OPPORTUNITIES TO RAISE A GLASS

UPCOMING WINE CLASSES and EVENTSBearOnWineLogo

09/19  Red Burgundy – Cote de Nuits (Monday, 7pm) (please click for more information)
Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for this in-depth look at the Red Burgundies of the Cote de Nuits. Fifteen top quality wines (ranging from $27 to $170 per bottle with seven over $100 per bottle) will be tasted covering all the major Cote de Nuits appellations and the hierarchy from regional (1) to village (5), premier cru (5), and grand cru (4) …  (read more)

09/26 The State of Zinfandel (Monday, 7pm)

10/03 Current Favorites (Monday, 7pm) – What I’m drinking and why

10/05  An Evening with Quintessa benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center (Wednesday, 7pm)
A tasting of Quintessa vintages and components presented by Larry Stone of Quintessa

10/10 Bordeaux Basics benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center (Monday, 7pm)
10/25 Bordeaux Basics benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center (Tuesday, 7pm)
These Bordeaux classes are identical. Please sign up for one or the other but not both.

10/18 Bordeaux 2011 and Champagne Tasting  (Tuesday, 4:30pm – 8:30pm)
A walk around tasting at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice

BearTeaching

Red Burgundies of the Cote de Nuits

Red Burgundies of the Cote de Nuits

7pm  Monday September 19, 2016 at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

alnsgPlease join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for this in-depth look at the Red Burgundies of the COTE DE NUITS. Fifteen top quality wines (ranging from $27 to $170 per bottle with seven over $100 per bottle) will be tasted covering all the major Cote de Nuits appellations and the hierarchy from regional (1) to village (5), premier cru (5), and grand cru (4).   We will discuss appellation, hierarchy, terroir, tradition, style, technique, and personality. The wines tasted will be served in Riedel Degustazione stemware. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered during each class.

We will taste:
taupenotmermecharmeschambertinArnoux Lachaux Bourgogne Pinot Fin 2013
Arnoux Lachaux Nuits Saint Georges 2013
Arnoux Lachaux Nuits Saint Georges Les Proces 1er cru 2013
Domaine Berthaut Fixin les Crais 2014
Albert Bichot Gevrey Chambertin Les Murots 2013
Taupenot Merme Gevrey Chambertin 2013
Taupenot Merme Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2013
Taupenot Merme Morey St. Denis la Riotte 1er cru 2013
Pousse d’Or Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2011
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny  2011
Groffier Chambolle Musigny les Sentiers 1er Cru 2010
Michel Gros Clos Vougeot Grand Maupertuis Grand Cru 2010
Domaine Berthaut Vosne Romanee les Petitis Monts 1er Cru 2014
Domaine d’Eugenie Vosne Romanee les Brulees 1er cru 2009
Domaine Thenard Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2011
 
This Cote de Nuits Class will cost $135.00 total per person cash ($141.11 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, September 19 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).

Please Note: 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.

Red Wines of the Cote de Beaune

7pm  Monday  September 12, 2016 at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for this in-depth look at the red wines of BURGUNDY’s Cote de Beaune (plus one Cote Chalonnaise). We will examine the intricacies and differences to be found in Pinot Noir based reds in a region with hundreds of legally delimited vineyards split into tiny plots farmed by myriad producers large and small.   We will discuss appellation, heirarchy, terroir, tradition, style, technique, and personality. The wines tasted will be served in Riedel Degustazione stemware. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered during each class.

We will taste:
Champy Bourgogne Rouge 2014
Thenard Givry Les Bois Chevaux Rouge 1er cru 2010
Champy Savigny Les Beaune 2014
Champy Volnay 2011
Domaine Thenard Pernand Vergelesses Ile des Vergelessess 1er cru 2011
Jessiaume Auxey Duresses Les Ecusseaux 1er cru 2013
Jessiaume Santenay Clos de Clos Genet  2013
Chateau de Santenay Santenay Gravieres 1er cru 2013
Bernard Moreau Chassagne Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2014
Albert Bichot Pommard Clos les Ursulines 2013
Bouchard Beaune Greves Vigne l’Enfant Jesus 1er cru 2011
Roblet Monnot Volnay St Jean 1er Cru 2013
Albert Bichot Aloxe Corton Clos Des Marechaudes 1er cru 2013
Domaine Thenard Corton Clos Du Roi Grand Cru 2011
Albert Bichot Corton Clos Des Marechaudes Grand Cru  2013

This Red Burgundy Class will cost $100 total per person cash ($105.26 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, September 12 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.

White Wines of Chablis and the Cote d’Or / Upcoming Events

7pm  Monday August 29, 2016 at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for this in-depth look at the Chardonnay-based white wines of BURGUNDY’s Cote d’Or and Chablis (plus one from the Cote Chalonnaise). We will examine the intricacies and differences to be found in a region with hundreds of legally delimited vineyards split into thousands of plots farmed by myriad producers large and small.   We will discuss appellation, heirarchy, terroir, tradition, style, technique, and personality. The wines tasted will be served in Riedel Degustazione stemware. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered during each class.

We will taste:
Daniel Dampt Chablis 2015
Daniel Dampt Chablis Cote De Lechet 1er Cru 2014
Daniel Dampt Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2014
Dom Jessiaume Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013
Domaine Thenard Givry Clos Du Cellier Aux Moines Blanc 1er Cru 2013
Vincent Latour Saint Aubin Cuvee Les Frionnes 1er Cru 2014
Dom Jessiaume Santenay Gravieres Blanc 1er cru 2013
Vincent Latour Meursault Les Pelans 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Chenevottes 1er Cru 2013
Jerome Castagnier Puligny Montrachet Le Cailleret 1er Cru 2013
Domaine Thenard Montrachet 2009

This White Burgundy class will cost $100 per person cash ($105.26 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 29th 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.

UPCOMING WINE CLASSES and EVENTS
09/12  Red Burgundy – Cote de Beaune and Cote Chalonnaise (Monday, 7pm)
09/19  Red Burgundy – Cote de Nuits (Monday, 7pm)
09/26  Zinfandel (Monday, 7pm)
10/03  TBD (Monday, 7pm)
10/05  An Evening with Quintessa benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center (Wednesday, 7pm) – A tasting of Quintessa vintages and components presented by Larry Stone of Quintessa
10/10  Bordeaux Basics benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center (Monday, 7pm)
10/25  Bordeaux Basics benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center (Tuesday, 7pm)  – These Bordeaux Basics classes are identical so please sign up for one or the other but not both.
10/18  Bordeaux and Champagne Tasting at the Crystal Ball Room at the Rice (Tuesday, 4:30pm – 8:30pm)  – 30 Bordeaux wines (mostly dry red) and over a dozen Champagnes

Bordeaux 2016’s bone-dry summer

Please click here for a look at a free article from JancisRobinson.com giving an update on the the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux.

http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/bordeaux-2016s-bone-dry-summer

Bordeaux 2016’s bone-dry summer

Rauzan_Segla_veraison_Cab-1-7Gavin Quinney of Ch Bauduc sends this report, written last night, on the 2016 growing season so far in Bordeaux. Harvest will not be early. 

It’s been exceptionally dry during the holidays, with plenty of sunshine around Bordeaux. Most tourists have been on the beach, relaxing by the pool, strolling around markets or spending time in the city of Bordeaux itself. Those with an interest in wine might have visited the new Cité du Vin, which opened in June, or taken a trip out to St-Émilion. Most dogs, as here at Ch Bauduc, have been looking for shade.

Those who have ventured out into the vineyards – beyond the refreshingly cool barrel cellars – might have seen how dry the ground looks. The parched grass verges contrast starkly with the lush green rows of vines, which are, for the most part, in remarkably rude health. As you’d imagine, young vines with shallow roots on dry soils suffer when there’s no rain but, overall, the vines are coping well, especially given the heat over the French holiday this last weekend with temperatures consistently reaching 33 °C (91 ºF) or more.

Read More …

New Wine Class: Considering California Chardonnay

patz-hall-2013-chardonnay-hyde-vineyard-carneros-napa-valley-2On Monday, August 22nd at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Considering California Chardonnay. We will discuss some history of Chardonnay in California, America’s on-again-off-again-on-again love affair with Chardonnay, how Chardonnay is made, where it is best grown in California, and pairing Chardonnay with food. Fourteen top quality Chardonnay wines will be tasted. Bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served.

The line up:
Banshee Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, 2014
Expression 38 Chardonnay Russian Camp Russian River Valley, 2015
Hanzell Chardonnay Sebella Sonoma Valley, 2014
Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, 2013
Patz & Hall Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2014
Lynmar Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2012
Cakebread Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 2014
Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2013
Flowers Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2014
Rochioli Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2014
Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, 2013
Dumol Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2013
Lynmar Quail Hill Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2012
Mount Eden Chardonnay Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2012
Hanzell Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley, 2013

Considering California Chardonnay will cost $80.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $84.21 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 22nd 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).

Cancellation Policy: 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.

Utterly Unique: Henriot Cuve 38

2___cuve_38____dition_2___henriot__1820.jpeg_north_600x_whiteIn 1990, the late Joseph Henriot (1936-2015, former head of Veuve Clicquot and owner of Henriot in Champagne and Bouchard Pere et Fils in Burgundy) set aside one vat to add a portion of outstanding Blanc de Blancs each year, capturing the essence of every harvest in a sort of solera. The idea was to create a perpetual blend of 100% Chardonnay from 100% Cote de Blancs grands cru vineyards (Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly, Avize and Oger). In 2009, the first 1,000 magnums were drawn and put through the Champagne process. After another 5 years aging on the lees in Henriot’s cellars in Reims, the wine was disgorged and given a final dosage of less than 5 grams per liter. Each year, another 1,000 magnums will be released.

From Henriot:
“Its dosage of less than 5g/l gives full rein to the aromas of its terroir.  It is a beautiful pale yellow with golden highlights and a gently efferevescent mousse, leading into a bouquet of fresh butter and white flowers. Cuve 38 also reveals both mineral and slightly creamy notes underpinned by hints of liquorice. On the palate, its richness is elegant and there are avours of citrus and ripe apricot. Finally, the wine delivers elements of both honey and viennoiserie, redolent of the Henriot style.

From Bear:
HENRIOT Cuve 38, Champagne, NV     ($669.74)
100% Chardonnay all from Grand Cru vineyards fermented and aged in a reserve wine solera representing 19 vintages made using Methode Champenoise in in Magnum, aged another 5 years on the yeasts and then finished only with a less-than-0.5 dosage. (The tank or cuve holding the wine is Cuve 38 – hence the name.)     Pale-gold-straw in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant phenolics.  Deep dense, unique wine. Pure expression of Chardonnay and chalk, mineral and yeast but most of all development. The wine evolves in the glass as if slowly flattens and warms. It really succeeds as wine, not just as sparkling wine. My first impression score was 94+. Three hours later it was 97. Two days later (the still 2/3s full magnum stored cold and tightly stoppered) it was 100. This is stunningly good, utterly unique champagne that almost demands decanting to help it develop in a reasonable time. Or you could keep it for a few years and then … WOW! Only 2 magnums available only at Spec’s at 2410 Smith Street in Houston.