Domaine FONTAINE GAGNARD 2013 Class & Tasting

Domaine Fontaine Gagnard is among my favorite white wine specialists in Burgundy. Based in Chassagne Montrachet, the Domaine was founded in 1985 after the wedding of French Air Force officer Richard Fontaine to Laurence Gagnard (daughter of long-time Chassagne vignerons Jacques and Marie-Joseph Gagnard), the Domaine is now run (since 2011) by their daughter Celine who has worked with her father since 2007. There is a passion for the terroir of Chassagne in its many expressions that runs back through the generation in this domaine. With the respectful winemaking of a family that gets “place,” each wine reflects the specificity of its place. Farming is by organic principles and winemaking features indigenous yeast fermentations.
On Monday, October 9th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for this tasting of Fontaine Gagnard’s 2013s. We’ll taste through all twelve available crus including one red and eleven whites with special attention paid to the specificity of place and process of each wine.

The line up:
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Caillerets 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Clos Saint Jean 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru La Boudriotte 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru La Grande Montagne 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Les Vergers 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Morgeot 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Chenevottes 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru La Romanée 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Batard Montrachet 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Le Montrachet 2013
Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Rouge 2013

Domaine Fontaine Gagnard 2013 will cost $120.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $126.32 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, October 9, 2017 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.

With 40 years experience in the wine business 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.

Taste Domaine de la POUSSE d’OR 2014

Taste Domaine de la POUSSE d’OR 2014

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or has long been among my favorites of Burgundy. I first tasted two of the Volnays in the early 1980s and got to know the range of wines better tasting some with Becky Wasserman (who was then their broker) in 1986. I’ve been tasting at the domaine for the last fifteen years. Over all that time, I have watched the domaine grow from a Volnay specialist with some Santenay and Pommard to include vines on the hill of Corton (1999), in Puligny Montrachet (2004), and Chambolle and Morey (2008). At this time Spec’s is able to purchase thirteen wines (one village appellation, nine 1er crus, and three grand crus) from the estate, all of which are consistently excellent. (There are four wines we don’t get – yet.)  On Monday, June 5th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a Tasting of Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2014. We’ll taste through all thirteen available Pousse d’Or crus from the fine 2014 vintage including twelve reds and one white with special attention paid to the specificity of place and process of each wine.

The line up:
Pousse d’Or Santenay 1er Cru Clos Tavannes 2014
Pousse d’Or Volnay 1er Cru en Caillerets 2014
Pousse d’Or Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la 60 Ouvrees 2014
Pousse d’Or Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Bousse d’Or 2014
Pousse d’Or Pommard 1er Cru Jarollieres 2014
Pousse d’Or Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru 2014
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny Villages 2014
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru les Feusselottes 2014
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru les Charmes 2014
Pousse d’Or Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru les Amoureuses 2014
Pousse d’Or Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2014
Pousse d’Or Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014
Pousse d’Or Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clos le Caillerets 2014

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2014 will cost $140.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $147.37 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, June 5, 2017 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.

With almost 40 years experience in the wine business 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.

The State of Zin: America’s Wine

7pm   Monday December 5th at
The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

ridgelyttonPlease join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for The State of Zin. We’ll dig into Zinfandel and look at 14 Zin-based wines, mostly from Sonoma County – the spiritual home of Zinfandel – that represent the best of what is in the market (2013s and 2014s). We’ll talk about Zin and blends, the terroirs and techniques used to make it, and the food we eat with it. The class will include bread and a selection of fine cheeses to accompany the tasting.

The List:
Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2014
Dry Creek Old Vines Zinfandel 2014
Hartford Zinfandel Russian River 2012
Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel 2013
Ravenswood Belloni Zinfandel 2013
Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2013
Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel 2013
Rock Wall Reserve Zinfandel Monte Rosso 2013
Ridge Vineyards pagani Zinfandel 2014
Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Zinfandel 2014
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2014
Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard 2014
Seghesio Home Ranch 2013
Martinelli Guiseppe & Luisa Zinfandel 2013

The State of Zin will cost $70.00 per person cash ($73.68 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, December 5th 2016 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it 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 35 years in the wine business and 30 plus years experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is one of Texas’ top wine authorities as well as the state’s most experienced wine educator.

More Classes Coming Soon:
12/12/16 Port
01/09/17 Pulling the Cork: What you need to know to more fully enjoy wine.
01/18/17 2014 Bordeaux at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice (Houston)
01/19/17 2014 Bordeaux at the Trinity Groves (Dallas)

REVEALING RIESLING

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton on Tuesday, September 1st at 7pm for REVEALING RIESLING. We’ll dig in with fourteen refreshing Riesling wines mostly from Germany – the spiritual home of Riesling – that represent a range of the non-dessert wine styles. We’ll talk about the Riesling grape, the places it grows, the techniques used to make it, and the food we eat with it. All the wines we’ll taste are intended for the table. While there will be plenty of fruit and some sweetness, these are food friendly wines to be drunk either as aperitifs or with food. The class will include bread and a selection of fine cheeses to accompany the tasting.

The List:
Villa Wolf Riesling QbA, Pfalz, 2013
Schloss Vollrads Riesling QbA, Rheingau, 2013
Donnhoff Estate Riesling, Nahe, 2014
Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Reisling Kabinett, Rheinhessia, 2013
Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2013
Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2014
Dr. Pauly Bernkastler alte Badstube am Doctorberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2013
Dr. Thanisch Bernkastler Doctor Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, 2012
Dr. Pauly Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel, 2013
Leitz Rudesheimer Magdalenekreuz Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau 2014
Peter Nicolay Erdener Treppchen Feinherb, Mosel, 2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle – Dr. Loosen “Eroica” Riesling, Columbia Valley, 2013
Von Kesselstatt Josephshofer Grosse Gewachs, Mosel, 2011
Ehrhart Riesling Grand Cru Hengst, Alsace, 2010

Revealing Riesling will cost $60.00 per person cash ($63.16 regular).
The class will meet at 7pm on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at l’Alliance Française.
To reserve your spot, 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).

BORDEAUX By The NUMBERS

FIVE CHATEAUX – THREE VINTAGES – FIFTEEN GLASSES – ONE GOOD TIME

On Monday, August 24th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for BORDEAUX by the NUMBERS, a unique Bordeaux tasting featuring three-vintage verticals from five of my favorite chateaux: Cantemerle, Cantenac Brown, Gruaud Larose, Grand Puy Lacoste, and Calon Segur. In a virtual south-to-north tour of classified chateaux of the Haut Medoc, we’ll taste the 2010, 2011, and 2012 vintages from each of these properties. Each chateau represents its appellation with great quality at fair, un-hyped pricing. These are the sort of wines that make me love Bordeaux.

Why? Because I am intrigued to taste these wines as verticals. It will be fun and informative. The cost of this unique tasting will be $100.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $105.26 regular. The course will meet at 7pm on Monday August 24, 2015. To reserve your spot, 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).

The STATE of ZIN at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton on Monday, August 10th, at 7pm for The State of Zin. We’ll dig into Zinfandel and look at a lucky 13 Zin-based wines from Sonoma County – the spiritual home of Zinfandel – that represent the best of what is in the market (mostly 2012s with a few 2013s). We’ll talk about Zin and blends, the terroirs and techniques used to make it, and the food we eat with it. The class will include bread and a selection of fine cheeses to accompany the tasting.

The List:
Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2013
Dry Creek Zinfandel Heritage Clone 2012
Shannon Ridge High Valley Zinfandel 2012
Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Zinfandel 2012
Dry Creek Old Vines Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel 2013
Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2012
Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards Geyserville 2013
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2012
Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2012
Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2012

The State of Zin will cost $60.00 per person cash ($63.16 regular). .
The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 10, 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, 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).

Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2010

On Monday, May 11th at 7pm, please join me (Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton) at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for a Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2010. Considered by many to be the best of the three great vintages of the 2000s, 2010 in any case belongs in the discussion. Discussion will include details of the vintage and how the wines are developing. We’ll taste through 12 excellent red wines (including the “2nd wines” of two first growths), all from 2010 vintage.

The line up:
Ch. Ampelia, Cotes de Bordeaux  Castillon, 2010
Dom de l’Eglise, Pomerol, 2010
Gravette de Certan, Pomerol, 2010
Ch. Trottevieille, St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé,  2010
Le Clarence de Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan, 2010
Ch. Pontoise Cabarrus, Haut Medoc, 2010
Ch. Cantenac Brown, Margaux, 2010
Pavillon Rouge du Ch. Margaux, Margaux, 2010
Ch. Gruaud Larose, St. Julien, 2010
Ch. Batailley, Pauillac, 2010
Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac, 2010
Ch. Calon Segur, St. Estephe, 2010

This Vintage Focus on Bordeaux 2010 will cost $120.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $126.32 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, May 11, 2015 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, 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).