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Boulder Burgundy Festival 2017, Oct. 13-15: Eric Asimov will be our featured speaker

eric-asimov

It’s official: The 2017 Boulder Burgundy Festival will be held October 13-15.

And we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov (above) will be our featured speaker and guest.

Eric has been the chief wine critic for the Times since 2004 and he is also the author of one of our favorite wine books, How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto (2014).

He also happens to be one of the nicest people writing about wine today and we couldn’t be more happy to have him join us this year and have him share his insights into the wines of Burgundy!

Last spots going fast… Boulder Burgundy Festival 2016 nearly sold-out!

etienne-de-montille

Above: Legacy Burgundy producer Étienne de Montille (above) and Master of Wine Jancis Robinson will be leading a seminar and tasting on the last day of the festival. Just a few spots for this exclusive event are available. Click here to register.

The Boulder Burgundy Festival 2016 is nearly completely sold-out.

A few spots are still available for Étienne de Montille and Jancis Robinson’s seminar and tasting on Sunday morning.

And there are still tickets available for the Grand Tasting on Sunday afternoon, the last event of the gathering.

It’s been a thrill for us to watch the interest in the festival grow each year. Thank you for your continued support!

Image via Cellarette.

#BBF2016 Best of Burgundy Dinner 10/21

how to pour burgundy wine

Friday, October 21
Best of Burgundy Dinner
Arcana Restaurant hosts a special Burgundy dinner with a selection of rare Burgundy wines.

One of the greatest things about the Boulder Burgundy Festival is that it offers its guests multiple opportunities to taste these extraordinary wines paired with great meals, ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. In its debut at the Boulder Burgundy Festival, Arcana is hosting one of the most anticipated gastronomic events at this year’s gathering. Master Sommelier and festival founder Brett Zimmerman is selecting the wines personally with input from a world-class team of fellow Sommeliers: Richard Betts, MS, Jay Fletcher, MS, Lynn Fletcher, and Carla Rzeszewski.  The selection of wines and service is sure to be a treat.

Benefits There with Care
Arcana Restaurant
6:00 pm
$295 per person all-inclusive (60 seats available)

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

#BBF2016: Champagne Kickoff Party, Thursday, October 20

hiedsick champagne boulder

Thursday, October 20
Champagne Kickoff Party

Featuring the luxury Champagne Brands of LVMH including: Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Krug, and Dom Ruinart.

The Champagne Kickoff Party is a great way to meet and mingle with other guests on the festival’s opening night. Live music and a Champagne-friendly spread add the convivial nature of the event. But the best part is getting to taste these wines with leading wine professionals and learning about emerging trends in Champagne. This year’s offering will include a wide selection of grower Champagnes, vintage-dated Champagnes, and a handful of rare and hard-to-fine wines sourced especially for the occasion.

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE.

Registration NOW OPEN for Boulder Burgundy Festival 2016

Event registration is now open! Click here to register.

grand 1

Now in its sixth year, the Boulder Burgundy Festival (October 20-23) is thrilled to welcome two of the wine world’s brightest stars: Legacy winemaker and vigneron Étienne de Montille of the Domaine de Montille (Volnay) and Master of Wine and Financial Times wine columnist Jancis Robinson.

One of the things that sets the Boulder Burgundy Festival apart from the many excellent wine events that take place across the U.S. each year is the gathering’s convivial spirit. From the Paulée-Inspired Lunch at Flagstaff House to the family-style seating at the Saturday evening producer dinner at Frasca Food & Wine (the festival’s signature event, where both Étienne and Jancis will be joining us), there is perhaps no better way to get to taste and interact with some of the leading names in food and wine today.

As in years past, we will also be joined by top sommeliers, including many Master Sommeliers, who fly in from all over North American to pour at festival events. Each volunteers her or his time inspired by professional camaraderie and a shared mission to educate our guests about the extraordinary wines presented at the festival.

And you also never know whom you might bump into, whether at Sunday’s Chablis Brunch or the Champagne Kickoff Party, the festival’s inaugural event on Thursday. Winemakers from Burgundy have been known to join in — even when they are not official presenters. They come in to see old friends, colleagues, and collectors and to enjoy the wines in Colorado’s beautiful alpine setting. Rumor has it that Financial Times restaurant critic and television personality Nicholas Lander (Jancis’ better half) will also be in attendance.

As the founder and organizer of the sixth annual Boulder Burgundy Festival, I am overjoyed to welcome you to this truly unique gathering of winemakers, wine professionals, and wine luminaries. Spots fill up quickly so please be sure to register at your earliest convenience to ensure availability.

Cheers,

Brett Zimmerman, MS

The official schedule is here!

Boulder Burgundy Festival 2016
October 20 – 23, 2016

The official schedule is here!

Thursday, October 20
Champagne Kickoff Party at the Kitchen Upstairs
featuring the luxury Champagne Brands of LVMH including:
Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Krug, and Dom Ruinart
5:00-7:00 pm
Kitchen Upstairs
$75 per ticket, 60 tickets available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Friday, October 21
“Old and Rare” Burgundy Seminar at the St. Julien Hotel
hosted by Master Sommeliers Jay Fletcher, and Bobby Stuckey,
with Special Guest Étienne de Montille ~ Benefits the Guild of Sommeliers
1:00-2:30 pm
St. Julien Hotel
$295 per person, 42 seats available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Friday, October 21
Arcana Restaurant ­­­­hosts a special Burgundy dinner
with a selection of rare Burgundy wines ~ Benefits There with Care
6:00 pm
Arcana Restaurant
$295 for dinner per person all-inclusive, 60 seats available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Saturday, October 22
Paulée-inspired lunch at the Flagstaff House
with a team of the country’s top sommeliers
and over 50 different Burgundy wines to taste
Benefits Davis Phinney Foundation
11:00 am-3:00 pm
Flagstaff House
$195 per person all-inclusive, 120 seats available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Saturday, October 22
Burgundy Producer Dinner with Étienne de Montille of Domaine de Montille
at Frasca Food and Wine ~ Benefits the Family Learning Center
6:00 pm
Frasca Food and Wine
$395 per person all-inclusive, 78 seats available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Sunday, October 23
Sit-down Chablis Brunch at PMG Restaurant
10:00 am
PMG Restaurant
$75 per person all-inclusive, 50 seats available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Sunday, October 23
“To stem or not to stem?” A conversation with Étienne de Montille
from Domaine de Montille, and Special Guest Jancis Robinson, MW
discussing winemaking techniques used in Burgundy
with the wines of Domaine de Montille at the St. Julien Hotel
12:00 am – 1:30 pm
St. Julien Hotel
$150 per ticket, 65 tickets available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Sunday October 23
Grand Tasting at the St. Julien Hotel
with over 200 featured wines from Burgundy
Benefits the Growe Foundation
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
$85 per ticket, 200 tickets available
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

carlton mccoy little nell

Jancis Robinson MW and Étienne de Montille join us for this year’s festival!

jancis robinson wine writer

We are thrilled to announce that Master of Wine Jancis Robinson (above) — one of the top wine writers in the world today — will be the keynote speaker of this year’s Boulder Burgundy Festival!

Wine critic for the Financial Times, editor of the landmark Oxford Companion to Wine and Wine Grapes (the world’s most comprehensive ampelographic survey), and a “member of the Royal Household Wine Committee” (in other words, a wine buyer for the Queen of England), Jancis is also the editor of Purple Pages, one of the top online resources for tasting notes and wine writing today.

She’s also one of the nicest and down-to-earth people working in wine today. We are overjoyed and over the moon that she will be joining us.

Below please find the tentative schedule for this year’s festival, which will feature the wines of Domaine de Montille and legacy winemaker Étienne de Montille (stay tuned for more coverage of the domaine and winemaker Étienne).

This year’s line up is going to be tough to beat and we expect events to sell-out very swiftly. So please also stay tuned for registration updates.

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you this year in Boulder!

Image via Wikipedia Commons.

Boulder Burgundy Festival wine makes New York Times “best of 2015” list

gran cru best burgundy white

You can imagine how thrilled we were to learn last week that a wine poured at the 2015 Boulder Burgundy Festival — at a guided tasting and at the Saturday night dinner — was included in Eric Asimov’s “top wines for 2015” column in the New York Times dining section last week, “A Top 10 Wine List So Good, It Takes 12 Bottles to Hold It.”

Here’s what Eric (one of our favorite wine writers and the nicest guy, btw) had to say about the 2001 Corton-Charlemagne by Bonneau du Martray:

“This bottle of Corton Charlemagne, from the excellent Bonneau du Martray, and from the unexceptional 2001 vintage, was not just sound, but superb and elegant, fresh, floral and precise, with Corton’s characteristic minerality.”

Whether the wines we offer every day at the Boulder Wine Merchant or the wines we feature at the Boulder Burgundy Festival, we always strive to bring you the best wines that are available in the U.S. today.

This year we were so proud to present winemaker Jean-Charles le Bault and the wines of his estate Bonneau du Martray at the festival.

We thought they were pretty fantastic.

And we were glad to learn that America’s favorite wine writer thought so, too!

Dr. Strangewood or How I Learned to Love Oak

batard montrachet latour

Like many middle-aged wine writers who came of “wine age” during the early 2000s, I subscribed to the notion that oakiness in wine was a bad thing.

In all fairness to me, I was a product of my times.

In part, it was our generation’s reaction to the wine that we grew up with: The “over-oaked,” “fruit bomb” red, and the “oaky, buttery Chardonnay” that the American wine industry wanted us to drink during the 1990s.

But it was also an expression of our generation’s longing to connect with the “old world” style of the wines that we all discovered on our year abroad in Europe.

Like many people my age (I was born in 1967), my first visit to southern Europe entirely changed my perspective on wine when I tasted Sangiovese, Barbera, and Friulano that had been raised in stainless-steel vats. For me, it was a 180° experience with respect to the wines that I had grown up drinking in Southern California, where the oakiness of Zinfandel and the vanilla flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon were points of pride among the grownups.

I think that many of my peers (and perhaps, many of you reading this) would report an analogous arc in the formation of your wine palate.

Memories of my oaked and unoaked epiphanies leapt into my mind during the Boulder Burgundy Festival this year when I tasted a number of wines where the oaky component was most definitely pronounced and most definitely delicious.

Over and over, I found myself tasting oakiness in the white wines were were drinking and loving it, like the 2005 Bâtard-Montrachet (above) that I tasted at this year’s Paulée Inspired Lunch at the Flagstaff House.

One of the things that is so great about the Saturday lunch event is that collectors and trade members are both enormously generous in their pours of rare and expensive wines like that one.

The wine was such a great example of how the judicious and sage application of oak can greatly enhance the wine drinker’s pleasure.

Of course, the oakiness in this wine was probably much more evident when it was first released. And had I tasted it then, I may not have loved it so much. But getting to taste it 10 years after its vintage, I had the fantastic opportunity to taste it at a more mature point in its evolution.

And that’s what’s so special about the Paulée Inspired Lunch and the Boulder Burgundy Festival in general: Collectors and wine professionals have no reservations in bringing out their best bottles to share with the group. The spirit of collegiality and community are so strong at this event that these wines are poured liberally and plentifully and you can really enjoy them, as I did.

Tasting this superb wine, I was reminded of something that New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov wrote in 2007:

“ASSERTION No-oak chardonnay is better than oaked chardonnay.”

“TRUTH Oaky may be bad, but oak is good.”

“Back in the 1990’s, when the fashion for big, bombastic, oaky chardonnays was at its height, nobody would have taken this belief seriously. Fashion has changed and oak barrels have now been branded the villain for previous excesses. The fact is, for aging wine, no better vessel than oak barrels has yet been discovered. How those barrels are used is another question.”

Wise words from the Solomon of American wine writing.

And so true when it came to this stunning wine that I never would have the opportunity to taste had I not attended the festival this year!