The Boulder Burgundy Festival delivered the juice
So say many hard-core oenophiles around the world, for whom the sun rises and sets according to the vintage charts, weather forecasts and harvest projections associated with a relatively tiny (we're talking roughly 200 miles) piece of real estate in northern France. It is here that purists believe some of the most spectacular wines in the world are made; if you love pinot noir in particular, than there are none worth drinking besides those from Bourgogne.
Importers and collectors hoard wines from Burgundian regions like Montrachet, Gevrey-Chambertin and Mersault like New Yorkers this week clung to bottled water and iPhone chargers; so much so that many of the most prized offerings remain so tightly allocated that they're practically impossible to obtain. And here in Colorado that essentially means "no Burgundy for you." That is, unless you attended last weekend's glorious Boulder Burgundy Festival, where serious Burgundy hounds from around the country flocked to the Flatirons to partake in 48 hours of pinot noir and chardonnay-soaked debauchery.
To accuse Colorado native (and Master Sommelier) Brett Zimmerman of being maybe just a tiny bit obsessed with Burgundy would not be a stretch. Purchasing the Boulder Wine Merchant in 2010 after a career progression through the Flagstaff House, rock star sommelier-producing factory Charlie Trotter's in Chicago and his own restaurant, Mateo, his adoration of these wines motivated him to organize the first-ever Boulder Burgundy Festival in 2011. "I wanted to offer Boulder and the surrounding areas an opportunity to taste the amazing, and sometimes difficult to source, wines of Burgundy," says Zimmerman. "Additionally, it was a bit of a selfish move in order to taste the wines myself and get Colorado more on the map for allocations with our distributors and importers," he adds.
Clearly, he was onto something -- and Colorado's Burgundy fans have proved his instincts were dead right. Last weekend's festival was double the previous year's turnout. Things kicked off with a bang on Saturday with a seminar hosted by a wine geek's dream lecturer: Paul Wasserman, a Burgundy importer representing some of the region's finest houses, including Lafon, Lafarge and Mugnier. Forty-five very lucky tasters were treated to a true Burgundian insider's view (and palate) at this first-time Boulder Burgundy Festival event.