Jane Ferrari of Yalumba Talk and Tasting honoring our friend Traci Hahn and benefitting The Rose

On Thursday, October 24th at 7pm, please join me in welcoming our always entertaining and ever informative friend Jane Ferrari, traveling winemaker of Yalumba, to l’Alliance Française for a talk and tasting of Yalumba’s wines.
The ever-popular Ms. Ferrari, who is a native of Australia’s Barossa Valley, will talk about where the wines come from and how they are made as well as the history and traditions of both Yalumba and the Barossa Valley. Jane Ferrari is a trained winemaker (educated at Australia’s esteemed Roseworthy College) who gets her hands dirty both in the vineyards and the wineries in Barossa but also travels the world telling the Yalumba story. She is down-to-earth and very entertaining in a way that must be experienced. Jane first visited Houston in October of 2003 and utterly charmed a group of over 60 wine fans. She has been back almost every year since and has wowed us all each time. In addition to information about wine, you may hear about Australian and American culture (or lack thereof), Baseball, Elvis, and other tangentially related topics. All proceeds will benefit the The Rose in honor of Traci Hahn (please see below).

We will taste:
Jansz Brut Rosé, Tasmania, NV
Yalumba Y-Series Chardonnay
Yalumba Y-Series Viognier
Yalumba Samuel’s Garden Eden Valley Viognier
Yalumba Y-Series Shiraz
Yalumba Samuel’s Garden Shiraz
Yalumba Samuel’s Garden Old Bush Vine Grenache
Yalumba Samuel’s Garden The Strapper
Yalumba Samuel’s Garden The Scribbler
Yalumba The Cigar
Yalumba The Signature
Yalumba Aged Tawny 21-Year Old NV

Admission to this talk and tasting is a $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.10 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Thursday, October 24th. To purchase your ticket for this class, please contact Susan Coburn 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.

TRACI HAHN is a friend of the Wine School at l’Alliance Française (and a friend of mine), and inspiration, the spouse of the ever-ebullient Suzan Pickels, a breast cancer survivor, and a supporter of The Rose. If you have attended many of the Wine School classes, you likely have seen Traci rolling her eyes as Suzan asks another question. I love ‘em both.

About THE ROSE ( from TheRose.org):
“Fueled by frustration and driven by passion, the lives of Dorothy Weston Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo have been filled with firsts. Dorothy established the first PR department at Bayshore Medical Center where she first met Dr. Dixie, one of the first female surgeons to graduate from UTMB. With camera in hand, Dorothy began to chronicle the startling number of women with late-stage breast cancer coming to see Dr. Dixie. Frustrated that breast cancer awareness and access to care was sorely lacking, the two women started their quest to educate. Soon they established The Rose, the first nonprofit breast cancer organization based on the insured covering the costs of the uninsured. The Rose has been in operation since 1986.
Long before Pink Ribbons covered the landscape, Dorothy and Dr. Dixie’s passionate advocacy established The Rose as an acclaimed model of breast health care. From mammograms to biopsies to treatment, The Rose excels in advanced digital imaging, mobile mammography, patient navigation, and medical excellence. Other firsts include establishing the Physicians Network, setting up the nationally acclaimed Empower Her® Sponsorship Program offering women navigation to screening, diagnosis, and treatment, and creation of the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas.
The Co-Founders’ determination to ensure that all women are heard and that all women have quality care is rooted in their own humble beginnings and cemented by the numerous encounters with patients through the years. Reminded almost daily that access to care in Texas is still not guaranteed, that women still must make their way through a medical maze that is both confusing and, at times seemingly insurmountable, they have ensured that The Rose is more than a medical facility, and is, in fact, a caring community.
Since the beginning, The Rose has depended upon community support. Civic groups, foundations, corporations and individuals along with the unwavering commitment of employees, physicians and volunteers all helped to create an organization that has changed the lives of countless women and families.
The Rose reduces deaths from breast cancer by providing access to screening, diagnostics and treatment services to any woman regardless of her ability to pay. The Rose addresses any barrier that might keep a woman from caring for her own needs. Studies show women often put personal needs on hold while tending to the needs of others. Many women cite costs and lack of access as reasons they delay preventive services. Yet early detection mammography screenings are the most powerful weapons in the fight against breast cancer—which is 98% curable when detected early.
Every service offered by The Rose is available to the uninsured through one of many sponsorship programs. In fact, the whole purpose of the Empower Her® Sponsorship Program is to ensure any woman has access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and care. From the initial screening mammogram through diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound and biopsies, as well as access to treatment—all are part of the quality breast health care offered at The Rose.
Same day diagnosis, on-site physicians dedicated to breast health care, advanced digital technology—all this reflects The Rose’s emphasis on quality and excellence. The Rose collaborates with the best medical organizations in Texas and reaches women from Matagorda to Shelby Counties.”

Exploring White Burgundy Class and Tasting With Burgundy Importer David Smith and Bear Dalton

On Monday, Octoberber 7 at 7pm, please join me in welcoming my good friend and Burgundy expert extraordinaire David Smith to The Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tag-team (with me) class and tasting exploring the white wines of Burgundy. We’ll taste representative wines from five domaines from the Cote de Beaune (Pernot Belicard, Fontaine Gagnard, and Vincent Latour), Chablis (Dampt), and the Cote Chalonnaise (Baron Thenard). All of the wines are imported by David Smith. The lovely Miss Carol (aka the Missus) doesn’t generally like Chardonnay but she loves white Burgundy. Come find out why.

The line-up includes:
Pernot Belicard Bourgogne Blanc 2016
Pernot Belicard Pulginy Montrachet 2016
Pernot Belicard Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet 2016
Dampt Chablis 2017
Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Cote de Lechet
Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Rouchaume
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 2015
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagnie Montrachet 1er Cru Boudriottes 2015
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St Jean 2015
Baron Thenard Givry Cellier des Moines 1er cru 2015
Vincent Latour Bourgogne Chardonnay 2016
Vincent Latour Meursault Pellans 2015
Vincent Latour Meursault 1er Cru Goutte D’Or 2015

This Exploring White Burgundy Class and Tasting will cost $50.00 per person (cash or check) or $52.63 regular. The class meets on Monday October 7th at 7pm at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your tickets, 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.


UPCOMING WINE EVENTS
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.

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.

Adelsheim Tasting

On Monday July 8th at 7pm, please join me in welcoming Willamette Valley pioneer David Adelsheim (please “about David Adelsheim” below) to the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of ten of his wines. David will present his wines as he delves into the history of both Adelsheim and the Willamette Valley. He has seen and done it all in the Willamette Valley and is here to tell the tale.

The Wines:
Adelsheim Pinot Noir Rose 2018
Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2016
Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2017
Adelsheim Stacking Claim Chardonnay 2015
Adelsheim Ribbon Springs Chardonnay 2016
Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
Adelsheim Breaking Ground Pinot Noir 2015
Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2014
Adelsheim Ribbon Springs Vineyard  Pinot Noir 2016
Adelsheim Boulder Bluff Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

This Adelsheim Tasting will cost $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday July 8th 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 David Adelsheim:
David Adelsheim is the director of Adelsheim Vineyard, which he founded with Ginny Adelsheim in 1971. In the course of his company’s 48-year history, he has been the vineyard manager, winemaker, and the person in charge of sales, marketing, accounting, and fixing broken plumbing. His early winemaking experience included work at the experimental winery of the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, France, and at The Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon.
“In the beginning, in the 1970s, we needed to focus on learning to make consistently decent wine. As the Willamette Valley was able to draw on more training and expertise in the 80s and 90s, producing world-class Pinots became the goal. Now, our conversations are all about the distinctions of place – what should a great Pinot from this particular vineyard taste like?”

Revealing Rosé – 18 for ’18

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton on Monday, June 24th at 7pm for Revealing Rosé. We’ll beat the heat as we dig into dry Rosé with look at eighteen (I know, I have a hard time editing myself) refreshing 2018 vintage Rosé wines from all over France from Bordeaux to the Languedoc to Provence to the Rhone representing the range of styles from “Beach” to “Food Friendly.” We’ll talk about the grapes, the places they’re grown, how they’re made, and the foods we eat with them. Due to factors including currency rates and production, French Rosé represents an even better value this year. Bread and a selection of fine cheeses will accompany the tasting.

The List:
Ch La Sable Rose, Luberon, 2018
Pierre Rougon Rose, Cote Du Rhone, 2018
Chemin De Provence Rose, Provence, 2018
Cuvee Des 3 Messes Basses Rose, Ventoux, 2018
Pierre Rougon Rose, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, 2018
Pins Des Dunes Rose, Bordeaux, 2018
Versant Rose, Pays d’Oc, 2018
Brumont Rose, Gascogne, 2018
Mourgues Du Gres Rose Les Galets, Costieres de Nimes, 2018
Domaine de Cabasse Rose de Marie, Cotes du Rhone, 2018
The Palm Rose By Whispering Angel, Provence, 2018
Pink Pegau Rose, Vin de France, 2018
Fleurs de Prairie Rose, Provence, 2018
Ch d’Esclans Whispering Angel, Provence Rose,   2018
Canto Perdrix, Tavel Rose, 2018
Domaine De Mourchon Loubie, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rose, 2018
Hecht & Bannier Rose, Cotes De Provence, 2018
Montmirail Rossignol Rose, Gigondas, 2018

Revealing Roséwill cost $50.00 per person cash ($52.63 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, June 24th at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket(s), please contact Susan at 713-854-7855or 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.

With over 40 years experience in the wine business and 30-plus years experience teaching and writing 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.

Donald Patz Wine Tasting

On Thursday May 23rd at 7pm, please join me in welcoming my friend Donald Patz (formerly a partner in Patz and Hall and now proprietor of the Donald Patz Wine Group which includes Maritana, Secret Door, and Terminum – please see About Donald Patz below for more information) to the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a tasting of nine of Donald’s wines. Donald will present his wines as he explains the selections made and vineyard relationships he has built in order to produce them. He will also get into the origins and philosophies behind each of the three brands.

The line-up includes:
Maritana La Riviere Chardonnay 2017
Maritana Dutton Ranch Shop Block 1967 2017
Maritana Dutton Ranch Hansen Hill Vineyards 2017
Maritana La Russe Pinot Noir = 2 btls supported by DPWG 2017
Maritana Jenkins Ranch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2018
Secret Door 1x 2014
Secret Door 1Z 2014
Terminum  Cepages d’Or  2017
Terminum  Syrah 2017

This Donald Patz Tasting will cost $40.00 per person (cash or check) or $42.11 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Thursday May 23rd 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., 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 Donald Patz:
Donald Patz began his wine career in 1982 as a wine salesman for a small wine distributor in Oregon. Moving to California in 1983 he set out on a course that led him to become an important member of the wine community and supporter of California wines. In a period of 36 years in the wine business he’s been a marketer, a salesman, a story-teller, and a winemaker, multiple times.

His first job working in Napa Valley was in 1985 at Flora Springs Winery as the director of sales and marketing where he met his future business partner, James Hall. He and James started Patz & Hall in 1988 and while it was still in its infancy Donald worked for Flora Springs and then Girard Winery. In 1995 Patz & Hall became Donald’s permanent full-time gig.

From 1995 until 2016 Donald Patz was involved exclusively with every aspect of the Patz & Hall winery. The Patz & Hall experience concluded with the sale of the company to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2016. Donald remained under contract for another year to support the new ownership and transition the winery.

Donald Patz Wine Group was born May 1, 2017 with the idea of applying everything he had learned from the previous 36 years in the wine business and create something new, exciting and very personal. Each one of the visions Donald has was given a different name and a different mission. SECRET DOOR for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; MARITANA VINEYARDS for Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; and the smallest project is a collaboration with François Villard from the northern Rhone Valley of France called TERMINIM doing Marsanne/Roussanne and Syrah from Mendocino County.

As a current member of the Sonoma Vintners as well as the Russian River Valley Winegrowers in Sonoma County, Donald continues to support the wine community. Previously, he has been a board member for the California Wine Institute and Family Winemakers of California. He lives in the City of Napa and spends a great deal of time in both Sonoma and Napa looking at vineyards. His Korean wife – Jung Min Lee – is the inspiration for the SECRET DOOR WINERY – preferring Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. He and Jung Min visit the Hawaiian Islands frequently and have many friends scattered all over the world.