The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Domaine Humbert Frères and…Domaine Humbert Frères!

Posted on | January 14, 2016 | Written by Michael Adler | No Comments

Michael Adler 5.29.15Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of small, family-run Burgundy domaines, such as Alain Burguet and Dominique Gallois in Gevrey-Chambertin. Today, I’d like to highlight another important family-run Gevrey estate, Domaine Humbert Frères. Fourth-generation winemakers Frederic and Emmanuel Humbert took over their family’s 15-acre estate in 1989, which sports some of the most prized holdings in the area, including coveted plots in the premier cru Poissenot and grand cru Charmes-Chambertin.

Led primarily by the jolly, barrel-chested Emmanuel, the estate focuses on traditional and meticulous manual methods in the vineyard and only employs a green harvest when it is deemed necessary. This attention to detail and trust in nature rewards the Humbert brothers with wines of great precision and typicity that show dense bright fruit supported by ample earth and spice. Their wines are an absolute joy to drink!

Domaine Humbert Frères 2010 Bourgogne Rouge $33.99

After three-plus years in bottle, Humbert’s small-production ‘10 Bourgogne Rouge is in a perfect drinking window, and it offers killer value to boot. I can think of very few producers in Burgundy who can offer such a high-quality entry-level wines, and this ’10 Bourgogne Rouge delivers ridiculous depth and complexity for its humble price. While the nose is fairly fruit-focused, the palate shifts into alluring secondary notes of forest floor and black tea, all held together by soft, silky tannins.

Domaine Humbert Frères 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin Poissenot 1er Cru $129.99

On paper, Domaine Humbert’s crown jewel might be its Charmes-Chambertin plot; however the estate’s most sought-after wine is its Gevrey-Chambertin Possenot, sourced from a south-facing parcel located fairly high up the slope on soil of light pebbles; 40% of the Poissenot vineyard is owned by Humbert, making the estate the largest landholder in the appellation. However, production is still incredibly small, varying between 4-5,000 bottles per year. Rich and aromatic upon release, this ‘13 Poissenot has a long life ahead of it and will reward patient Burgheads for many years to come with myriad earthy and gamey notes swirling around its pure Gevrey fruit, and a beguiling mouth-feel that’s at once powerful and weightless.

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