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.

A Champagne and Bordeaux Pop Up Dinner

A Champagne and Bordeaux Pop Up Dinner

Anyone who knows me knows that I love food as much as I love wine. While I’ve never even dreamed of being a winemaker, I often think about cooking in my own restaurant. That’s not going to happen – but I have gotten to live the chef/restaurateur dream occasionally with wine dinners I’ve donated and cooked for with the money generated going to various organizations such as WOW and the Houston Area Women’s Center, ECHOS, and the Rancher’s Ride. The last of these dinners was how I celebrated my 60thbirthday back on March 9th. All well and good but I am craving another chef fix.
So, on Saturday June 22 at 7pm, I will host (and cook along with Joan Sokol, Denise Ehrlich, and several others) a wine dinner benefitting the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. This dinner-for-32 will be held in the Parish Hall at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (which conveniently has a full commercial kitchen). We’ll start with a Champagne reception with appropriate nibbles and then sit down to a five-course dinner of some of my personal favorite dishes, each prepared to complement the wines served with them, served with extraordinary wines. Extraordinairy wines? Take a look at the menu below. You just may have to loosen your belt.

The CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION
Assorted Nibbles
Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, NV
Andre Clouet Cuvee 1911 Blanc de Noirs, Champagne, NV
Billecart Salmon Rosé, Champagne, NV

The DINNER
Leek-and-Cauliflower Soup
Lustau East India Sherry

Duck Debris
served over dressed mesclun with toasted pine nuts
Ch. Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion, 2014
Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan,2014
Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 2014

Grilled Whole Beef Tenderloin
sliced over truffled tagliatelli and topped with caramelized leeks and shitakes
Ch. Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion, 2015
Ch. Clinet, Pomerol, 2015
Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, 2015
Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 2015

Cheeses
Ch. Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion, 2016
Ch. Les Carmes Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, 2016
Ch. Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, 2016

Home-Made Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
with peach topping and shortbread crumble

Ch. Coutet Barsac, 2015

So come eat and drink knowing that every dime will go to a great cause; have fun and feel good about it. This Champagne and Bordeaux Pop-Up Wine Dinner will cost $300.00 per person (check payable to Church of the Epiphany or a credit card charge which will be processed by Epiphany). The reception will start at 7pm on Saturday June 22. To reserve your spot for this unique wine and food experience, please reply by email to me at BearDalton@mac.com.
I suggest coming by Uber, Lyft, or other car service as there will be a lot of wine served. The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is located at 9600 South Gessner Road (the southwest corner of Gessner and Bissonnet).

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is my church and I love it. It’s where I go to church and where I raised my kids. While I no longer live in the area, I went to Sharpstown High School and used to pass Epiphany on the way to and from school. Since joining Epiphany 23 years ago, I have served as a lay reader, occasional cook,  on the vestry (currently in my third term), and as senior warden. The area has changed since I lived nearby and Epiphany has changed along with it. Epiphany now boasts one of the most diverse and welcoming (to all people) congregations in Houston along with great preaching, adherence to the liturgical structures found in the Book of Common Prayer, and exceptional music. Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS) is The Church of the Epiphany’s outreach to the surrounding community.

Albert Bichot Wine Class and Tasting

Featuring assistant technical director Matthieu Mangenot

On Monday, June 17 at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) in welcoming Albert Bichot assistant technical director Matthieu Mangenot (bio below) to The Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of the wines of Albert Bichot. Albert Bichot is a Burgundy negoçiant that operates more like a group of related domaines and is, in fact, a big vineyard owner with four estates in Chablis and the Cote d’Or (plus one each in the Cote Chalonnaise and Beaujolais) making world class wines.

The line-up includes:
Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne NV
Bichot Chablis 2015
Bichot Domaine Long Depaquit Chablis 2015
Bichot Chablis Vaucopins 1er cru 2016
Bichot Ch. Gris Nuits St. Georges Les Terrasses Blanc 2016
Bichot Meursault Charmes 1er cru 2016
Bichot Puligny Montrachet Perrieres 1er cru 2016
Bichot Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vigne Vielles 2016
Bichot Gevrey Chambertin Les Murots 2016
Bichot Morey Saint Denis Les Sorbets 1er Cru 2016
Bichot Ch. Gris Nuits St. Georges Monopole 1er Cru  2016
Bichot Chambolle Musigny Chaibots 1er Cru 2016
Bichot Corton Clos Marechaudes Grand Cru 2016

This Albert Bichot Tasting will cost $70.00 per person (cash or check) or $73.68 regular. The class meets on Monday June 17 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 Matthieu Mangenot:
Immediately after completing his studies, Matthieu Mangenot has worked with other companies, notably in South Africa, Lebanon and Bordeaux. After his first experience in the Mâconnais – Beaujolais region, he joined Albert Bichot in 2007, as manager of the Domaine Long-Depaquit estate in Chablis. His dual training as an agronomist and an oenologist allows him to have a comprehensive approach to winemaking, from vineyard management to bottling. Through in-depth work in the vineyards, he puts the grape at the heart of his strategy of showcasing the terroirs and supports a non-interventionist approach at the winery. In 2019, he continues to pursue his career at Albert Bichot, having taken over the position of Assistant Technical Director at the head office in Beaune. His knowledge of soil formation and his pragmatic, transversal approach to the development of the House of productions, while respecting its concern for authenticity and sustainability.

SAVE THE DATES:
06/22/19 – Bear Dalton’s Pop-Up Champagne and Bordeaux Wine Dinner in the Parish Hall at the Church of the Epiphany (Corner of Gessner and Bissonnet). Bear Will be most ably assisted by Chef Joan and Chef Denise and a host of others.
06/24/19 – Annual Rosé Class and Tasting at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
07/08/19 – Adelsheim Tasting with David Adelsheim
07/29/19 – Bordeaux Refresh benefitting ECHOS

Domaine de La Pousse d’Or Wine Class and Tasting

On Monday, June 3 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, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) and tasting of the wines of Domaine de la Pousse d’Or. Pousse d’Or is the rare Burgundy domaine making world class wine in both the Cote de Beaune and the Cote de Nuits. These fifteen 2015s are extraordinary wines that are showing beautifully now.

The line-up includes:
Pousse d’Or Santenay Clos Tavannes 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Volnay en Caillerets (Amphora) 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Volnay en Caillerets (Classic) 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Volnay Clos d’Audignac Volnay 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d’Or 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Volnay Clos de 60 Ouvrees 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Pommard Jarollieres 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny 2015
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny les Groseilles 2015
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny les Charmes 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny les Feusselottes 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Clos du Roi Corton Grand Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses 1er Cru 2015
Pousse d’Or Puligny Montrachet Cailleret 1er Cru 2015

This Pousse d’Or Tasting will cost $80.00 per person (cash or check) or $84.21 regular. The class meets on Monday June 3 at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Bear at 713-854-7855 or BearDalton@mac.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 DOMAINE de la POUSSE d’OR
Originally created in 1954, the Domaine de la Pousse d’Or has long been among my favorite domaines of Burgundy. I first tasted two of the Volnays (Bousse d’Or and Clos de 60 Ouvrees) in the early 1980s and got to know the range of wines better tasting with Becky Wasserman (who was then their broker) in 1986. I have tasted at the domaine for the last sixteen years. Patrick Landanger purchased the property in 1997. Over all that time, I have watched Pousse d’Or grow from a Volnay specialist with some Santenay and Pommard to include vines on the hill of Corton (1999), in Puligny Montrachet (2004), and in Chambolle and Morey (2008). At this time Spec’s is able to purchase sixteen wines (one village appellation, twelve 1er crus, and three grand crus) from the estate, all of which are consistently excellent. (There are two wines – Chevalier Montrachet and Corton Bressandes – we don’t get yet.)

SAVE THE DATES:
05/31/19 – Domaine Pegau Tasting with Laurence Feraud at theWine School at l’Alliance Française
06/03/19 – Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2015 Class and Tasting with Bear Dalton and David Smith at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
06/17/19 – Albert Bichot Burgundy Class and Tasting with Bichot’s assistant technical director Matthieu Mangenot at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
06/22/19 – Bear Dalton’s Pop-Up Champagne and Bordeaux Wine Dinner in the Parish Hall at the Church of the Epiphany (Corner of Gessner and Bissonet)
06/24/19 – Annual Rosé Class and Tasting at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Domaine du Pegau and Chateau Pegau Wine Tasting

CORRECTION:
Please reply to BearDalton@mac.com. Susan is NOT handling the reservations for this.

On Friday May 31 at 7pm, please join me in welcoming my friend Laurence Feraud, proprietor of and winemaker for Domaine du Pegau in Chateauneuf du Pape and Chateau Pegau in the Cotes du Rhone, to the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a class and tasting of 11 of her wines. Laurence, a five-foot tall force-of-nature, is arguably the best winemaker working in the southern Rhone where she makes some of the very best Grenache-based wines in the world.

The line-up includes:
Pegau Pink Rosé 2018
Ch. Pegau Lone Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2018
Domaine du Pegau Reserve Blanc Chateauneuf du Pape 2018
Ch. Pegau Maclura Cotes du Rhone 2016
Ch. Pegau Setier Cotes du Rhone Villages Rouge 2016
Ch. Pegau Setier Cotes du Rhone Villages Rouge 2015
Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reserve Chateauneuf du Pape 2016
Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reserve Chateauneuf du Pape 2015
Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reserve Chateauneuf du Pape 2012
Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Laurence Chateauneuf du Pape 2013
Domaine du Pegau Cuvee du Capo Chateauneuf du Pape 2015

This Laurence Feraud – Pegau Class and Tasting costs $70.00 per person (cash or check) or $73.68 regular. The class meets at 7pm on Friday May 31 at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact BearDalton at 713-854-7855 or BearDalton@mac.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.

SAVE THE DATES:
06/03/19 – Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2015 Class and Tasting with Bear Dalton and David Smith at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
06/17/19 – Albert Bichot Burgundy Class and Tasting with Bichot’s assistant technical director Matthieu Mangenot at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
06/22/19 – Bear Dalton’s Pop-Up Champagne and Bordeaux Wine Dinner in the Parish Hall at the Church of the Epiphany (Corner of Gessner and Bissonet)
06/24/19 – Annual Rosé Class and Tasting at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Jorge Ordonez Spanish Wine Tasting

On Monday, January 14 at 7pm, please join me in welcoming Victor Ordonez, son of famed Spanish wine importer Jorge Ordonez to the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of a dozen wines from the Jorge Ordonez portfolio covering Spain from the Cava zone in Penedes across to Calatayud, Rioja, Toro, and Rias Baixas. There are a number of outstanding wines in this range of some of my favorite Spanish producers as well as some excellent values. (Please see below for more on Victor Ordonez.)

The line-up includes:
Marques de Gelida Brut Gran Reserva, Cava,  2014
La Caña Albarino, Rias Baixas, 2016
Breca Garnacha de Fuego, Calatayud, 2016
Breca Garnacha de Aragon, Calatayud, 2015
Triton Tinto de Toro, 2016
Rio Madre Graciano, Rioja, 2016
Sierra Cantabria Crianza, Rioja, 2015
Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica, Rioja, 2014
Muga Reserva, Rioja, 2014
Vatan Tinta de Toro, 2015
Breca Brega, Calatayud, 2015
San Vicente Cosecha, Rijoa, 2014

This Jorge Ordonez Spanish Tasting will cost $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, January 14 at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Françaiseis 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 Victor Ordonez:
Son of legendary Spanish wine importer Jorge Ordóñez, Victor Ordóñez is one of the third generation in his family’s wine business, which started when his grandfather Jose María started selling bottles of gran reserva Rioja out of a milk crate strapped to a bicycle to the hotels of Málaga, Spain. Victor grew up immersed in the wine business and Spanish culture. A bottle of wine was on the family dinner table every night, and Victor was frequently ready to shake the hand of an important customer who was at his father’s home office tasting wine when he came home from school. After studying Viticulture & Enology and Business and competing on the lightweight rowing team at Cornell University, Victor jumped head first into the family business, and is now managing national sales and distribution for Jorge Ordóñez Selections. Although his current focus is on the sales and marketing end of the wine business, his true passion lies in winemaking, and since he was sixteen has worked five harvests in Málaga, Rueda, Toro, and Valdeorras. In the little time when he is not working he enjoys cooking, training, and spending time with his friends & family.