Ahh, the trip started off with a bang - literally. Well, more like a crash as I locked my front door last Wednesday morning in Austin with all my travel bags on my shoulders I proceeded to fall down my front porch. A freaky cat on the porch, some heavy fog, a wine bag on wheels, a fancy dress and high heels did not mix well for TexaCali Ali at 6am! I went tumbling down 3 concrete stairs, scraping cactus along the way and landing on my ankles. OUCH. Then I was off to Dallas to meet Veritas Imports and Etienne for our Texas roadshow. Yes it hurt, but all I could do was laugh - the show must go on - oh and so it did (with a very ugly ankle though).
So what was Etienne like in person? Extremely jovial, very intelligent, handsome, specific, wickedly witty, curious, charming, spoke great English (and very helpful to me and my fragmented french), ran a little late every morning (ha!) and most of all - humble. Etienne was a true delight to host in Texas.
Wednesday afternoon we had a tremendous turnout of North Texas sommeliers and wine directors. Over 30 pro's attended the tasting of Etienne's 2004 vintage and learn a little something new about Ch. Puligny-Montrachet, Deux Montille and Domaine Montille wines. That evening we dined at the new and glorious Fearings located in the Ritz Carlton in Dallas. Dean himself was on-hand to welcome Etienne and offer his warmest Texas hospitality. A big thanks to Paul and Hunter who assisted us with our wines of the evening. We all can't wait to return!
Thursday morning Etienne had the pleasure of educating over 30 sales folks for Sigel's in Dallas. Then off to Houston for a quaint dinner with members of the Chevalier Chapter of Houston. Etienne flew in a few older vintages - all magnums for the dinner. My notes are still coming together on these - hang on, need to double check vintages (it was a long hot drive before dinner).
On Friday we had a very important tasting at the Austin Wine Merchant for their top Burgundy customers. A wonderful group gathered for a true night to remember - all thanks to Etienne's great winemaking! After the tasting we took a handful of Etienne's best bottles to a delicious BBQ dinner at Ruby's per his request. A great time was had by all!
Saturday we headed back up to Dallas, a quick stop in Waco for a cold Dr. Pepper (Etienne's first!) and to gas up the car (again). Well over 50 Dallas collectors attended the Sigel's Elite tasting honoring Etienne de Montille. A perfect way to end a busy week of selling, a store full of fantastic burgundy fans! Dinner was with one of our favorite Wine Pro's in Texas - Aaron at N9NE Steakhouse. Delicious. I'll finish up my tasting notes from the entire trip shortly, until then Cheers to the 2005 Burgundy Vintage on it's way to Texas! - Ali (click on www.texacaliwine.com to see more pictures!)