Volnay seminar with Guillaume d’Angerville, a truly extraordinary tasting

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Above: The panel, from left, Robert Bohr (who imports Domaine D’Angerville into the U.S.), Guillaume d’Angerville, Rajat Parr, Richard Betts, and Brett Zimmerman, owner of the Boulder Wine Merchant and festival organizer.

The D’Angerville seminar on the Sunday of the festival weekend was a truly extraordinary experience — on many levels.

The title was “D’Angerville” but the focus was on the village of Volnay and its terroirs.

The wines were spectacular but the star was Guillaume d’Angerville, who speaks English impeccably and has a charming, engaging, and warm old-world gentleman’s air about him. An excellent speaker, he offered remarkable insights into what makes his village’s wines unique in the panorama of Burgundian winemaking.

The panel was made up of some of the brightest and most talented people working in the world of wine today. But the erudite discussion of Guillaume’s wines was accessible and easy to follow.

Simply put, this was wine tasting and wine connoisseurship at its best, delivered expertly and eloquently, without affectation.

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The flight was as follows:

D’Angerville 2011 Volnay des Angles 1er
D’Angerville 2011 Volnay Fermiets 1er
D’Angerville 2011 Volnay Caillerets 1er
D’Angerville 2011 Volnay Champans 1er
D’Angerville 2011 Volnay Taillepieds 1er
D’Angerville 2011 Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er

Notes (quotes) from Guillaume’s wonderful talk follow. The event was one of the more pricey ones but everyone in attendance agreed — from the caliber of the wines and the opportunity to taste them side-by-side to the chance to interact with such an elite group of wine professionals — it was worth every penny.

“Our domain is focused on the village of Volnay. It was purchased after the revolution and has been in our family for 200 years.”

“Compared to Pommard, Volnay is like yin and yang. Volnay cannot produce masculine wines like Pommard. It makes wines that are subtle, clean, precise, and feminine.”

“My first aim is to promote the village [of Volnay] and then promote my wines.”

“The most important decision for a winemaker is when to pick.”

“You have to let the terroir speak. If that happens, I’m a very happy man.”

“My father taught me to ‘get rid of anything that is not necessary’ in the wines. Like me, he wanted to create ‘precise’ wines.”