#BBF2015 Best Value Burgundy Wines Lunch

Best Value Burgundy Wines Lunch

Friday, October 23
Oak Restaurant
11:30 am
$95 per person all-inclusive (90 seats available)

Finding value in Burgundy can be a challenge. We have teamed up with our supplier partners to find a selection of wines that offer both greatness and attractive pricing. We will be looking in the “backwater” areas of Burgundy to find these delicious gems in areas like Chablis, Mâconnais, Côte Chalonnaise, St. Aubin, and Beaune. These wines will be accessible, approachable, and delicious with the cuisine of Oak Restaurant.


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#BBF2015 events: Champagne and Caviar Kickoff Party 10/22

Champagne and Caviar Kickoff Party

Thursday, October 22
Featuring live music.
CU Koenig Alumni Building
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
$75 per ticket

We have teamed up with Will and Coral from Cured in Boulder to offer some delicious bites of Champagne-appropriate food to accompany our stunning selection of Champagne wines that were carefully selected to dazzle the group. To energize the program we will have a live band of talented local musicians to entertain the crowd during the reception. This is a brand new event for the Boulder Burgundy Festival and we look forward to making a splash with our opening party for the 2015 Burgundy events. Some of the featured Champagne producers include: Gosset, Bollinger, Georges Laval, Robert Moncuit, Bérêche, Cédric Bouchard, Charles Heidsieck, Waris-Hubert, Michel Maillaird, and more…


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Boulder: “America’s Foodiest Town”

The following is a message from the friendly folks at the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, one of the Boulder Burgundy Festival’s partners in the 2015 event.

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Enjoy Boulder as a Wine and Food Expert Would

If you’re considering coming to the Boulder Burgundy Wine Festival, you might be wondering how the heck you’ll spend your free time in Boulder? Funnily enough, this little town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains is actually a top foodie destination. Bon Appetit called Boulder “America’s Foodiest Town” and Food & Wine magazine named Pearl Street one of the top 10 streets for foodies in the U.S.

We have more than a few ideas for you: Stroll the Boulder Farmers’ Market — the No. 1 farmers’ market in the entire country, according to USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice. Sip a variety of 100-plus teas at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, a dazzling building handcrafted in Tajikistan. Or take a break from wine and sample some suds around town at 20 original craft breweries (you can even bike right to them).

We could go on and on (check out Boulder’s must-see checklist), but we thought we’d let Boulder’s wine and culinary experts tell you their favorite things to do. Here, two of our top chefs, whose restaurants you’ll enjoy as part of the Boulder Burgundy Wine Festival, share their perfect days in Boulder.

mark monette chefMark Monette, Flagstaff House Restaurant

Executive chef and partner Mark Monette was only 10 when his dad, Don Monette, founded the Flagstaff House Restaurant in Boulder. By age 14, Mark was bussing tables at the restaurant.

Mark’s love of cooking and passion for fine cuisine took him to several four-star restaurants in New York City and to various Michelin three-star restaurants in France and the Orient, where he worked with master chefs Bernard Hermman and Thomas Keller.

Mark returned home in 1985 to become executive chef of the Flagstaff House and has been responsible for the restaurant’s culinary delights ever since.

Mark’s Perfect Day In Boulder:
– Run (or hike) the Mesa Trail. The trail goes through the forest along the base of the Flatirons from Chautauqua to Eldorado Springs. It is 6.5 miles long each way and is hilly.
– Before your run or hike, visit Boulder Breadworks and pick up goodies. Eat your food on the trail or back at Chautauqua Park for a picnic.
– Get a massage at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine.
– Have cocktails on the Flagstaff House terrace followed by our Chef’s Tasting Dinner paired with wine.

lachlan chef frascaLachlan
Mackinnon-Patterson, Frasca Food and Wine

James Beard Foundation Award winner Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson is the chef and co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine and Pizzeria Locale.

In 2005, he was awarded Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef.

At Frasca, he applies his culinary talents to create innovative yet traditional dishes true to the indelible spirit of Friuli, Italy.

Frasca has developed a reputation as one of the best dining experiences in the country.

Lachlan’s Perfect Day in Boulder: 

– Start the day by enjoying coffee at Logan’s Espresso Café.
– Drive to Hall Ranch, near Lyons, for a mountain bike ride. There are two great rides — the one for beginner and intermediate riders starts from the Antelope Trailhead off Apple Valley Road. For a more challenging start to the ride, and my favorite, start from the Bitterbrush Trailhead, 1.5 miles southwest of Lyons on Hwy. 7.
– Grab a beer on the way home at Oskar Blues. I like Mama’s Little Yella Pils best.
– Head to the Yoga Pod for a late-afternoon yoga class.
– Have dinner at my restaurant, Frasca Food & Wine.

Still looking for more ideas? You may want to check out these additional resources on our website:

Boulder’s Foodie Checklist
7 Ways to Sip and Savor Boulder
A Fall Foliage and Food Tour of Boulder

The Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau works to bring visitors and groups to Boulder by promoting our town’s natural environment, arts, culture and history. Let us know if we can help answer any questions before or during your stay. You can contact us at 303-442-2911 or visitor@bouldercvb.com.


Hotel Accommodations

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Above: The pool at the Boulder Inn, one of the hotels offering discounted rates for Boulder Burgundy Festival attendees.

Two Boulder hotels are offering discounted rates for Boulder Burgundy Festival attendees.

St. Julien Hotel & Spa
900 Walnut St
Boulder, CO 80302
(720) 406-9696
$279 per night
a great deal for this hotel

Just mention that you are attending the festival when you call to reserve.

Please note that there is limited availability for this discounted rate and that on September 25, the hotel will begin to release unreserved rooms to guests.

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn
770 28th St
Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 449-3800
$139 per night

When reserving, please call (800) 233-8469 and use the reference code “BURGUNDY”.

Again, there is limited availability and the hotel will begin releasing unreserved rooms beginning October 1.

Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy shares his insights into the festival and the stellar team at The Little Nell

carlton mccoy little nell wine

For the third year in a row, The Little Nell will be partnering with the Boulder Burgundy Festival. Master Sommelier and The Little Nell wine director Carlton McCoy talks about his team’s participation and what makes his program unique in the panorama of fine wine service in the U.S. today. It’s always fascinating to hear what Carlton has to say…

Tell us a little bit about The Little Nell’s history with the festival.

The first year (2013) started with a DRC dinner at the Flagstaff House — our then-executive chef Robert McCormick prepared the dinner and Sabato (then-director of F&B at The Nell) and I joined for front of house.

The second year, The Nell provided service at a Paulée style lunch at the Flagstaff House and a Lignier Michelot dinner also held at the Flagstaff House. I worked this event with Chubby Oveges, who’s the assistant F&B director at The Nell.

What will you and your team be doing this year at the festival?

This year, Chef Matt Zubrod, Chef Matt Padilla, Chubby and I will be there for a lunch and Domaine Dujac and Rare White Burgundy dinner where we’ll be serving rare white wines. (Matt Zubrod is executive chef for The Nell and Matt Padilla is chef de cuisine for element 47 at The Nell — they work together really well.)

Can you share some of the highlights borne out of the partnership?

Brett’s taken the pretentiousness out of Burgundy events – there’s no showboating and a much more grassroots approach. The sommeliers are very down to earth and open, which better serves the guests. When it comes down to it, we’re sommeliers and chefs and it’s our goal to make sure the paying guests have a definitive experience.

My greatest memories are from the late night events when the somms tend to gather at Pizzeria Locale over bottles of great wines, exchange stories, talk about cool wines we’ve had lately, sometimes not even about wine – sometimes we get into it about a new rap album.

Brett always brings a diverse selection of Burgundies, which I just get excited about for the people — they’re all so open and interested in learning about Burgundy. And the event is a great projection of the tone in Colorado. There isn’t a sense of that rat race approach to Burgundy you can find often.

The Little Nell has become a flash point for the rapidly evolving wine culture in the U.S. today. To what do you ascribe that?

At The Nell, what we do differently from others is develop somms with a strong work ethic. The typical picture painted of a somm is not far from the truth – opening, pouring wines, life of the party. Here, we don’t do that – we work long hours, we invest a lot of time in training and education, we constantly strive to come up with ideas that appeal to our guests, we spend a lot of time in front of the computer, but we also take trips and continue to learn about great producers and regions.

Nick Barb on our team, for example, came from New York where he had been a floor somm – opening bottles, serving guests — he had that part down. But that doesn’t work with balancing the budget and running a business.

We give our somms guidance — teach them about timing, how to wait, how to be truly professional.

What’s new at The Little Nell?

For us, it’s a curse how ambitious we are – we’re always trying to find new ideas for us and the guests – or even find old ideas and refine them. The Nell will always have a great wine program, but keeping it digestible, approachable and interesting is where the challenge is.

This ski season in particular, we’re presenting truffle dinners over the holidays, an over-the-top, all-inclusive New Year’s Ever party that’s the hottest ticket in town, Veuve Clicquot takeovers at Ajax Tavern and Chair 9 (our après-ski bar in winter), private buyouts of Oasis, our Champagne and caviar bar on-mountain, among other notable events.

We’re always on to something new at The Nell.

Boulder Burgundy Festival 2015 Official Schedule

To purchase tickets, please select the event
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Boulder Burgundy Festival 2015
Official Schedule

Champagne and Caviar Kickoff Party

Thursday, October 22
Featuring live music.
CU Koenig Alumni Building
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
$75 per ticket

Best Value Burgundy Wines Lunch

Friday, October 23
Oak Restaurant
11:30 am
$95 per person all-inclusive (90 seats available)

Old and Rare Burgundy Seminar

with Master Sommeliers Jay Fletcher,
Brett Zimmerman, and Sean Razee

Friday, October 23
Featuring a selection of wines from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Proceeds go to the Guild of Sommeliers.
St. Julien Hotel
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
$295 per person (42 seats available)

Domaine Dujac Dinner

Friday, October 23
Food and wine service by Aspen’s Little Nell team
Featuring a vertical tasting of wines from the domaine
preceded by a Champagne reception
and a selection of rare white Burgundy.
The Academy
6:00 pm
$395 per person all-inclusive (50 seats available)

Paulée Inspired Lunch

Saturday, October 24
With a team of the country’s top sommeliers
Featuring more than 50 wines from Burgundy.
Proceeds go to Davis Phinney Foundation.
Flagstaff House
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
$195 per person all-inclusive (120 seats available)

Domaine Bonneau de Martray Dinner

Saturday, October 24
with winemaker Jean-Charles le Bault de la Morinière
Featuring a vertical tasting of wines from the domaine.
Proceeds go to the Learning Center.
Frasca Food and Wine
6:00 pm
$435 per person all-inclusive (78 seats available)

Sit-Down Chablis Brunch

Sunday, October 25
with the wines of Kermit Lynch
and special guest Lyle Railsback
PMG Restaurant
10:00 am
$75 per person all-inclusive (50 seats available)

Seminar: “A tour of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru”

Sunday, October 25
with Jean-Charles le Bault de la Morinière (Bonneau du Martray)
and wine writer Ray Isle (Food and Wine Magazine)
Featuring a vertical tasting from the domaine.
St. Julien Hotel
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
$150 per person (80 tickets available)

Grand Tasting

Sunday October 25
Featuring more than 200 wines from Burgundy.
Proceeds go to Groove Foundation.
St. Julien Hotel
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
$85 per person (200 tickets available)

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Bonneau du Martray to be featured wine of 2015 festival!

bonneau du martray

Above: The Corton hill of Corton-Charlemagne. According to Wasserman (see below), “Bonneau du Martray is with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti the only domaine in Burgundy to make only grand cru. It owns 11 contiguous hectares, a rarity in Burgundy, 1.5 of which are planted to Pinot Noir and 9.5 to Chardonnay, making Bonneau du Martray the largest single owner of Corton-Charlemagne.”

It is with extreme pleasure and pride that we share this news: Bonneau du Martray is to be the featured domaine at this year’s Boulder Burgundy Festival.

And festival guests will be joined by the domaine’s legacy winemaker Jean-Charles le Bault de la Morinière, one of the most charismatic and dynamic personages working in fine wine today. He will be pouring and speaking about his wines.

Not only will be the featured producer dinner on the Saturday night of the festival but he will also deliver a seminar on his wines on Sunday morning.

“Adding to the aura,” writes his importer and U.S. merchant Jean-Charles, “his manners and conversation are beyond good, they have that breed of ease and confidence particular to Parisian aristocrats. It would feel somewhat imposing if it weren’t for the fact that as soon as you begin talking to him, it becomes apparent that Jean Charles is eager to hear what you have to say. He often takes a pause, considering carefully what you have said, before he responds to it, discards it, or files it away. And there is something impish about him too. His eyes often look amused, as if he was always preparing to add something witty or hold it back from you. It is not just the wines that are wonderful at Bonneau du Martray but the exchange of thoughts.”

Please see Paul’s super profile of the domaine and of Jean-Charles here.

We couldn’t be more thrilled that he and his wines will be part of the festival!

Festival registration is expected to be open on September 1. Please stay tuned for updates!

Dispelling the “Burgundy is a minefield” myth

olivier bernstein burgundy

Above: William Davis (right) of Wilson Daniels pours the much-sought-after wines of Olivier Bernstein at the Boulder Burgundy Festival 2014 Grand Tasting. More than 170 wines were poured at the event.

In 2013, Food & Wine executive wine editor Ray Isle, one of our favorite wine writers, asked “emperor of wine” and Wine Advocate founder Robert Parker, Jr. to revisit and reflect on some of his more famous (infamous?) pronouncements on wine over the arc of his career.

(Click here for Ray’s interview with Parker. It’s a fantastic read.)

One of the most controversial and frequently cited of these was Parker’s 2003 declaration that “Burgundy is, well, Burgundy. A minefield of potential disappointments beloved by elitists and pseudo-intellectuals who like to discuss ad nauseam growers and terroirs — not quality.”

Parker made a similar sweeping assertion in 2008 when he wrote in Bloomberg Business that “red Burgundy is the ultimate minefield of the wine world—notoriously unreliable, often disappointing, and rarely living up to its illustrious reputation.”

In direct response to Parker, New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov wrote, “in fact, the quality of Burgundy — red Burgundy in particular — has risen strikingly over the last two decades. From the smallest growers to the biggest houses, the standards of grape-growing and winemaking have surpassed anybody’s expectations. These days, Burgundy has very few bad vintages, and among good producers, surprisingly few bad wines.”

Today, seven years since the last back-and-forth between these princes of wine writing, the “minefield” myth has become so pervasive that you often see it quoted erroneously and out of context by mainstream wine writers, bloggers, and wine merchants as well as consumers.

In Ray’s 2013 interview with Parker, the über critic backpedalled only slightly.

“Thanks to a more meticulous younger generation,” he told Ray, “red Burgundies have made improvements, but they, too, are still a minefield, and top vineyard sites are still significantly overpriced.”

One of the driving factors behind the Boulder Burgundy Festival is to give attendees a sense of how much great Burgundy is available to them today.

At last year’s Grand Tasting, more than 170 wines were poured, all of them available in the U.S. and not a clunker among them.

The festival is now in its fifth year and it continues to grow. There’s no doubt that it takes encyclopedic knowledge to master Burgundy with confidence. After all, its mind-boggling parcelization is part of its allure (see this snippet from Parker’s buying guide).

But we are confident that the spectrum of wines poured is evidence of the new generation of Burgundy growers that Asimov and Parker both speak of.

We hope that you will come and taste for yourselves!

Save the date: October 22-25 Boulder Burgundy Festival 2015

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Now in its fifth year, the 2015 Boulder Burgundy Festival — October 22-25 — is going to be bigger and better than ever.

Festival founder and Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman is currently in the process of lining up panelists that will include leading U.S. sommeliers, wine writers, and Burgundy experts as well as a stellar group of Burgundy growers and winemakers who will be on hand to taste and talk about their wines.

In coming weeks, we will begin previewing the featured speakers and wineries as well as the venues that will be hosting the tastings, seminars, luncheons, and dinners.

In the meantime, for a taste of what to expect, have a look at scenes from last year’s events, like the “Paulée-Inspired Lunch” and the “Old and Rare Tasting.”

Please note that both of these events sold out just days after tickets became available. So please mark your calendars and please stay tuned.

Festival registration won’t be open until next month. But we will be posting regular updates in coming weeks…