Toward the end of February a very nice set of wines were presented in Beaune by Christophe Bouchard of Bouchard Père et Fils. The team are now in, and using, their new winery in Savigny – 200 assorted vats, the space to store 4,500 barrels and further bottle cellaring space. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to make a visit this time around, look out for photos next time – maybe!
Regarding the wines, it’s a very strong performance – but there is but one criticism – there is quite a family nose to the reds: a faintly spicy caramel aspect from the barrels. Hopefully this will be a short-lived thing as the palates are certainly very clean, showing no undue oak flavour or texture.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Bourgogne Rouge Les Coteaux des Moines|
Made for the first time in 2003, this is a selection of the best purchased grapes which for the first time in 2005 will be sold outside of France. It’s a wide, soft and ripe nose. Equally soft on the palate but combining nice width and well balanced acidity. The finish has good length with just a trace of young-oak bitterness, but this looks like it will be a super little wine. Approximately 1,000 cases made.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Monthélie|
I remember the young 2003 making a strong impression for it’s fun, concentrated fruit-essence style. This wine (bottled in January) is almost as much fun, but it’s considerably more sophisticated. From Bouchard’s own 2.9 hectares of vines. The nose is wider and fresher than the Bourgogne, with darker-skinned fruits and a little oak spice. Fuller in the mouth, considerably more serious structure – some grain to the tannin which clings to your teeth – yet this retains a fun face. Supple and ripe. Nice wine.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavières|
With almost 4 hectares of vines, Bouchard P&F own close to one quarter of this vineyard. Bottled at the beginning of February (only 3 weeks before this note), this wine initially shows an understated and nicely floral aspect, slowly it builds on flashes of dark fruit and eventually some caramel barrel notes. Sweeter fruit than the previous wines, again with some grain to the tannin, but the purity of the fruit presentation is excellent as it expands over the mid-palate. I will check a few prices as this could be quite a buy.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune 1er Cru du Château|
For such a massive production – over 100,000 bottles from 21 hectares of 17 different 1er crus – this wine delivers impressively high quality in almost every vintage, 2005 is no exception. This has a lovely full nose with a creamy depth to the fruit and eventually that faintly vanilla/caramel barrel note that most of these reds are wearing. Concentrated, but vs the previous wines this is more supple and has much finer tannin. Really exemplary balance coupled with good length. I think this is a wine to buy by the case in this vintage.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot|
Again with 4 hectares of vines, Bouchard P&F own close to one third of Caillerets. The nose starts in a very understated way; floral, but needs quite some coaxing to show a little more depth and again faint barrel notes. A silky texture covers fruit of understated power – aided by fine acidity the complex flavours just roll over and over your tongue. This is really lovely.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes|
From 0.85 hectares of owned vines. A much more mineral nose than the Caillerets though underpinned with some supple, high-quality black-skinned cherry notes. Ripe, sweet fruit on the palate but balanced by excellent acidity. There’s more tannin here than the Caillerets – velvet rather than silk. Long lasting in the finish – yet another very fine wine.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Pommard 1er Cru Les Pézerolles|
This wine announces itself with a wide, mineral nose underpinned by black fruit and those caramel barrel notes – lovely depth, a wine to keep sniffing. On the palate there’s ripe, dense and dark fruit, perhaps a little damson. This is very long finishing. This wowed me with its energy and personality – super.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Le Corton|
There are many dimensions to this deep, wide and dense nose, though the fact that it’s been in bottle only a few days might have taken away a little gloss. Very soft entry on the palate but you are soon bathed in soft, finely grained tannin. There’s real concentration yet there is balance too. The wine opens out well on the palate and is impressively long. This will require years and years in bottle, but is always well priced for the quality.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin|
From purchased grapes. The high-toned nose is a little animale – softly musky. The palate is wide and ripe with understated but very present tannins. Lovely balancing acidity and good length. This is another wine that you can keep for years – though unlike the Corton, not out of neccessity! Eventually the nose is more fruit driven with sweet oak notes complimenting.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Nuits St.Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles|
From just over 1 hectare of owned vines that give Bouchard P&F close to one third of the appellation. High-toned fruit over a sweet base of blue and black-skinned fruits. Apparently Les Cailles is often colder than the surrounding vineyards so can be a harder wine. Soft, with quite sophisticated though abundant tannins. A nice kick in the mid-palate moves you into a lovely clean finish.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots|
From a grower with whom BP&F have a long-term contract, 6 or 7 barrels worth. The nose is a little understated; faint cinnamon tops warm, creamy-red fruit of quite some depth. Christophe Bouchard pointed out a little extra dried currant on the nose which he described as indicative of ‘vendanges entier’ where after pressing the last few grams of sugar ferment in the barrel. The palate has a sweet entry and is concentrated with good acidity and plenty of tannin – velvetty – with a very long, lingering finish.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Chambertin Clos de Bèze|
This is the one wine that really stamps it’s own personality on the aromatics. Usually higher-toned floral notes tend to sit in a layer above the rest of the aromatics, here it is more like they are encapsulated by the rest of the aromas – really fine and super elegant. Concentrated certainly, but the fruit does a super job of covering the wealth of tannins. This quite mineral wine expands wonderfully well into a finish that really delivers. It’s an understated delivery compared to some wines from Chambertin/Bèze in 2005, but it’s really a first class wine.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Bourgogne Blanc Les Coteaux des Moines|
A mix of parcels from the Côte de Challonaise and Meursault. Wide, soft but relatively precise nose with an impression of pear. The palate is slightly plump – for me I’d prefer a dash more acidity – and exotic. This has a good length and is sweet and tasty.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Pouilly-Fuissé|
A deep yet quite linear nose that eventually releases some nicely perfumed high tones. Again this is a little plump, but is a little less rich and has nicer balance for me than the bourgogne. Nice understated wine.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune 1er du Château|
From just under 10 hectares of vines from 4 1er crus. I mentioned to Christophe Bouchard that whilst I often find the red version of this cuvée, I hardly ever encounter the white – he just laughed and said ‘that’s because the Swiss prefer their reds!’. This has a nice wide nose – understated but quite focused and interesting. Richness is quite well balanced by the mouthwatering acidity. Good length too. Almost good, but I don’t see the stunning quality of the red.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault Les Clous|
Bouchard own 8.7 hectares in this vineyard – almost 50% of the appellation. The vines are set high on the hill, so this is often one of the very last vineyartds to be harvested. Nicely crisp and fresh aromatics that never really develop further while we’re together. The palate is still quite rich, but is mouth-filling in quite a mineral way – there’s a nice character to this wine.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault 1er Les Gouttes d’Or|
Given my preference for the fresh and mineral plus 2005’s rather rich expression I was preparing to dislike this bottle – but I was rather surprised: The nose is waxy, wide and concentrated – smells lovely. There’s almost an oily concentration on the palate but with a surprisingly wonderful balance. This is a really lovely wine that shows super length. I could get to like this – really!
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault 1er Les Genevrières|
Here is a vineyard that that was picked on the first day of the vintage. The nose is wide and nicely mineral. Again there is a soft and rather oily texture; it’s rich and slightly honeyed, but the overall effect is quite elegant. It seems more understated than the Gouttes, certainly without the ‘boom’ of that wine’s finish.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Corton-Charlemagne|
Fine, focused, linear fruit and some minerality on the nose. This was harvested quite late as the Bouchard vines sit high on the hill. Wow – the mid-palate concentration is exceptional here. The length is understated in flavour – quite mineral – but lingers fantasticly.
|2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Chevalier-Montrachet|
Was reduced on opening but cleared up quite quickly, that said this has a totally different nose to the other wines with really dense fruit but it’s glossy and focused so in no way ponderous – continues to widen in the glass – very impressive. It’s rich with a mineral edge, but like the Charlemagne the concentration bursts across the palate then the acidity ploughs into the finish – grows well in the glass. Rich with a mineral edge and like the Charlemagne the concentration bursts across the palate before the acidity ploughs you into the finish. Very lovely – stylisticly I prefer the Charlemagne but this has a real wow factor despite Christophe saying it’s closed up a little since bottling!