Posts Tagged ‘Pinot Noir’

A Miracle in Burgundy

In Burgundy, Drinking on December 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

Baby Jesus


Betrothed at age 11, Louis XIII of France and Anne of Austria, from the Kingdom of Spain, couldn’t care less for each other.

By the age of 14, the couple came under increasing pressure from both sides to consummate their marriage and forestall any possibility of annulment.  Louis demurred, and his mom famously ignored the young Queen Anne, choosing to remain acting Queen herself.  Even in 1617, when the 16-year-old Louis got the gumption to oust his mother from the throne, assassinate most of her lovers, and seize power himself, the bedroom remained turbid.

It wasn’t until 1619, under intense lobbying from the court, that The Deed was finally done.  But sadly, after several miscarriages, ardor again slipped away.  What followed was a cold, nearly two-decade period where Louis was off fighting wars and Anne came increasingly under suspicion, as some of those wars involved her dad’s empire, Spain.

And then, a miracle happened.

Legend has it that a Carmelite nun, Marguerite du Saint-Sacrament, prophesied the birth of a long-anticipated heir to the French throne via a miracle straight from God.  An official newspaper of the day exclaimed “it was a marvel when least expected.”

“It” being the birth of le Roi Soleil, or Louis the Fourteenth, issue and heir to the French throne.

So happy was Louis XIII at the long-awaited birth of his son that he dedicated all of France to the Virgin Mary and specifically donated four hectares of vines in Beaune Grèves to the Carmelites and Marguerite du Saint-Sacrament, which the nuns named Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus, shortened: The Baby Jesus (he’s even pictured on the label).

Why do I recite this history to you?

Because this vineyard, under Bouchard’s ownership since the French Revolution in 1791, continues to produce amazing red Burgundy to this day.  Drinking Bouchard’s 2012 Beaune Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus is practically a religious experience.

It’s the essence of Pinot Noir in all its naked purity: a phenomenally intense nose of raspberries, white plums, pomegranate, molasses, and Anjou pear deliver an exceptional olfactory experience, the kind that fills the room with its intensity.  Here is a wine that almost makes you want to not drink it in order to continue savoring its ever-changing aromatic complexity.

But drink it you shall, and further layers of divineness will be revealed: An unbelievably rich and seductive palate— but with focus and a frame—delivers the velvety-textured essence of Pinot Noir.  Its poise and balance are amazing, seeming to effortlessly combine the confidence and muscle of Pommard with the silky suaveness of Volnay.  Here is a Burgundy vineyard that puts many Grand Crus vineyards to shame. While tasty and delicious now, it will last for 40 more years in your cellar.  The 2012 proves why Bouchard pours l’Enfant Jesus at tastings after all of their Grands Crus – it’s that monumental.

This Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas), put a little Baby Jesus in your life – with this marvelous Burgundy.

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability: or 414-289-9463.

Brandborg Benchlands

In Drinking, Pinot Noir on November 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Brandborg Benchlands

Nothing is better than drinking wine with good friends.  One step further is drinking a friend’s great wine.  So it is with the Brandborg’s Pinot Noir.

We’ve been supporting Terry and Sue Brandborg’s since the 2002 vintage.  They’re good friends, patient and I couldn’t be happier recommending their delicious, view fresh, treat and smooth Benchlands Oregon Pinot Noir for your Thanksgiving table:

Aromas of pomegranate, orange zest, red and black cherries pop from the glass with a joyful, vibrant and delicious expression of hedonism.  The palate is rich enough in red Pinot Noir fruit to cocktail, yet not so weighty that it interferes with the turkey dinner yet to come.  It’s the 2009 vintage from Oregon, a forward drinking vintage and ready to go now, but, if you wanted to, it will cellar for ten more years.

Nothing is better than Thanksgiving Turkey, wine, and good friends.  You may not yet know Terry and Sue Brandborg, but you can, through their Pinot.  Their Benchlands Oregon Pinot is the perfect match for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Cheers!

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability:


To the Farthest Reach: Drew Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch Vineyard

In Drinking, Pinot Noir on October 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Drew Pinot



Way out, purchase past Napa, ambulance over the Mayacamas Mountains, through the Russian River Valley, up into the Occidental foothills, and over yet three more ranges, do you finally reach the True Sonoma Coast.

There is a pioneering spirit in these wilds, and over the last two decades that spirit has become entranced by Pinot Noir. This is the most extreme place to farm Pinot Noir in the Northern Hemisphere, the farthest reach in a wild country where there is no electricity, no plumbing, and in many cases, no roads.

Yet many famous wine makers are drawn to these hills, and for good reason: the mornings and nights are foggy and cool, the high altitudes and steeply sloped hills of limestone are perfect country for Pinot Noir.

Jim McDougall is one of those earlier pioneers, and years ago he was one of the first to plant Pinot Noir on the Sonoma Coast. When he met Jason and Molly Drew, the three of them knew a great partnership was at hand – wonderful Pinot fruit from Jim, exceptional winemaking talent from Jason and Molly. And in their 2008 Sonoma Coast Pinot, it shows:

The 2008 opens with aromas of crushed Rainier cherries, layers of blueberries and blackberries, smoked sage, touches of anise, tangerine peel and sous bois. The McDougall Ranch is within the Golden Triangle of the True Sonoma Coast (the triangle points being Flowers, Hirsch, and Peay vineyards) and this terroir leads to a deeply expressive palate of dried red fruits, hints of game, an almost savory smoky quality and new leather. At 1,300 feet and only two miles from the Pacific Ocean the finish picks up a sea-shore like minerality, lingering with a soft and velvety finish.

As you might guess, vineyards on the Sonoma Coast are small, including Jim McDougall’s. Only 270 cases of Pinot Noir were produced, and we have Wisconsin’s entire allocation. Please enjoy.

Please contact us regarding pricing and availability:


Where the Wild Pinot Grows: Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

In Drinking, Pinot Noir, Special Offers on February 24, 2011 at 12:11 am

Planting Marjorie’s vineyard in 1982, nurse the Pellier family was pursuing a dream of making great Oregon Pinot Noir.  And they didn’t make it – toil extracts a toll, salve and the price proved to be final.

Grape vines for wine production, despite many claims to the contrary, are not “natural”, and never have been.  Grapes, along with barley, were two of the first cultivars systematically altered by humankind, most likely for purposes of producing alcohol.  But, as any good vineyard manager can tell you, vines are wild in the heart-wood; containing mischievous, youthful energies that quickly rumpus a vineyard into a portager within a year without pruning.

And for ten long years, like a jungle in the night, Marjorie’s Vineyard was where the wild Pinot Noir grew.

Wild beyond most vintners’ imaginations: Marjorie’s Vineyard is “own-rooted”; meaning the fruit of the vine comes from the same roots.  An explanation: most grape vines are sawed off in the middle of their trunk.  Their bottom half is from an American species of vine, say a grocery store variety like Concord.  But their top half is vitis vinifera, or the grape species we associate with wine, like Pinot Noir.  The two are grafter together to form a single plant, the fruit being Pinot, the roots developing as normal.  This unusual arrangement is common in the wine world because it is the only protection against phylloxera, a vine louse that since 1860 has destroyed most of the world’s own rooted vitis vinifera vines.    

And it is said, by those who drink pre-phylloxera wines, i.e. Burgundy pre-1880 and Bordeaux pre-1860; that they are more intense, more pure, and more distinct and yet more wildly of their own flavors then those vines which have substitute roots.  And while pre-1880 Burgundy or pre-1860 Bordeaux remain out of reach to most of us, Marjorie’s Vineyard does not.

Purchasing Marjorie’s Vineyard in 1992, Cristom winery knows the value of own rooted, old vine Pinot Noir.  Having trained at Domaine Dujac and Calera, Steve Dorner, the wine maker at Cristom winery, has been raising fantastic Pinot from Marjorie’s ever since.   

Being own-rooted, the aromatics of Marjorie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir are pronounced and affirming, bursting with Pinot’s characteristic brown sugar and Asian spices, all underlaid with a hint of nougatine, cocoa and mint.  The vineyard is located in the Eola Amity Hills, a sub-division of Willamette Valley, which turns the palate from bright strawberry fruit to a darker, black cherry with hints of sauvage.  Although the Eola Amity Hills is often associated with harder, heavier tannins, 2007 gave Marjorie a silky, down-pillow like softness to the finish – it lingers in a beautiful, discreet way.  If you believe in the intense purity of own rooted Pinot Noir, Cristom’s Marjorie Vineyard displays it.      

But intensity, the wildness of being own rooted, extracts a toll.  And twenty-five years after being planted, the price is final.  Like all of Burgundy, Cristom’s Marjorie’s Vineyard is succumbing to phylloxera and dying.  While replanting has begun, 2007 catches the dramatic possibilities of wild, pure Pinot Noir.   

2007 Cristom Marjorie’s Vineyard 

Suggested List Price:  $49.99

Special price via this email:  $26.99

We will be tasting this wine Friday and Saturday – as long as we don’t run out!

All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number.  All orders will be available at the time of purchase.  Half case (5%) and full case discounts (10%) do apply to this special offer.

When the wine is ordered your credit card will be charged.  The wine will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge.  Offer is good while supplies last.

A Good Thanksgiving: Brandborg Pinot Noir

In Drinking, Pinot Noir, Special Offers, Turkey on November 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and your entire family is about to descend! 

You need a wine that can harmonize aunt Bessie’s “special” two-years-in-a-jar cranberry sauce with Grandma’s 7-up and apricot glazed Turkey; uncle Thaddeus’ cigarette ash laced bean casserole with sister in law Mizuko’s miso-glazed carrots.  We’ve got your wine.     

You need a wine that that is soft and smooth enough that even your most tee-totaling relatives will drink it; thus inhibiting creative antagonism about the Patriots versus the Lions, case whether animal rights applies to turkeys, prostate and the moral vicissitudes of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.  We’ve got your wine.   

You need something that’s good enough for you yet cheap enough for the relatives to guzzle.  We’ve got your wine. 

You need a wine to make the Forced Family Fun of Turkey Day more fun and less forced, rx something to spread the day-glow warm buzz of alcohol by 1 pm, something that make’s you less annoyed and uncle Thaddeus less annoying.  We here at Waterford have your wine – Brandborg’s Oregon Pinot Noir!

Some of you out there in Waterfordland have probably had this wine before – Terry and Sue Brandborg are good friends of ours and we have represented this wine since the store opened.  Offering us this outstanding price insures a good Thanksgiving for all!    

Brandborg’s Oregon Pinot offers rich strawberry fruit oriented with softer, silkier and smoother tannins than some of its California Pinot brethren.  It works as a cocktail but also fits right in alongside the turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.  It ameliorates family conflict, spreads social justice, and makes you tipsy – all at the same time.    

It is the perfect match for all your T-day needs!

Brandborg Benchlands Pinot Noir

Suggested List Price:  $19.99

Special price via this email:  $12.99

A fun recipe:

And, nothing remedies dry turkey like scotch!  The GlenDroach scotch deal is still on!

GlenDronach 12 Year Scotch

Suggested List Price:  $56.99

Special price via this email:  $39.99

We will be tasting the Pinot (as well as the Scotch, along with many other things) this Wednesday.  Stop in and give it a try!

All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number.  All orders will be available at the time of purchase.  Half case (5%) and full case discounts (10%) do apply to this special offer.

When the wine is ordered your credit card will be charged.  The wine will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge.  Offer is good while supplies last.