NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) – This month, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, the family-owned and operated Joseph Drouhin estate based on U.S. soil, kicked off its celebration of 30 years of success in the Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills. Now run by the family’s fourth-generation, each of the four siblings play a large role in the success of the historic brand. The eldest, Philippe Drouhin, tends to the viticulture and sustainability of the vines, Véronique Drouhin-Boss, the winemaker and guiding palate of the estate, continues to surprise and delight with exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, Laurent Drouhin leads the marketing initiative in the U.S. as the face of the brand, and Frédéric Drouhin oversees all operations as President. Together, they complete a perfect unity utilizing centuries-old Burgundian winemaking traditions in Oregon.
“I remember it like it was yesterday, walking with my father, Robert Drouhin, 30 years ago through the plot of land that was to become DDO,” said Véronique Drouhin-Boss during a series of kick-off events at the estate. “There was nothing there yet, of course, just trees and an incredible view. Most people probably could not see a vineyard within that land but we both just knew. It felt right. With my family, our amazing team, and the support of the community, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring the French soul to the soil of our Oregon estate and it gives me great joy to share our craft with those who have inspired and believed in our vision over the last three decades.”
Joseph Drouhin founded the Burgundy estate in 1880. His son Maurice Drouhin succeeded him in 1917, and his son – and current patriarch of the family – Robert Drouhin, became the third generation to run the business in 1957. It was Robert who first “discovered” Oregon on a visit in 1961. He recognized that it was Oregon (more so than California) that had the soil, latitude, and climate that could unlock the complexities and potential of Pinot and Chardonnay in the US. In 1987, Robert purchased property, and the newly christened Domaine Drouhin Oregon produced its first vintage in 1988 from purchased grapes. The following year they built the landmark, four-story gravity flow winery, producing the first ever vintage on the property in 1989.
“There is a big difference between ‘family-owned’ and ‘family-owned and operated.’ We live in Beaune, we live in Oregon, and we are in the vineyard and at the winery tasting every day. It is our family name on the label so we must be in control of every detail to ensure the wine can bear our name,” added Frédéric Drouhin.
During a series of kick off events, the family opened their estate and cellars with guided vineyard hikes, special tastings of vintages from DDO, Roserock – the latest of the Drouhin family’s adventure located in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills – and Maison Joseph Drouhin. Each night ended with various themed dinners, such as a La Paulée-style “Le BBQ” which featured a blue grass band and multiple large-format free pours. The series also included an extraordinarily special tasting of some of the estate’s very first vintages including a 1989 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Classique (the very first vintage produced at the estate, of which there are only 24 bottles left). Guests also tasted through various vintages – including the first ever vintage – of Chardonnay Arthur (2015, 2012, 2002), Pinot Noir Laurène (2000, 1996, 1992), and Pinot Noir Louise (2007, 2003, 1999) – the three cuvées named for each of Véronique’s three children. Both her son Arthur and daughter Laurène took part in the celebration, adding another dynamic to the intimate affair – commenting wistfully on the wines, how they’ve aged well with time, and how the family has, as well. “When I taste the first vintages of the Arthur, Laurène, and Louise, I am profoundly reminded of the day each of them came into this world,” added Véronique. It was an incredibly moving evening for guests and the family alike.
Events were attended by friends of the family, members of the wine club, the media, importers, distributors, and neighboring estates such as: Eyrie Vineyards, Adelsheim, Ponzi, Casteel and Sokol Blosser families. Forever grateful for the continued community support, the four siblings and their children also performed the “ban bourguignon,” a tradition specific to Burgundy sung in celebratory honor, in this case directed in honor of their father, grandfather, great grandfather, and their esteemed guests.
Philippe Drouhin also led a number of informative vineyard tours throughout the DDO and their new Roserock estates. “After 30 years of observation of our vineyards in Oregon, every year I realize that the level of knowledge of the viticulture in Burgundy is sometimes useful in Oregon. We will spend the next 30 years really getting to know the vines – this estate is young and we are still learning,” he explained.
Robert Drouhin’s vision of an Oregon estate winery that could rival the great vineyards of Burgundy has been realized at DDO. From what began as test plantings of cloned Pinot Noir rootstock now encompasses 52ha (130 acres) planted in the Dundee Hills and 50ha (124 acres) planted in the Eola-Amity Hills. Interspersed with the Pinot Noir vines are 11 acres of Chardonnay, planted at various elevations and, like in Burgundy, planted right alongside rows of Pinot Noir. The densely planted vines are farmed sustainably on L.I.V.E. certified vineyards, and tended to by hand when leaves and fruit are thinned. Harvesting is also done entirely by hand, from the grape selection and picking to press.
“Our father made a very ambitious decision in 1987 to expand our business to Oregon,” said Laurent. “As we honor him and our family legacy, I am reminded of what a big moment this is for our family, and in our overall pursuit of perfection in Joseph Drouhin wines. Every year is a milestone. But the 30th is important because it shows that this is not just a short-term adventure, but that it is one more stone in the Drouhin brand.”
For more information about the estate, visit: http://www.domainedrouhin.com.
ABOUT MAISON JOSEPH DROUHIN
Maison Joseph Drouhin owns 77.7 hectares (192 acres) of vineyards in Burgundy. The vineyards are principally Grand and Premier Cru appellations of the Côte d’Or and Chablis. The family-owned and –run firm was founded in 1880 and produces nearly 90 different appellations, all of them from Burgundy. Since 1987, the family also owns 219 acres in Dundee Hills, known as Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and 229 acres in Eola-Amity Hills, known as Roserock since December 2013.
Los Angeles, CA – Global Spirits US, a privately held, international manufacturer and marketer of wines and spirits, received numerous Gold Medals at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition [LAISC]. Winning products include Odessa V.S.O.P. Brandy, LEAF Organic Vodka Made With Alaskan Glacial Water, and Khortytsa Platinum and Ice Vodkas. Both Odessa V.S.O.P. Brandy and Khortytsa Platinum Vodka won “Best in Category.”
Since introducing a spirits category in 2007, the LAISC has set the standard for judging distilled beverages. An esteemed panel of 20 judges used a blind-tasting method to award medals to the best spirits from around the world. This year’s competition received 392 Spirits entries from 146 producers in 31 different countries.
“This represents a bi-coastal win for us, and follows Gold awards from the NY International Spirits Competition earlier this month,” notes Global Spirits CEO Max Dubossarsky. “Since we introduced the brands here in the US, we’ve consistently captured the gold in numerous competitions.”
Gold winning Khortytsa (commonly referred to as KHOR in the USA) Platinum and Ice Vodkas are produced at Ukraine’s famed Khortytsa Distillery, which is among the world’s best distilleries. The brand is named for Khortytsa Island, which is known as “the heart of Ukraine.” This ancient island’s history dates back thousands of years, to the very roots of civilization. It is considered a sacred place, and is one of the country’s seven wonders.
Built in 2003, the Khortytsa Distillery is among the world’s finest distilleries. It uses a local organic filter containing schungite (a unique natural mineral) which allows it to get as close as possible to the structure of natural water. The filtration process is further enhanced with special birch and alder-tree charcoal and quartz sand.
Gold winner Khortytsa Platinum is the most popular item in the line Khortytsa line and retails for $14.99 per 750-mL. Khortytsa Ice, with a bottle color that changes when chilled, retails for $14.99 per 750-mL.
LEAF Organic Vodkas are sourced from unique waters around the country. The Gold winning variety is made from Alaskan Glacial water, which lends a pure, smooth taste with a hint of sweetness. The water source gives LEAF Vodka its signature taste. (My review March 2017 of LEAF vodkas can be read here.)
With a recommended shelf price of $18.99 for 750-mL—and Certified USDA Organic — LEAF Vodka is well positioned within the dynamic and growing vodka category.
Odessa V.S.O.P. Brandy is produced at Ukraine’s famed Shustov Distillery from spirits distilled from white grape varietals including Rkatsiteli, Aligoté and Pinot varieties. The Rkatsiteli is an ancient pale-skinned grape variety from the Republic of Georgia – one of the oldest (if not the oldest) wine-producing regions on earth. Aligoté is a white grape used to make dry white wines in the Burgundy region of France, but it is also cultivated in many Eastern Europe countries.
Odessa is distilled using the traditional French “Charentais” – or double fractional distillation – in copper pot stills. The heart of the distillate is then carefully selected to be bottled and aged, enhancing the delicate and refined aroma that is the signature of its white grape varietals. The spirit then ages in oak barrels for at least five years.
The resulting brandy is world class. Notes of oriental spices and citrus fruit dominate the first nose, while the second follows with hints of raisins and tones of maturity. The taste carries honey and nutty overtones, while the creamy caramel finish is long and smooth. It’s a brandy to be savored.
Odessa V.S.O.P. Brandy available in 750-mL and 100-mL sizes, the product carries a suggested retail price of $10.99 or $1.99 respectively.
About Global Spirits USA
A Fortune 500 Company in Europe, Global Spirits was established in 2008 and has offices in New York, Moscow and Kiev, employing over 5,000 people. The company’s annual volume exceeds 10 million cases, with distribution in over 80 countries. Global Spirits USA markets and distributes strategic brands including: Khortytsa Vodka (3rd largest selling international vodka brand*), LEAF Organic Vodka, and Odessa V.S.O.P. Brandy.
A few days prior to attending Ian Blackburn’s wineLA Elevating Zinfandel event with my wife Karen, I happened across a video that had been posted on Facebook by ZAP [Zinfandel Advocates and Producers – the organization “dedicated to advancing public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history”] featuring Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood winery and often called “the Godfather of Zinfandel.” Joel really gave a great explanation of why Zinfandel is considered America’s Heritage grape, given that it truly found its greatness here in California versus, for example, Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux and Pinot Noir in Burgundy.
This greatness was evident at Elevating Zinfandel, where more than a dozen of California’s best producers of Zinfandel showed up to La Brea Bakery to pour their wines for a group of very appreciative tasters.
VIP attendees got to start their tasting an hour early as well as getting an opportunity to taste some special wines reserved just for them. [Obligatory note – when a VIP option is available, always go for it!]
The wineries pouring:
Bedrock Wine Co
Robert Biale Vineyards
Carol Shelton Wines
Gamba Vineyards and Winery
J Dusi Wines
Peter Franus Wine Co
Seghesio Family Vineyards
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
There were absolutely no losers here. Every winery on this list was pouring some outstanding Zinfandels. I could easily end this article here by just saying you should go buy wines from any of these producers and you will be happy. But, that would make for a pretty short article. So, let me expand on some wines that really stood out for me.
When people in Southern California think about Zin, especially those of us in Northern LA County, Paso Robles may come to mind more than any other region. At this tasting, Paso was represented by J Dusi. I knew that Janell Dusi would be up to this task, having made wine from her family’s Dante Dusi vineyard for about 10 years now. The Dusi Vineyard is one of my favorites anywhere for Zinfandel [not just Paso], so I was happy when Janell started making a small amount of wine from the family property, later expanding into other varietals as well. The 2014 Dante Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel and the 2014 Escandalosa blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Mourvedre were two of my favorite wines of the evening.
The rest of the wineries were based farther North – in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Since people tend to think of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, I thought it was great that the Zinfandels from these areas were being highlighted. Here are few of our favorites…
Bedrock Wine Co. & Under The Wire – winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson [son of the aforementioned Joel Peterson], along with partner Chris Cottrell, has been making wine since he was 5-years old [although he started out with Pinot just to piss off his dad]. The 2013 Under The Wire Bedrock Vineyard Sparkling Old Vine Zinfandel was stellar, and the two 2015 Heritage [historic vineyards – field blends] wines being poured – the Evangelho [Contra Costa County] and Pagani [Sonoma Valley] were great examples of what I think Morgan does best.
Ian Blackburn’s Beekeeper Cellars has been getting well deserved rave reviews. Based in Dry Creek Valley, my favorite was the 2014 Secret Stones, Madrone Spring Vineyard, Rockpile, Sonoma County. Not surprising – Rockpile is a favorite AVA of ours; more wines from there will appear later in this article.
Another Dry Creek Valley winery, Bella Vineyards, impressed us with their Westphall, Rockpile, Sonoma County 2013.
We first tasted Brown Estate Vineyards Zinfandel several years ago at a restaurant in Las Vegas called Rosemary’s. We ended up ordering a second bottle, it was so good. Sadly, Rosemary’s is gone but Brown Estate is still making great wine in Napa Valley, especially for us the Napa Valley, Chiles Valley District 2015.
Not sure where to begin with Carol Shelton Wines. We were just really impressed with her whole lineup. Based in Santa Rosa, she sources from various places. Nice of her to share a 2014 Carignane [loved that she snuck that one in] along with her Zins. And a big shout out for making a Zin from Southern California’s Cucamonga Valley.
When I first tasted the Zins from Gamba Vineyard and Winery many years ago, they seemed too big, even for me. I’m happy to report that they are doing it right. Luscious lip-smacking wines across the board from this Windsor based winery.
You can’t really talk about Dry Creek Valley, especially Rockpile, without mentioning Mauritson Wines. Clay Mauritson was pouring a few wines – favorite by a nose was the Rockpile Ridge Vineyard.
Ottimino is a new winery to me. Really cool to taste a 2001 Zin from them as well as their current releases. Based in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, the 2014 Ottimino Estate Russian River Valley Zin was great.
Robert Biale Vineyards – an old favorite of ours. I did not make it back to their table after the VIP portion of the event, but the 2009 Black Chicken Zinfandel that winemaker Tres Goetting had poured me at that time was excellent.
Turley Wine Cellars – while many people associate Turley with Paso, and rightfully so, the winery is actually headquartered in Napa Valley. Christina Turley was on hand to pour a few of the winery’s delicious Zins. I’ve made no secret of how much I like this winery. This time, the 2015 Duarte Contra Costa County earned top marks for me.
I apologize for the wineries I missed mentioning. As I said, all of the wineries represented are worthy of your attention.
Big thank you to La Brea Bakery for hosting the event and serving some delicious food.
Thanks to Ian Blackburn and his great staff at wineLA for putting on another great wine tasting. Check out his website and sign up so you don’t miss anything.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
White Plains, NY (PRWEB) – Zachys two-day auction on March 9 & 10 held in conjunction with La Paulée de New York realized $7,884,529 and was 99 percent sold, smashing pre-sale expectations. Held during NYC’s “Burgundy Week,” the auction was the most-attended Zachys auction ever with well over 150 friends, bidders, consignors, and Burgundian winemakers in the room at Le Bernardin Privé. All in all, an astonishing 833 lots of the 1925 on offer realized prices at or above the high estimate. Only 30 of the 1925 lots failed to find a buyer.
The big winner of the auction was Burgundy with the top 26 prices realized in the auction. A 1990 DRC Assortment was the top lot of the auction at $49,000 against a pre-auction estimate of $38,000-$55,000. Next was two magnums of the exceedingly rare 1988 Roumier Bonnes Mares VV, which realized $44,100 against presale estimates of $24,000-36,000. All told, DRC accounted for 16 of the top 25 wines in the auction, proving once again that DRC is the king of the hill at a Zachys auction.
For many collectors, the highlight of the auction was Treasures From the Legendary Collection of Robert Caine, which realized $1,674,820 against a pre-auction estimate of $950,750-$1,448,250, or 16% above the high estimate. 62 lots from the most famous white Burgundy producer, Coche-Dury, realized 28 percent above the high estimate. The two biggest winners in the Coche-Dury section were full 12-bottle cases of 1992 and 1996 Meursault-Perrières, each of which realized $39,200 against pre-auction estimates of $18,000-$28,000.
After the auction, Dr. Caine commented, “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results of the auction last week. Everything about the sale—from the gorgeous catalog and photography to the beautiful venue of Le Bernardin, combined to produce spectacular results. My past consignments have done very well but, in this sale, Zachys exceeded my expectations. I’ve been collecting Burgundy for over 30 years, and Coche-Dury has always been a personal favorite. I am truly delighted that Zachys’ clientele appreciates the rarity and excellence in winemaking represented by this collection, and bid accordingly!”
Jeff Zacharia, President of Zachys, continued the sentiment and said, “It would be impossible to be more excited about the results of our ‘kick off’ auction in New York—especially as we head into the spring season. We look forward to partnering with La Paulée de New York or San Francisco every year, and this year was no exception. Burgundy ruled the week—in our auction as well as in our glasses—and taken in conjunction with our February Hong Kong sale, we’re delighted to report that we’re in the midst of a Burgundy upswing as we head into the heart of the spring season. A special thanks to Rob Caine for entrusting us with such a special collection.”
Please join Zachys at Smith & Wollensky on April 29 for a Bordeaux-Only Auction in Celebration of Burdigala. Email auction [at[ zachys [dot] com to reserve your seat today.
The Top Ten
Lot 1349: twelve bottle (750ML) Assortment Case Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1990
Pre-Sale Estimates: $38,000 – $55,000
Price realized: $49,000
Lot 1534: two magnums (1.5L) of Bonnes Mares Vieilles Vignes Georges Roumier 1988
Pre-Sale Estimates: $24,000 – $36,000
Price realized: $44,100
Lot 1199: three magnums (1.5L) of La Tâche Domaine de la Romanée Conti 2005
Pre-Sale Estimates: $20,000 – $30,000
Price realized: $41,650
Lot 1504: twelve bottles (750ML) of Chambertin Clos de Bèze Armand Rousseau 1993
Pre-Sale Estimates: $24,000 – $36,000
Price realized: $41,650
Lot 1204: one magnum (1.5L) of Romanée Conti Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1999
Pre-Sale Estimates: $22,000 – $32,000
Price realized: $39,200
Lot 1243: three bottles (750ML) of Romanée Conti Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1996
Pre-Sale Estimates: $26,000 – $40,000
Price realized: $39,200
Lot 1332: twelve bottles (750ML) of Meursault Perrières Coche-Dury 1992
Pre-Sale Estimates: $18,000 – $28,000
Price realized: $39,200
Lot 1333: twelve bottles (750ML) of Meursault Perrières Coche-Dury 1996
Pre-Sale Estimates: $18,000 – $28,000
Price realized: $39,200
Lot 1812: right bottles (750ML) of La Tâche Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1990
Pre-Sale Estimates: $22,000 – $34,000
Price realized: $36,750
Lot 979: three bottles (750ML) of Romanée Conti Domaine de la Romanée Conti 2013
Pre-Sale Estimates: $24,000 – $36,000
Price realized: $34,300
Starting March 2017, Les Marchands resumed their acclaimed educational program with WINE WEDNESDAYS and SOMM TASTINGS, designed and created by new Retail Wine Manager Jeremy Bohrer and General Manager and Advanced Sommelier Emily Johnston, respectively.
Weekly, Les Marchands offers WINE WEDNESDAYS, an informal way to taste wines among fellow wine lovers. The early evening wine flight tasting is hosted by Les Marchands Retail Manager Jeremy Bohrer in collaboration with importers and distributors of some of their favorite wines. Each week Les Marchands works with a different distributor or importer in presenting fresh flights of wines. Guests are invited to stop by after work to try something new and have the chance to purchase one of their favorite bottles from the retail store. Bohrer has assembled a starting lineup that includes tastings from Epic Wines with samples from Lebanon, Italy, France and Spain; Vance Erickson Imports specializing in French, Austrian and German wines; The Bradford Wine Group showcasing local Rising Star wines and small artisanal French producers; and WineWise with unique Austrian and German wines.
WINE WEDNESDAYS are scheduled from 4:00-6:00 p.m. and open to the public. Pricing is $15 per guest.
On the third Thursday of each month, Johnston will present SOMM TASTINGS at Les Marchands. The SOMM TASTINGS are guided educational events hosted by Advanced Sommelier Emily Johnston focused on understanding the nuances of a specific wine producing region or a particular grape. The tasting is comprised of flights of three or four wines to highlight classic styles and current trends. This is an opportunity for wine lovers of all experience levels to learn more about wine in the most enjoyable way possible. The first four months of tastings include wines from Austria, the Rhone Valley, a Lesson in Blind Tasting and White Burgundy.
Upcoming dates for SOMM TASTINGS are April 20, May 18 and June 15, 2017, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. The Tastings are open to the public and priced at $25 per guest.
“Tasting wines that speak to a region is not only a key study tool of mine, it can also be a method of transport to another place or time,” states Johnston. “I’m looking forward to getting to know more wine lovers in our community and sharing this experience.”
For further information and to make reservations contact Les Marchands at 805.284.0380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
with Retail Wine Manager Jeremy Bohrer
Vance Erickson Imports
Specializing in French, Austrian and German wines
The Bradford Wine Group
Local wines by Rising Stars and small artisanal French producers
Unique Austrian and German wines
THE SOMM TASTINGS
with Advanced Sommelier Emily Johnston
Syrahs from the Rhone Valley
winding through the Northern and Southern Rhone Valley
to understand the nuances of this complex grape
3 wines $25
How to Blind Taste
curious to know the secrets behind recognizing
a wine from just a glance and a taste?
flight of blind wines $25
White Burgundy Tasting
3 wines $25
WINE WEDNESDAYS WITH JEREMY BOHRER
Every Wednesday from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.; continues indefinitely
SOMM TASTINGS AT LES MARCHANDS WITH EMILY JOHNSTON
April 20, May 18 and June 15, 2017
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
131 Anacapa Street, Ste. B, Santa Barbara, California 93101
At the Corner of Yanonali and Anacapa
For further information and to make reservations contact: 805.284.0380 or email email@example.com
About Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
Awarded the “Wine Bar of the Year” by Imbibe, and one of the 21 Best Wine Bars in the country by Thrillist, Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant is led by a world-class team of certified sommeliers and wine professionals with more than 100 combined years of experience in the wine and hospitality industries. Hailing from some of the most prestigious restaurants and wine retailers from around the country, the Les Marchands team enthusiastically brings their love for and deep knowledge of wine to confidently guide each guest through an outstanding wine experience matching every palate and budget with wines to enjoy in the wine bar or to take home. Product knowledge and personalized service is lived out daily at Les Marchands and is incorporated into every phase of the business from private cellar consultation to custom tasting events to the wildly popular Les Marchands Wine Club. The wines curated by the sommeliers represent quality-conscious producers – imports are Eurocentric, from the most relevant producers in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and beyond. On the domestic side, the focus relies heavily on local Santa Barbara County producers who are shaping and redefining the region. A full bar of handcrafted artisan spirits complements Les Marchands’ extensive wine program with classic stirred cocktails made in the old-school traditional way. These include such favorites as The Vesper, Hanky Panky or the Bijou just to name a few. Chef Weston’s bistro menu showcases seasonally inspired food for supper nightly from 5 pm, weekend brunch from 10am-2 pm and an extensive selection of cheese and charcuterie every afternoon from 2 pm-5 pm.
About Emily Johnston
Emily Johnston’s early training includes interning at Brander Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley followed by wine sales for a small Italian wine import company in Santa Barbara. Thoroughly inspired, Johnston left for Italy to study as a sommelier at ALMA Scuola Internazionale di Cucina’s Wine Academy where she received the highest academic honors in her class and achievement in Italian fluency. She became a Certified Sommelier with the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (AIS) in 2011 while working alongside AIS Master Sommelier, Roberto Jacquemod Pane. Johnston became a Certified Advanced Level Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2016. Before arriving at Les Marchands as General Manager in 2017, Johnston served as Wine Director/Sommelier for the Toscana Restaurant Group overseeing the wine programs at four operations – Toscana, Bar Toscana, S.Y. Kitchen and Nerano for four years. At Les Marchands, she oversees the wine bar’s ever-changing menu of selections, educational programs and retail offerings. In 2015, she was awarded Zagat’s “30 Under 30” award for young talent to be watched in the hospitality industry.
About Jeremy Bohrer
Jeremy Bohrer is a veteran wine and spirits professional with over seventeen years working the vast wine world, including wholesale, retail, restaurant and production endeavors. His early experience as a wine rep for Constantine Wines, led him to California in 2000. He worked as a manager at Bacchus, a small family owned wine shop in Manhattan Beach and was a manager at Trader Joe’s where Bohrer was in charge of overseeing the wine sections of multiple locations and developed “Wine 101,” a course that was used to train company employees throughout California. His other roles include eight years with K&L Wine Merchants as the Burgundy Department liaison. In 2014, Bohrer opened his own small business, Still, a retail space devoted to the art of cocktail craftsmanship. Still sold all things cocktail related, from mixers and bitters, to shakers and vintage barware. The following year Bohrer also opened his own wine bar, Five & ¼, which focused solely on Old World wines France, Spain, Italy, and more unfamiliar regions like Croatia, Slovenia, Georgia and Hungary. As Retail Wine Manager for Les Marchands, Jeremy Bohrer brings his wealth of knowledge and passion for all things wine to the operation.
For further information on Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant visit:
Become a fan of Les Marchands on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LesMarchandsWine
Follow Les Marchands on Twitter: @lesmarchandssb
The first weekend of March seems to be the traditional kick off to the wine country spring reemergence. After all of this rain and wild weather, don’t we need a little Pinot Noir and a taste of future vintages to give us hope that spring and summer are on their way?
World of Pinot Noir returns to the elegant seaside Bacara Resort and Spa in Goleta in a two day festivity of Pinot Noir tastings, lunches, seminars and dinners. There is also a silent auction that benefits local charities and the winemaking program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
Hands down this is the best event and most spectacular venue at which to try an amazing range of Pinot Noirs and other wines like Rosé of Pinot Noirs (rosés are the super trend of 2016-2017) and Pinot Gris. Not only do winemakers flock here from across California and Oregon but Pinot Noir producers around the country make the WOPN pilgrimage.
And Pinot Noir tasting opportunities do not stop at our borders. Meet and try Pinot Noir producers from Burgundy and other parts of France, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and all regions that produce Pinot around the world.
Tickets to the Focus Grand Tasting on Friday, March 3rd and the Grand Tasting on Saturday, March 4th are still available. The lunches and dinners featured throughout the weekend are not only spectacular (Kosta Browne, Hirsch, Anderson Valley, Edna Valley, Burgundy and more) but they are exceptionally well-priced for the quality of the wines and food, much of it prepared by Bacara’s Angel Oak Restaurant and guest chefs like Dustin Valette of Valette’s in Healdsburg.
Go quickly to www.worldofpinotnoir.com and join the celebration. WOPN is a well-oiled event and participants spend the day at one of the most stunning resorts in California enjoying an array of Pinot Noirs found nowhere else.
The same weekend farther north on The Wine Road that encompasses the wine valleys of Dry Creek, Alexander and Russian River centering around the towns of Healdsburg and Sebastopol the 40th Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend kicks off the first of two weekends in March celebrating recent vintages available to taste only by barrel samples. March 3-5 and March 10-12, 2017, are the weekend dates this year.
Even with the expansion to two weekends it remains hard to do this region justice. The wide variety of wineries and the high caliber of wines make Barrel Tasting Weekend in these three wine valleys the best way to judge what many call a spectacular 2016 vintage and be able to buy futures at a discount before they are bottles. In addition, older vintages that are still in barrel will be available to taste as well as current releases. Given the demand for the wines in these areas, buying futures guarantees you can obtain wines that many times sell out upon release.
Be an insider and be educated on what is coming down the pike among the excellent wineries of Dry Creek Valley (known for Zinfandel), Alexander Valley (known for Cabernet Sauvignon) and Russian River Valley (known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and purchase futures to come back and pick up later. While there, don’t forget to pick up wines to drink now.
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The cool breeze off the golf course, highlighted by a setting sun, tickled cocktail-attired guests from the backs of their ankles up to the napes of their necks. Soft conversation paired with Champagne and wine, pens were plucked up to bid on silent auction items and assorted tray passed canapés, a seafood bar on ice and lamb lollipops were eagerly enjoyed by all.
The scene was set.
In 2005 the Joe Ranft/Alumni Scholarship Fund at Cal Arts was first endowed by Nancy and Dave Bossert in memory of their friendship with Ranft, and the talented contributions he made in his lifetime to animation, before losing his life in an automobile accident. In this, the fifth incarnation of the Art and Wine Gala, Ranft, who spent his career as a story artist at Disney, was once again honored by many art-minded former colleagues, friends and guests.
Other charities that were to benefit from the evening included the Santa Clarita Ballet Company, The Canyon Theatre Guild, the Performance-Composition Program, the Santa Clarita Master Chorale, Culinary Arts Department at College of the Canyons and PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach.
Over the past four years the Art & Wine Gala has given over $225,000 in grants and scholarships to the arts in Santa Clarita.
Co-Chairs this year included Dave and Nancy Bossert, Cheri and Don Fleming, Guy LaLarge, Larry Mazzeo, Greg McWilliams, Michael Young, and Howard Green. Once again, Michele Reckon-Golden was the event’s incredible producer.
The evening was generously sponsored by Underwriter’s Laboratories.
Dave Bossert, as our evening’s emcee, opened by thanking all of the people that had contributed to the success of the Art and Wine Gala that evening, and in past years. Then he seemed to take special pleasure in introducing two-time Oscar winner songwriter Richard M. Sherman – famous for his work in “Mary Poppins”, “The Jungle Book” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” – and his wife, Elizabeth, as the honorary co-chairs.
Sherman’s duty as co-chair, and a thrilling surprise to most of the guests, was that he was prepared to perform.
Sherman casually took a seat at the piano bench and began singing Disney tunes such as “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “A Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins, and “I Wanna to Be Like You” from Jungle Book – to which the audience gladly joined in with him singing along each time. Cell phones snapped photos and videos. When he finished his set the audience stood and applauded his talents, so many decades in the making.
What Art-Minded Guests Said
TimBen Boydston: “Dave is an angel, every year he has made the Canyon Theatre Guild a recipient.”
Cheri Fleming: “This is the most elegant and beautiful event in the Westridge and Santa Clarita areas. TPC is an amazing jewel in our community. Here we celebrate friends, wonderful food, amazing wine and the arts. Couldn’t make a more perfect night. I would just like to thank the artist that painted the full moon for us too.”
Don Fleming: “None of this would be possible without Dave Bossert, Cal Arts and the relationship with Disney – all of which is a treasure in our community.”
Greg McWilliams: “Dave Bossert puts on the greatest, most elegant event in the Santa Clarita Valley – and not a single dollar goes to administrations fees.”
Vanessa Wilk: “This is one of our favorite events. To support the arts is a great cause, and with wonderful food and wine. Chef Otto and Guy Lelarge deliver a one-two punch when it comes to pairing a phenomenal experience.”
Guy Lelarge: “In past years I provided wine from Spain and France, this year, except for the Champagne, everything is from California!”
Katherine Lauffer: “To see a bunch of grown ups singing Disney songs was priceless.”
Jennifer Haberer: “I loved the panoramic view during the reception. The weather – perfect and the ladies – elegant.”
Larry Mazzeo: “I’ve been a co-chair for every year of this event that benefits our arts community – specifically Cal Arts. All of the organizations are well-deserving of the support we give them,” And then Mazzeo joked, “Plus, the food and wine aren’t that bad either!”
Darlene Gandara: “It’s a first class event. Best food, best wine and the best creative minds. It’s awesome to be ‘in’ the arts and that’s where our money goes. It’s not just food and wine, it’s a specific donation to the arts.”
Robert Gandara: “Three words: Beautiful, wonderful and honored. Honored to be supporting the arts.”
Among the many wine and art pieces paired together in lots for auction included hand sculpted pottery, limited edition chiarographs, cult Napa Cabernets and Chardonnays, Sonoma Pinot Noirs, rare photos, limited edition Beatles memorabilia, Spanish wines, signed original works, hand thrown wine glasses, vintage Charlie Brown signed and numbered screen prints, magnums, original framed paintings, rounds of golf, photographs, Champagnes, White Burgundies, Rhone varietals, Bordeaux, Sauternes, numbered Disney limited edition prints, diamond jewelry, hand embellished canvas prints, Dining with Roy P. Disney and…your very own theme music donated and composed.
Meeting Three-Time Scholarship Winner Julianne Lajac
I was seated next to Julianne Lajac, now in her third year of her masters program at Cal Arts with the help from the Art and Wine Gala. For tonight she had donated a piece of art that she had created in her advanced scenic painting class, as the “Big Head Project”. It was a piece that everyone noticed as they entered TPC that evening, for its size (4’ by 6’), its subject (“Sorrowing Madonna”) and its utter flawlessness.
I learned that scenic artists are needed for theatre, film television and theme parks. At the moment Julianne was enjoying an inflatable painting class – the kinds of inflatables seen at a Macy’s parade.
(as of press time)
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County, 5th District
Nancy and Dave Bossert
Guy LeLarge and Helen LaPrairie
Tracy and Greg McWilliams
Santa Clarita Ballet Company
COC PAC K-12 Arts Program
CalArts Canyon Theatre Guild
City of Santa Clarita
Cheri and Don Fleming
Santa Clarita Master Chorale
Valencia Wine Company
Artists and Special Thanks
Carla K. Buchanan
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Sheri and Roy P. Disney
Ivy Day Spa
Norma and Gerry Klein
Lasseter Family Winery
Linda Bonita Lynch
Valley Crest Trees
A special thank you to the volunteers as well.
Cruise ship wine tastings are a nice diversion for a day at sea. And since it takes a day just to get to Glacier Bay in Alaska, and I wasn’t going to spend it all in the spa or playing Rummikub with my mother, carving out an hour of me time was not a problem. We enjoyed two wine pairings while on board the Holland America Zaandam; each one a sample of the different wine packages you could order from while on the cruise.
The movement of the boat, or some such excuse, restricted my notes so there are no “Eve Points” in today’s column. But I still had you in mind as I foraged ahead.
Premium Wine Tasting
Led by Cellar Master Rodrigo Geducos in the boat’s posh Pinnacle dining room, we began our escape with Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial, France, NV. (Non Vintage, aka NV, is common for most Champagnes.) Popped open just for us of course, I watched as the little bubbles danced into my glass. Notes of honeyed-sugar and green apple in our Champagne paired well with fresh strawberries.
Next came an 04 Lanzerac Chardonnay, South Africa, with a honey color in the glass, fresh oak on the nose, and but I thought it had an unpleasant taste. Geducos paired this with Brie, which helped blow off some of the wine’s aromas, and successfully tuned the pairing.
08 Willamette Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, had a young, fruity nose, dry, no tannins in the taste, and a light finish. Again, the pairing made this wine more remarkable: duck pate.
07 Hedges Red Mountain Blend, Family Vineyards, had a perfect nose and the taste held fully matured fruit, some pepper, tannins, and went well with goat cheese.
The last in this tasting was an 05 Silverado Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, with strong flavors of black pepper, wood and structured tannins. The blue cheese it was paired with, not my favorite Stilton Blue, was stronger than the wine deserved.
The wines I liked the best were the Champagne, the blend and the Cabernet.
“We hope that this selection is just enough to please you,” said Geducos. It was.
Navigator Wine Tasting
I gave you the premium first, opposite of what I’d do at home, where I save the best for last. But, as a dry audience, I thought I’d get your salivary glands activated by reversing the order. I’m confident that these should continue to whet your palate:
Again Cellar Master Geducos aptly led us through:
An 09 Robert Mondavi Riesling, Monterey County was full of banana and honey on the nose, pear flavors and a delightful effervescence that dissolved into a long velvety finish.
08 Danzante Pinot Grigio, Italy had a green floral nose, a high acid mouthfeel, more tang than sweet and quite dry.
09 Laboure Roi Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France that I really wanted to like, but with its unripe cherry nose, and empty taste, I hoped it was just too young and would have benefited with decanting.
05 Errazuriz 100% Merlot, Chile, had a great spicy nose, with jammy black cherry and pepper.
08 Diseno Malbec, Argentina, had a lovely mature fruit – almost a perfect plum – and was good to drink. Ordered for dinner that night too!
In this tasting I loved discovering the Riesling, Merlot and the Malbec.