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Monday, August 1, 2011

Debbie Miller Nelson's Trip to France, Part 5

All of our managers and wine staff travel at least once a year to a wine-growing region somewhere throughout the world. Traveling is one of the many aspects of UWS that sets us apart from other wine shops. We know that by meeting the winemakers, walking the vineyards and tasting new wine from the barrel, we can see first-hand the passion that goes into each bottle. We can then convey this commitment to quality to our customers. Rather than having you just looking at a label and a score, we believe it is our responsibility to bring you closer to how the wine was made and the people who made it. We'll be sharing their trip reports with you here on the Blog.

In June 2011, Debbie Miller Nelson, Wine Manager, had the privilege of traveling to France and immersing herself in French food, culture, and most importantly, wine!

After leaving JJ Vincent, I have another nap in the van as we drive to Chassagne-Montrachet to meet John-Pierre Coumut, owner and winemaker of Chateau de la Maltroye. We are also met by importer, Jean-Marie de Champs.

Jon-Pierre used to be an engineer for the military. When his father could no longer keep up the winery, he left his job to be full-time at the winery. John-Pierre is also a neat freak. If the smallest stone was out of place in the cellar, he would move it. He also loves art. Sculpures and paintings adorn the winery and even his cellar spittoon is a work of metal art on wheels. When we arrived, John-Pierre looked as if he just woke up, but I am told that the mussed hair is typical French men’s fashion. What do I know?

John-Pierre took us straight to the cellar where we tasted 2010 barrel samples. I fell in love with his wine so much in France that as soon as I came home, I bought some wine to share at home with my husband.

After we leave Chateau de la Maltroye, we drive to Mersault taking short-cuts through some vineyards that Jean-Marie wants to show us to meet Francois Delaby and his son-in-law Guillame Lavollee at Chateau Genot-Boulanger.

It is here that I suddenly become ill. That will teach me to eat too much chocolate mousse that Vincent Antoine’s mom made! After going to the cellar, I make my apologies and head back upstairs to get some air. Thankfully, after some time, the feeling passes and I spring back to life to go back down and enjoy the barrel samples.

The winery has an interesting bottle opener attached to the table. It looked like the cross of a vise-grip and rabbit. I had my bag…. Hmmm.. Just kidding.

After our visit, we drive back to Beaune to change for dinner and head to meet several producers with Jean-Marie at a restaurant where all the producers bring Magnums and other high-end delights.

The restaurant was built into a former castle and the restaurant itself was more like a cave or wine cellar. We are joined by John-Nicolas Meo from Meo-Camuzet, Dominiqu Gallois of Domaine Gallois, cousins Nathalie and Nicole LeMarche from Domaine LeMarche, John-Pierre Coumut, Guillame Lavollee and some of their spouses.

There was quite the language barrier, but a good time was had by all. My table was great. I was sandwiched between Domenique and Jean-Pierre and across from Guillame & Nathalie.

After dinner, John Little and I (no one else wanted to come) went over to a local pub to enjoy a drink and meet his friend the owner of the pub. It was a Tuesday and quite dead, but still I enjoyed visiting a local place while I sipped a glass of champagne. Life is good.

Deb’s Spotlight
Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 2009

A smoky hazelnut nose invites you in. The wine is medium bodied with great acidity and minerality with flavors of almond, hazelnut and lemons with a long, nutty finish. Enjoy with cheese such as Brillat Savarin.

Debbie Also Recommends :
Chateau de la Maltroye Borgogno Blanc $31.99
Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroye $66.99
Chateau de la Maltroye Borgogno Rouge $26.99
Chateau Genot-Boulanger Mercurey “Les Bacs” Blanc BC $20.19
Chateau Genot-Boulanger Mercurey ‘Cuvee de Ch√Ęteau’ Rouge $20.99

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