La CHABLISIENNE Chablis Class and Tasting (9/16/19)


On Monday, September 16 at 7pm, please join me in welcoming my friend and Burgundy expert extraordinaire David Smith to The Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tag-team class (with me) and tasting of the wines of La Chablisienne. La Chablisienne is that not-as-rare-as-may-seem co-op that is making top quality wines that compete with those from the best domaines. This however is that most rare class where all white wines will be served.

The line-up includes:
Chablisienne Petit Chablis Pas Si Petit 2017
Chablisienne La Pierrelee Chablis 2015
Chablisienne La Sereine Chablis 2015
Chablisienne Les Venerables Chablis 2015
Chablisienne Cote De Lechet Chablis 1er Cru 2015
Chablisienne Vaillons Chablis 1er Cru 2015
Chablisienne Fourchaume Chablis 1er Cru 2017
Chablisienne Vaulorent 1er Cru Chablis  2015
Chablisienne Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru 6/cs 2015
Chablisienne Les Preuses Chablis Grand Cru 6/cs 2016
Chablisienne Valmur Chablis Grand Cru 6/cs 2013
Chablisienne Grenouilles (6/cs) Chablis Grand Cru 2014

This La Chablisienne event will cost $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class meets on Monday, September 16 at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd. (77006), l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

ABOUT LA CHABLISIENNE
The story began in 1923. Under the leadership of Abbé Balitrand, a number of winegrowers joined forces to better withstand the economic difficulties of the period. Together, in the middle of the Chablis vineyards, they created a cooperative winery to market their wines. Until the mid-1950s, the members of the cooperative delivered their production to La Chablisienne, who was then responsible for creating the blends and for selling them, mainly to wholesalers. However, La Chablisienne wanted to go much further and create a style of its own. So it was decided that the harvest would be delivered in the form of musts (unfermented juice), a particularity that has become the trademark of the house and giving it total control over the winemaking processes. There is constant information sharing between the winegrowers and the technicians, linking the quality of the musts to the parcels that produced the grapes thus ensuring the best possible technical guidance. La Chablisienne, in true pioneer spirit, has never ceased to meet a wide range of challenges in areas as diverse as winegrowing and winemaking, human resources and marketing. It is the meticulous work of all those involved that gives wines which constantly improve with the passage of time.



If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

UPCOMING WINE EVENTS
09/12 – Thursday … Greek Wines with Ted Diamantis  at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
09/16 – Monday … La Chablisiene Chablis Tasting (with David Smith and me) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
09/23 – Monday … Save the Date
09/26 – Thursday …  ECHOS Chef’s Dinner at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice  (http://echos-houston.org/events/chefs-dinner/)
09/30 – Monday … Domaine Jessiaume Burgundy Tasting (importer Bertrand Leulliette and me) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/03 – Thursday … Women Of Wine Grand Tasting at the Czech Museum   (http://www.wowcharities.org/events-happy-hours/2019-grand-tasting-october-3/)
10/07 – Monday … Mostly White Burgundy Tasting (Fontaine Gagnard, Pernod Bellicard, etc. – David Smith and me) –  at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/14 – Monday … Ch. Maris class and tasting (all organic and biodynamic wines – pure, fresh, and exciting) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/17 – Thursday … Royal Oporto Tasting (with David Smith and me) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/21 – Monday … Bordeaux Value (sponsored by Sopexa) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
12/02 – Monday … Symington (Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s, Quinta do Vesuvio) Vintage Port Tasting at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française

In addition, we’ll be scheduling some sparkling wine and Champagne classes and another general Port class as well as at least one dinner.

GREEK WINE Wine Class and Tasting

Featuring Ted Diamantis, founder / owner of Diamond Wine Importers

On Thursday, September 12th at 7pm, please join me in welcoming Ted Diamantis, founder/owner of Greek wine specialist Diamond Wine Imports to The Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a discussion and tasting of his not-your-grandfather’s Greek wines. With the renewed popularity of Greek food and the advent of new Greek restaurants, there has been a rise in interest in Greek wines. Ted’s company supplies many of the wines used by restaurants such as Helen, Ouzo Bay, and Loch Bar. These site-specific, idiosyncratic, passionately-made, artisanal wines are a far cry from the Achaia Claus Restina or even the Boutari wines that have dominated the Greek wine scene up to now.

The line-up includes:
Santo Santorini Assyrtiko
Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko
Alexakis Assyrtiko
Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
Alpha Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Domain Skouras St George Nemea
Douloufakis Liatiko
Alpha Estate Axia
Alpha Estate SMX Red Blend
Alpha Estate Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro
Kir-Yianni Ramnista
Domain Skouras Grand Cuvee Aghioghiriko
Kir Yianni Sparkling Xinomavro Rose

This Ted Diamantis Greek Wine Tasting will cost $30.00 per person (cash or check) or $31.58 regular. The class meets on Thursday September 12th at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd. (77006), l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

About Ted Diamantis (in his words):
In 1992, I created Diamond Wine Importers out of the belief that Greece, with its natural terroir of mountain vineyards, maritime influenced climate, volcanic and alluvial soils, and over 200 ancient indigenous varieties, can once again become a source of some of the greatest wines in the world.
Over the last 30 years of tasting and traveling throughout Greece, we have compiled a portfolio of the best artisan, vineyard-driven producers who are working with the best native varietals from the best appellations. We only focus on producers and growers who are fully committed to quality and sustainability from vine to bottle. These producers are people that have passion, are self-made men, work with the land, and embody true winemaking spirit.
Our goal is to now educate and enlighten the American wine market about these indigenous varietals, ancient appellations and, most importantly, the spirit of these outstanding producers.
Oinos Efreni Kardian (Wine Pleases the Heart),
Ted Diamantis

 

UPCOMING WINE EVENTS
09/09 – Monday … Bordeaux Revealed (session two) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
09/11 – Wednesday … The Domaine Baron Rothschild Bordeaux Tasting with winemaker Diane Flamond at SPEC’s on Smith Street
                                              (This is a FREE Bordeaux class, please email your reservation to RSVP_Houston@Specsonline.com)
09/12 – Thursday … Greek Wines with Ted Diamantis  at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
09/16 – Monday … La Chablisiene Chablis Tasting (with David Smith and me) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
09/23 – Monday … Save the Date
09/26 – Thursday …  ECHOS Chef’s Dinner at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice  (http://echos-houston.org/events/chefs-dinner/)
09/30 – Monday … Domaine Jessiaume Burgundy Tasting (importer Bertrand Leulliette and me) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/03 – Thursday … Women Of Wine Grand Tasting at the Czech Museum   (http://www.wowcharities.org/events-happy-hours/2019-grand-tasting-october-3/)
10/07 – Monday … Mostly White Burgundy Tasting (Fontaine Gagnard, Pernod Bellicard, etc. – David Smith and me) –  at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/14 – Monday … Ch. Maris class and tasting (all organic and biodynamic wines – pure, fresh, and exciting) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/17 – Thursday … Royal Oporto Tasting (with David Smith and me) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
10/21 – Monday … Bordeaux Value (sponsored by Sopexa) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
12/02 – Monday … Symington (Graham’s, Dow’s, Cockburn’s, Quinta do Vesuvio) Vintage Port Tasting at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
In addition, we’ll be scheduling some sparkling wine and Champagne classes and another general Port class as well as at least one dinner.

Ch. de Mercues & Ch. de Haut Serre Cahors Class and Tasting

On Monday August 26th at 7pm, please join me in welcoming Cahors (the original home of Malbec) estate owner and vigneron Bertrand Vigoroux (please “about Bertrand Vigoroux” below) of Ch. de Mercues and Ch. de Haut Serre (two of the most important properties in Cahors) to the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of ten of his wines. Bertrand will present his wines as he delves into the history of both Cahors and his estates. He has been-there-done-that with Malbec in Cahors. If you like Malbec, you need to get to know Cahors and there is not better way that a tasting with this owner-vigneron-winemaker of two significant chateaux.

The line-up includes:
Bellefleur de Haute-Serre Sparkling rosé traditional méthode NV
Chenin de Mercuès 2016
Pigmentum Malbec, Cahors 2017
Vassal de Mercuès 2017
Chateau de Mercuès Grand vin 2016
Chateau de Haute-Serre Grand vin 2015
Géron Dadine du Chateau de Haute-Serre 2016
Cuvée 6666 du Chateau de Mercuès 2015
Icone WOW du Chateau de Mercuès 2015
Icone WOw du Chateau de Haute-Serre 2015. 

This Chx. de Mercues & de Haut Serre Cahors Tasting will cost $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday August 26th at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

About Bertrand Vigoroux:
Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux is the son of Georges Vigouroux and works in the company for 30 years and he combines traditions and the modern techniques of winemaking to respect the Malbec in its original terror. He is constantly trying to optimize the potential of the Malbec that he often named “the Diva grape, it can produce incredible wines, but you have to give her your best first! ”
Now Bertrand Vigouroux manages the estates with the same passion as his father, maintaining tradition while introducing innovative methods. A major winemaker and oenologist in France himself, he took his passion for the Malbec grape to the Mendoza region in Argentina, hiring Paul Hobbs, a famous oenologist and Malbec wine-producer in Argentina, as a consultant. The cooperation brought an exceptional 2009 vintage and the new Icône cuvées.

Bordeaux Revealed: Vintages and Futures and a bit about the Business of Bordeaux

7pm on Monday, August 19th
If you have heard me speak on Bordeaux, you know that one of my common themes is that there is value in Bordeaux. Another is that the market sets the prices of Bordeaux. And yet another is that Bordeaux still sets the standard of quality for much of the wine world and certainly for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot-based wines of the world.
In Bordeaux Revealed, we will taste three vintages each (2014, 2015, and 2016) of five representative wines and discuss those vintages as well as the on-offer-as-futures 2017 and 2018 vintages. We’ll also touch on why fine wine and especially Bordeaux is in something of a golden age right now, the business of Bordeaux, the mechanics of Bordeaux futures, and anything else Bordeaux related you care to ask about. Attendance at this event will be limited to 30 people in order to facilitate question and answer.

The following Bordeaux wines will be served:
Ch La Confession St Emilion 2014
Ch La Confession St Emilion 2015
Ch La Confession St Emilion 2016
Ch La Croix St Georges Pomerol 2014
Ch La Croix St Georges Pomerol 2015
Ch La Croix St Georges Pomerol 2016
Ch Branaire Ducru St Julien 2014
Ch Branaire Ducru St Julien 2015
Ch Branaire Ducru St Julien 2016
Ch Cantenac Brown Margaux 2014
Ch Cantenac Brown Margaux 2015
Ch Cantenac Brown Margaux 2016
Ch Haut Bages Liberal Pauillac 2014
Ch Haut Bages Liberal Pauillac 2015
Ch Haut Bages Liberal Pauillac 2016

Bordeaux Revealed will cost $60.00 per person cash ($63.16 regular).
The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 19th at l’Alliance Française.
To purchase your ticket(s), please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.
When you reserve, please give Susan your email address sp we may send you a .pdf file of some notes for the class.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

With over 40-years-experience in the wine business and over 30-years-experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is one of the top wine authorities and top authorities on Bordeaux as well as the most experienced wine educator in Texas.

Bordeaux 2018

BORDEAUX 2018 is a GREAT VINTAGE
That’s pretty straight forward – but allow me to clarify. Over my forty-plus year career in the wine business, my tasting experience with Bordeaux with a broad number of top properties goes back as far as 1959 (which was both a great vintage and my birth year so I have had ample opportunities to taste and drink those wines). While I have tasted numerous Bordeaux wines from before 1959, I am most comfortable with 1959 and forward. So I’ll state that 2018 is the “best vintage” of my lifetime – which is a pretty bold statement given 1959, 1961, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1989, 1990,1995, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016, all of which are great vintages. So how can I single out 2018 as the best of that span, especially given the lack of hype for 2018? Glad you asked. (Read More)

Offer:
Please click here to see Spec’s 2018 Bordeaux Futures offer including tasting notes from Bear Dalton
Orders may be placed with wine sales staff at any of the larger Spec’s stores.

SIERRA CANTABRIA Wine Class and Tasting

Featuring Ambassador / Educator Alejandra Naranjo

On Monday, August 5th at 7pm, please join me in welcoming VIÑEDOS Y BODEGAS SIERRA CANTABRIA Ambassador / Educator AlejandraNaranjo (bio below) to The Wine School at L’Alliance Française for a discussion and tasting of their wines: Protocolo (Castilla y Leon), Sierra Cantabria and San Vicente (Rioja), and Teso La Monja (Toro).

The line-up includes:
Protocolo Blanco, Castilla Y Leon, 2018
Protocolo Rosado, Castilla Y Leon, 2018
Protocolo Tinto, Castilla Y Leon, 2017
Sierra Cantabria Rosado, Rioja, 2018
Sierra Cantabria Seleccion Tinto, Rioja, 2017
Sierra Cantabria Crianza, Rioja, 2015
Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva, Unica, 2014
San Vicente, Rioja, 2015
El Puntido Gran Reserva, 2006
Teso La Monja Romanico Toro, 2016
Teso La Monja Almirez Toro, 2016
Teso La Monja Victorino Toro, 2016

This Sierra Cantabria Tasting will cost $40.00per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class meets on Monday August 5th at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd. (77006), l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

About  Alejandra Naranjo:
After a 13 year career (that includes education and certifications from WSET, Académie de Bordeaux, the International School of Sommellerie, and the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona) in the wine business and wine education spanning four countries and three continents, Alejandro Naranjo went to Vinedos Y Bodegas Sierra Cantabria in Rioja as an ambassador / educator in 2017 with a portfolio including all of their brands from their three regions of production. I met Alejandra in May of 2019 and was impressed with her knowledge and passion and her ability to communicate those same qualities in talking about the wines she represents.

BORDEAUX REFRESH: A Look at the Lighter Side of Bordeaux Wines

Here it is the dog days of summer – so how about some cool refreshing Bordeaux? At first blush, maybe not. But if you look at this lineup featuring a rosé, 5 dry whites, 5 reds (but more elegant, prettier reds), and one very fresh-style sweet white (all from Bordeaux), you’ll see that Bordeaux can refresh. So please join me, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at 7pm on Monday, July 29th at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for BORDEAUX REFRESH: A Look at the Lighter Side of Bordeaux Wines. In this seminar tasting, we’ll look at lighter and more refreshing wines from around Bordeaux that offer quality and value. Topics of discussion will include vintages, the styles of Bordeaux, and the grape varieties and techniques used to make the wines. Bread and cheese will be served. The ticket price will be donated to the ECHOS (Epiphany Community Health Outreach).

The following twelve Bordeaux wines will be served:
Pins des Dunes Rose Bordeaux 2018
Ch. Martinon Entre Deux Mers 2015
Ch. d’Archambeau Graves Blanc 2016
Clos des Lunes Bordeaux Blanc 2015
Les Charmes Godard Blanc Francs Cotes De Bordeaux 2016
R De Rieussec Bordeaux Blanc 2017
Ch. Camino Salva Haut Medoc 2015
Ch. Ampelia Cotes De Castillon 2016
Ch. Haut Vigneau Graves Rouge 2016
Ch. Laplagnotte Bellvue St. Emilion 2015
Ch. Pontac Lynch Margaux 2015
Lions De Suduiraut Sauternes 2015

To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com. The cost of this class is a $25 donation (cash or check only please) to payable to ECHOS.

About ECHOS:
ECHOS – Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services – was formed in 1999 in response to the health and social service needs of the rapidly increasing population of newly arrived immigrants and refugees who were re-settled in the community surrounding the Church of the Epiphany in southwest Houston. The original purpose was and continues to be to help families meet their basic needs on their path to self-sufficiency. Echos provides Benefits Application Assistance, Healthcare Mobile Clinics, Healthcare Screenings and Services, Support Groups (including working with the Houston Area Women’s Center), English as a Second Language (ESL), Computer Literacy, and Food Pantry and Food Fairs.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

With over 40 years experience in the wine business (including 23 years at Spec’s) and 30-plus years experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is one of the top wine authorities as well as the most experienced wine educator in Texas. Over the last 23 years, he has spent well over a year in Bordeaux.