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FICOFI: Bouchard Pere et Fils

July 17, 2017

These are tasting notes from a FICOFI event held on 07 March 2017 at Golden Peony, Conrad Centennial Singapore, where M. Luc Bouchard, the ninth generation descendant of the Bouchard family, had thrown a generous spread of Bouchard Pere et Fils’ 2015 wines for tasting, on top of a masterclass featuring a 1999-2009-2014 mini-vertical of Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus 1er and Le Corton Grand Cru, followed by another few more wines for dinner. I have always had the highest regard for the whites of Bouchard, which are generally under-rated simply because (I think) people tend to view them as “negociant” wines but they forget that Bouchard owns a superb plot of Montrachet grand cru, not to mention the very special plot of Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte grand cru that used to be part of Montrachet in the old days. This year’s tasting again re-affirms my point of view but, this time, more of its reds have been included in the line-up. While Bouchard’s reds have not previously got me excited, this time round, however, they are all showing very well: the mini-vertical and old bottles proving their ageing potential and complexity while the freshly-minted 2015s demonstrate great sophistication and breed.

2017-03-07 18.59.59

2014 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus 1er. An unique monopole of Bouchard, this wine is highly aromatic, promising raspberries, bright cherries and red fruits, quite lush, saddled with great acidity amidst subtle tannins that exude fine intensity, finishing well with mild ferrous minerals and a dash of spice. Great potential.

2009 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus 1er. Lovely nose of rose petals and camphor, highly enticing, mellowing on the palate with subtle intensity in spite of its excellent presence and grip, quite seamless, finishing with lovely acidity amidst dryish textures that persisted with great afterglow. Excellent, but the 2014 may turn out to be even better.

1999 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus 1er. A rare opportunity to taste this particular wine from a glorious vintage that ought to be fully mature by now. Very open, glowing with ripe dark cherries amidst traces of cedar with other secondary nuances, seamless with lovely concentration, its crisp acidity imparting great vigour and vibrancy, building up to a lifted intensity at the finish. May not actually have peaked.

2017-03-07 18.08.56

2014 Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru. Considerably darker in tone and color, yielding traces of cigar on the nose with dark berries and redcurrants. Well replicated on the palate with superb ripeness, acidity and definition, supported by rich limestone minerality with tannins that are still tight but superbly managed, tapering towards a long minty finish. Excellent.

2009 Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru. Dark roses and glycerin are evident in abundance along with red fruits and dark berries, laying the foundations for a wine of intense power and structure with wonderful lifted fragrance and definition, persisting long after its finish. Excellent.

1999 Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru. This wine is imbued with wonderful acidity that’s still incredibly fresh, rendering superb crispness amidst ample swathes of dark ripe berries, displaying fine precision though shorn of fat. Still youthful. An over-achieving Corton that is, dare I say, a tad over-extracted.

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2015 William Fevre Chablis Le Clous Grand Cru. Rich citrus, layered with great concentration and excellent minerality. Very fresh and lively, imparting wonderful mouthfeel.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault Genevrieves 1er. Light citrus with lemongrass and other grassy elements, layered with good presence and acidity, well balanced, finishing with good persistence.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru. Green fruits on the nose with characteristic traces of barley, coconut and rye that is the signature of Corton-Charlemagne, gentle on the palate, slightly sweet with recessed fruit quality. Rather shy. Needs time to unfurl its full potential.

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2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. Green fruits and clear citrus dominate with superb freshness, exuding distinct overtones of herbs, lemongrass and nutmeg with traces of ginger, layered with great acidity, finishing well. Excellent.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus 1er. The bouquet is filled with aromatic rose petals, cherries and raspberries, showing good ripeness on the palate with fine concentration and acidity, its controlled tannins even managing a hint of delicacy. A close tie with the 2014.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots 1er. Well extracted, evident by its deep color and broad swathe of warm red fruits that display superb ripeness and fabulous acidity, almost opulent, very well-balanced with further notes of camphor and earth towards the finish. A big wine, but suits Vosne-Romanee well.

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2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 1er. Highly aromatic, ample in predominant dark fruits on the nose and palate with splashes of red, full-bodied and tight, showing good balance but a little short.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru. Predictably big from this source, superbly structured to contain the generous spread of rose petals and dark cherries in very fine balance, layered with gorgeous acidity and finely detailed minerality, just a tad short for now which should correct with age. This will turn out to be a great Corton.

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2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru. Smoke, sweet incense and redcurrants on the nose while red fruits with a deep tangerine core dominate on the palate with great concentration, acidity and intensity of flavours but lacking defining structure and somewhat short.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru. There is a great abundance of complex red fruits of superb ripeness and depth with traces of tangerines on the nose and palate where its great concentration and wonderful acidity conjure a wine of great vigour and excitement, unashamedly masculine and supreme in balance. Superb stuff and will, undoubtedly, be outstanding in time to come.

2017-03-07 19.53.401999 Champagne Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs, poured from magnum to kick off dinner. Lovely yeasty pungency, rich in complex citrus and floral tones, very open, displaying excellent depth with supple acidity.

2012 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru. This is a very special plot of only 0.21 ha wholly owned by Bouchard sited just west of Bouchard’s 0.88 ha of Montrachet Grand Cru (on the Puligny side) that, in the 19th century, was classified as part of Vrai-Montrachet. True to its heritage, this wine exudes superb richness of fruit, layered with silky smooth creme de la crème and icing amidst overtones of white flowers and chalky minerals, full-bodied but never heavy, displaying lovely balance throughout its length. Excellent stuff.

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2012 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru

2011 Bouchard Pere et Fils Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru.  Lifted bouquet of dark roses leading to a great concentration of dark berries and red fruits with traces of tangerines, richly layered with good acidity but still tight, showing some early development with emerging notes of mocha.

1989 Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot 1er. Fully mature, this wine exudes a wonderful earthy pungency matched with glorious fruit, still fresh, that recalls aged plums and tangerine, gently layered with undergrowth and raw savoury tones, open with very fine acidity and great linearity that tapered towards a subtle finish. Wonderfully complex.

2017-03-07 22.42.57

Ric & M. Luc Bouchard

 

 

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