JJ Buckley Celebrates Burgundy Week

by Chuck Hayward

Each year, a group of Burgundy enthusiasts gather to indulge themselves in what could only be called an orgiastic immersion of Bacchanalian proportions. Extensive tastings and seminars featuring the regions top domaines and winemakers are followed by lavish dinners where bottles the size of small children, brought by the guests themselves, are traipsed around the room thanks to a small army of sommeliers.

I wish I could say I knew this through personal experience but a ticket for every event at La Paulee will set you back 11K.

This celebration came from the vision of Daniel Johnnes, currently the wine director of Daniel Boulud's restaurant group which owns Restaurant Daniel among other properties. First held in 2000, La Paulee is modeled after an annual dinner of food and wine hosted by winemakers in the village of Meursault. Once the harvest is complete and the wines are safely tucked away into their barrels, everyone gathers at a local hall for a wine and food feast featuring shared bottles of wine and traditional singing and merriment.

At a time when Burgundy was less expensive (and also less well-known), Daniel adopted the region's wines and began to promote them extensively at his restaurant Montrachet in New York. La Paulee resulted in his efforts to expand his celebration of the region, not just it's wines but Burgundy's cultural traditions. Even the local singing troupe of Meursault attends to sing their jovial songs.

This year, La Paulee is held on San Francisco (it alternates each year with New York) so you can expect to see an extra special presence of Burgundies on the wine lists of local dining establishments. Most events are sold out but we've put together a list of wines that we would enjoy at our own La Paulee in the offices at JJ Buckley. We just hope there is no singing.

2010 Marquis D' Angerville Pommard "Combe Dessus"

2009 Rossignol Trapet, Domaine Beaune Teurons

2009 Laroche, Domaine Chablis Blanchots

2009 Meo Camuzet Nuits St Georges les Boudots

2010 Jadot, Louis Volnay Clos des Chenes