I was in my local supermarket the other day and spotted these two similarly priced wines. Looking more closely they could quite possibly described as brand-leaders (at least for the domaines concerned) at this price-point – and that’s quite an important position when you consider that together, Bouchard P&F and Bichot commercialise something over five million bottles per year!
2008 Long-Depaquit, Chablis 1er Vaillons
Pungent, fresh and intense – without sight of the label you could be forgiven for being unsure if it were a Grand Cru or not. This wine was singing, so much so that (pouring for three people) it was almost gone in a flash. A little was left in the bottle which was left in the fridge – a full five days later, because of travelling, I returned to the remaining half glass. I expected to be throwing it down the sink; instead it went down my throat with enjoyment – not even a hint of development or oxidation – bravo! And that was without a seal of any kind in the neck.
Rebuy – Yes
2008 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune 1er du Château
Sealed with the Diam 10. On first opening there is nothing on the nose save oak-spice, the palate has some density and suggestions of fruit but little else. As the wine aerates and warms there is a short period where the oak and fruit come close to aromatic balance, but afterwards the impression is rather diffuse. Likewise the flavours never offer the focus and intensity that I would hope for and indeed expect. It seems disappointing, yet I’m loathed to discount it – I didn’t like either the 2001 or 2006 at this stage/age yet they improved immeasurably with another 3+ years in bottle – but I don’t think oak was the issue with those wines. Still, to drink today I wouldn’t/couldn’t recommend it. Day 2 and the oak is, if anything, more dominant. I have a couple more to see if I’m (yet again) wrong about this wine.
Rebuy – No
So brand-leaders or not, only a fifty percent return here…