Tasted in Bissey-sous-Cruchaud (near Buxy) with Florence and Jospeph Bouchard. 28 September 2019
Château de Rougeon
Tel: +33 3 85 92 02 54
We have met Joseph Bouchard before in these pages, as he’s responsible for the Château Poncié in Fleurie, but here he is, working with sister Florence at an old family place in the Côte Chalonnaise – only a few minutes from Buxy and Montagny.
The buildings here are brilliantly characterful and are over 400 years old – they have been in the Bouchard family for 250 years on the maternal side – so were never part of Bouchard Père et Fils despite there being a domaine here for 200 years. The domaine’s parcels all have the regional appellation, 11 hectares are currently planted on what is something of a throwback to mixed economy times, as, in addition to those parcels planted with vines, within their 27 hectares they also have areas planted to cereals or grazed by cows and sheep.
It was the 1980s when many of the current vines were planted, by the father of Florence and Joseph. The exploitation and was partnered with the Coop at that time, but the cuverie was developed so that the domaine could make their own production.
The domaine is predominantly planted with aligoté on different soils and exposures, but there is also chardonnay and pinot noir here. There is aligoté on granite, and on another exposure it’s on limestone – these plots separated by pinot noir. The vines are planted at 1.2 metre intervals with grass between the rows, everything worked in organic fashion – the sheep living in-between the rows – when there are no grapes! News for the domaine is that Joseph and Florence have also purchased 1 ha of Fleurie in 2019 near Poncié.
I asked Joseph about the 2018 harvest:
“It seems like it’s not so long since we finished the harvest, but I have to say that I love the quality, but less-so the quantity. We had only 22 hl/ha in the aligoté… ”
There’s practically no barrel elevage for the 2018s – just one cuvée – as the barrel cellar wasn’t quite ready for the vintage.
2018 Bourgogne Aligoté Arenite
No barrels used in elevage, just tank with the fine lees. This was bottled in July.
A nice floral nose here. A pleasing blend of width and bubbling complexity. Refreshing tasty finishing – makes me think to take another glass.
2018 Bourgogne Aligoté La Cabane
The cabane is a small building near these vines that was once used as a distillery here. It’s an old Parcel of vines but on granite soil, like the last.
Finer, less floral, a more airy nose. Hmm, a little more depth and fruit but clearly wide and mineral, so in this case I’d wait for a little time, but this is super.
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay Ostria
Chardonnay from 30 years old vines.
A smaller but also rounder nose. Fuller than the aligoté – a little more impact too. Supple, mineral but not with rigour. A big finish, slowly, mouth-wateringly, and with a super length.
2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay Gryphée
Hmm, I find this to be a very attractive nose. There’s more drive and freshness if less overt weight of concentration but with a lovely vibrant and changing flavour. Mineral but not with rigour – yum!
2018 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains La Chapelle
The parcel is actually a blend of co-planted gamay and pinot
Plenty of colour. A lovely nose that starts round, growing in the volume of aroma as the wine warms in the glass. Fresh, mineral, mouthwatering, tasty wine – it could have a little more depth of texture – drink young but enjoy!
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Ozanon
Named after their botanist ancestor who lived here at the Château
Nice extra sweetness and depth to this nose – very lovely. Large scaled, young wine lots of energy a little tar in the complexity. Wide, insistent, good intensity too – but wait 1-2 years to attack – very long finishing.
2018 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Hommage
An old parcel of pinot aged in barrel
A little more sweetness of fruit. Ooh, nicely melting over the palate dried but still exciting fruit. Easier to assimilate today than the last – complex, delicious wine.