The “Roulot Method”: Highlights from the Jean-Marc Roulot dinner and seminar

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As in years past, the featured producer dinner and seminar were highlights from this year’s Boulder Burgundy Festival.

That’s Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman (above, left), founder and organizer of the Boulder Burgundy Festival, with Mersault grower and winemaker Jean-Marc Roulot who is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest producers of white wine.

Both Brett and Jean-Marc spoke at the festival’s Saturday evening dinner at Frasca Food and Wine, hosted by Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, who also gave a short talk as he introduced them.

Before Jean-Marc’s legendary wines from Mersault were served, he also shared tastes of wines from a new project that he’s created together with Italian winemaker Piero Incisa della Rocchetta (of Tenuta San Guido fame).

Starting in 2017, Jean-Marc began making Chardonnay at Piero’s Bodega Chacra in Argentina. It was one of the first times the wines had been tasted in the U.S.

Jean-Marc was leaving shortly for South America, he said, to taste the new vintages (harvested in February of 2019).

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But perhaps the biggest treat of all was Jean-Marc’s guided tasting and seminar on Sunday morning when guests had the opportunity to taste five wines from Jean-Marc’s 2017 vintage, including the Roulot monopole Clos des Bouchères (1er cru) and Corton Charlemagne (grand cru).

One of the most remarkable things about the tasting was Jean-Marc’s talk. After the event, many of the guests noted how he discussed the wines with a forthrightness unusual for winemakers, never glossing over his own challenges in winemaking.

When the “Roulot method” came up, for example, he was quick to dismiss the notion that he invented it. It refers to a white winemaking approach whereby the wines are fermented in cask and then aged in stainless-steel vats before bottling. It was developed by Jean-Marc and other producers in the 1990s and today many American Chardonnay growers have embraced it. But as Jean-Marc was eager to point out, he was not the first to do it.

Jean-Marc was disarmingly humble, immensely charming and funny, and very earnest to talk about what makes Mersault and Domaine Roulot such a unique place to make wine. Everyone in attendance agreed that it was one of the best seminars in the festival’s nine-year history.

Boulder Burgundy Festival 2019 day 3: Highlights from Paulée Lunch at Mateo

Over the years, the Paulée Lunch has become the gathering’s marquee event, capturing the esprit of the festival. This year’s Paulée was no exception. And as always, the wines that made their way around the room were exceptional.

Be sure to visit the Facebook photo album (at the bottom of this post) for more food and wine highlights.

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Click here for best-french-cheese

Click here for the Facebook photo album for more highlights.

Boulder Burgundy Festival 2019 day 2: Compelling wines, conversation, and food with winemakers Laurent Mouton and Ludivine Ambroise

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Boulder Burgundy Festival 2019 Day 2 started off with a fantastic seminar on “Outer Borough Burgundy” with (above, from left) winemakers Laurent Mouton and Ludivine Ambroise, their U.S. importer Bertrand Leulliette, and Master of Wine Ashley Hausman.

As wines from Burgundy have become increasingly expensive and emerging markets have begun to compete for already tight allocations, the wine trade — from importers to restaurateurs, retailers, and consumers — are looking toward “under the radar” AOCs.

Festival-goers were led on a guided tasting of wines from Ladoix, Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, and Givry as the panelists discussed these relatively unknown appellations and growing areas.

The panelists also led a lively discussion about Aligoté, its historic role and legacy in Burgundy, and why it deserves our attention today.

Yesterday evening, Laurent and Ludivine were the featured winemakers at Arcana restaurant where guests enjoyed scallops topped with black truffles and duck confit served with grits as they tasted some of the growers’ top wines.

Another great day at Boulder Burgundy Festival!

Click here for a Facebook photos album from day 2 of the festival.

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Boulder Burgundy Festival begins with “Old and Rare” tasting

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The 9th annual Boulder Burgundy Festival began yesterday evening with an extraordinary tasting of “Old and Rare” wines selected from the Somm Foundation cellar.

This historic collection of wines got its start in 2002 when benefactors Kathy and Jeff Johnston donated $1 million worth of wine to the foundation.

In the words of Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher, who selected the wines for last night’s event and presented the spectacular flight, the gift inspired Jay and a group of his colleagues to launch “the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation in order to use this great gift from the Johnston’s collection to enlighten aspiring sommeliers. We worked to create a great online educational wine compendium while also raising money for scholarships and enrichment trips to help those in need.”

Last night’s sold-out event helped to raise money for future scholarships and travel opportunities for up-and-coming sommeliers and wine professionals.

Read more about this remarkable collection here.

As Jay noted at the end of the tasting, many of the bottles he’s used over the years for the Boulder Burgundy Festival tastings have been “onesies,” in other words, the very last bottles from a given lot. After so many years, the collection is coming to an end, he said, making last night’s event a truly historic one.

Special thanks to Jay, his team of volunteer sommeliers, and Mateo restaurant who hosted the event and offered guests a wonderful spread of delicious Burgundy-friendly food.

Click here for a Facebook album of photos from the tasting.

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Welcome new partner Impact on Education

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The Boulder Burgundy Festival welcomes new partner Impact on Education.

From the Impact on Education website:

OUR MISSION: Leverage community resources to increase student achievement, create opportunities, and build support for public education.

Founded in 1983, Impact on Education is the foundation supporting all Boulder Valley public schools. Our wide-ranging projects and programs drive innovation and foster excellence throughout BVSD, and impact over 31,000 local students and 4,000 educators each school year. Our program and support focus is on improving equity, including addressing economic and learning barriers that curtail success, promoting innovation in education, and fostering excellence in instruction.

We exist for every student and every educator in the Boulder Valley School District. We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our education community. We not only support and empower our district’s most at-risk students, but we raise the playing field for all students through innovative uses of technology and instructional tools that enable all of our students to become successful 21st century learners.

Image via the Impact on Education Facebook.

Tickets still available for Grand Tasting, Sunday, November 3

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On Sunday, November 3, the Boulder Burgundy Festival will be hosting its Grand Tasting event at the Embassy Suites Hotel. As in years past, we will be featuring more than 200 top wines from Burgundy. It’s an extraordinary tasting and a fantastic value.

“It’s a great way to get to taste a lot wines you wouldn’t be able to and in one place,” said one top wine professional in attendance last year.

Whether you’re just beginning to dive into Burgundy or trying to hone your tasting chops, it’s a wonderful way to taste and interact with leading wine professionals from around the country.

And of course, nearly all the wines presented at the event are available for sale through the Boulder Wine Merchant.

Click here for tickets.

Boulder Burgundy Festival Grand Tasting
Sunday, November 3

Grand Tasting at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Boulder with more than 200 wines from Burgundy

Embassy Suites Hotel, 2601 Canyon Blvd, Boulder, CO 80302, (303) 443-2600

3 – 6 pm
$125 per person
180 seats available

BBF 2019 Tickets NOW ON SALE

Click here to browse events and purchase.

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The 2019 Boulder Burgundy Festival will take place October 31 – November 3 in downtown Boulder.

This year’s featured winemaker is Jean-Marc Roulot (above) of Domaine Roulot, producer of some of Burgundy’s most sought-after bottlings of Mersault.

He will be the host of the marquee dinner at Frasca on Saturday, November 2, and will lead a seminar and guided tasting of his wines on Sunday, November 3, before the Grand Tasting.

From his importer’s website:

Domaine Roulot has always been among the best producers of Chardonnay in Burgundy. Under the guidance of Jean-Marc Roulot, the domaine is now amongst the few whose wines are always sold out even before they are in bottle. Jean Marc’s wines have the same precision and energy as the individual. Like the man, they are full of spirit and intensity.

Click here for all events and ticketing info.

Boulder Burgundy Festival 2019 DATES ANNOUNCED: October 31-November 3

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We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Boulder Burgundy Festival will take place the weekend of October 31-November 3 (Thursday through Sunday).

Please mark your calendars and please be sure to follow us here on the blog and on Facebook for updates.

Happy new year, everyone! Thanks again for the biggest and best Boulder Burgundy Festival ever in 2018. Looking forward to this year’s event.