actual “Faithful Hound”  pictured on the bottle of their Bordeaux style red blend. The owner also gave me an unlabeled bottle of the wine to take back to the hotel to enjoy.

I can go on an on, but will give honorable mentions to wine tasting in Provence at Chateau de Saint­ Martin, and wine tasting in a quaint town in Tuscany.

r/T™: ­ What is/are your goal(s) that you hope to achieve in the world of wine?

GH: My ultimate goal is be able to work in the wine industry full-time and travel the world!

r/T™:   Anything else you’d care to share with readers?

GH: Don’t let wine intimidate you! The world of wine is not static – it is always evolving! Last but not least, be willing to step out of your comfort zone and taste new varietals and styles of wines!

r/T™:  ­ Finally, if your experience in the world of wine has taught you anything, it’s taught you…?

GH: No questions you have about wine is a stupid question – the only way you will learn and grow in the world of wine is to:




3) REPEAT steps 1 & 2 and you will LEARN about wine!

For more on Diversity on Wine:

Part 1 | Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Julia Coney

Part 2: Diversity in Wine | A Conversation with Martin D. Redmond

Thank you:

Glynis Hill

Julia Coney

Martin D. Redmond

Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved

My latest Contribution in BKWine Magazine | Schug Winery

My latest Contribution in BKWine Magazine | Schug Winery

Welcome to binNotes | redThread™

Inspired stories about artisan wine and taste makers.

by L.M. Archer FWS, Bourgogne ML

Dear Readers:

BK WIne Magazine logo

I wanted to share links to my most recent guest contribution to BKWine Magazine, featuring my exclusive interview with Schug Winery in Sonoma, CA.:

English version:


Swedish version:


A special thanks to Paris-based BKWine Magazine editor, Per Karlsson, for his painstaking translation of both interviews – no easy task while also under deadline for his forthcoming book. Merci et Tack.


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.

WITWIB? Gourmet Grazing on the Green

WITWIB? Gourmet Grazing on the Green
Image: Courtesy Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group.

Greetings, dear readers~

“Sample the county’s best – and it’s all for charity.”

This Saturday, September 24th 2016  from 12-4 PM you can catch me at Aptos Village Park for Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group’s annual  Gourmet Grazing on the Green fundraiser, featuring over eighty local artisan beers, wine, and food purveyors-   plus live music!

It’s For A Good Cause!
Here’s the full line-up:

Hope to see you there…

You can also follow me along on Instagram @binnotes.


Copyrighted 2016 binNotes | redThread™.  All Rights Reserved.