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Monday, August 8, 2011

Debbie Miller Nelson's Trip to France, Part 7

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 J Prieur and enjoying a filling lunch we head over to Domaine Humbert Freres and we meet Humbert himself.

This is a really small operation that he and his brother run. They are both BIG guys - former rugby players and they looked pretty intimidating. Humbert does not speak English, but after awhile I could sense what people were saying by voice inflection and posture. He gives us a brief tour of the vineyards which are outside his winery and then we head to the cellar to taste.

We tasted his 2010 barrel samples which are muscular and structured.

We then travel to upper Gevrey to meet another prestigious winemaker and owner, Eric Rousseau.

Eric is in the middle of renovating so we step over some planks and look at what his new cellar addition will look like. Mind, you, this was already one of the biggest cellars I’ve seen so far on this trip. Eric pours us 2010 barrel samples and we are in heaven! During the tasting, his daughter Cyrelle (sounds like Cereal) joins us and is bashful about pictures as she has just come from the fields.

When Eric is ready to retire, his daughter will take over to join the other 35 women winemakers. She has just completed her eonology degree and will be traveling the world this summer before she works for her dad full time this fall.

After our really long tasting, we move to an area that looks like a barn for Champagne and light nibbles along with casual conversation. Champagne is a very popular drink in Burgundy. Not only is it used to celebrate, but it helps cleanse the palate after a long tasting on big, bold reds.

Dinner is at our hotel. Our hosts bring some wine from home and let us blind taste over a catered, home-cooked meal. It is really relaxing and after, I take some Ridge Montebello and head to the hot tub. Life is good.

Deb's Spotlight
Domaine Humbert Frères Bourgogne 2006
It's always nice to find a little hidden gem in the store that has 5 years of age and is quite affordable. This Pinot Noir has a brick red color and a nose of roses, leather, anise, cola and dried cherry. Great medium weight with elegant flavors of strawberry and cherry. This is easy drinking and would do well with a little light cheese.

Also Available*:
Domaine Humbert Frères Charmes Chambertin 2006 $169.99
A. Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Clos St. Jaques’ 2004 BC $189.99
A. Rousseau Chambertin Clos Ruchottes 2004 BC $169.99
A. Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin AC 2006 BC $96.79
A. Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Clos St. Jaques’ 2006 BC $259.99
A. Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin 2007 $194.99
A. Rousseau Mazis-Chambertin 2007 $189.99
A. Rousseau Clos de la Roche 2007 $209.99
A. Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Clos St. Jaques’ 2007 $299.99

*Extremely Limited

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