Tasted in Beaune with Frédéric Weber, November 20 2015.
Bouchard Père et Fils
15 Rue du Château
Tel: +33 3 80 24 80 24
Frédéric on 2015:
“It was a very nice year for us, the weather was beautiful; not so cold a winter and a fast arrival of Spring. Bright weather though some drought, saved by rain in June. Good flowering period, but mixed in the Côte de Beaune after the previous years’ hail, plus cold nights that decreased the quantity a little. Not hard to work in the vines in 2015, mildew pressure was very low, so less treatments were needed – lots of oïdium pressure though.
“Because of the heat and sun, some sun-burn was noted but a little rain at end of July, also again in August helped maturity a lot. The wines showed good balance at the end, even with very low malic acid. We saw 13.5 to 14.2 potential alcohol for the reds, the whites similar. Everything is looking well-balanced for now. I’m convinced it was a mistake to start too early – we waited until the 3rd September. Not to bad yields!”
Frédéric on 2014:
“Not a cold winter, and very difficult to work in the vines as it was so wet. Spring was super the bud-break earlier than either 2007 or 2011. In June we were very confident after a fine and fast flowering. Then there was the hail…
“Fortunately the injured grapes dried and fell to the ground, but the quantity was massively impacted – 30-35% less – but fortunately not the quality. The climate seemed to change after this storm, as there was more cloud and lower temperatures. Less leaves after the hail was actually good for the pinot as the wind helped avoid the worst of the rot pressure. The last days before the harvest saw super weather for ripening, with cool nights too. The Côte de Beaune had aerated bunches, thick skins, concentration with good stems but not so much ripeness in the pips. We reduced the maceration time but kept a consistent 20-25% level of whole-clusters. The Côte de Nuits was different, almost normal. Juicy berries, thin skins delicate grapes with a classical maceration, preserving 40-50% of the whole clusters.
“All the pinot malos were done by about March. Chardonnay was different, the malos were especially long, some going into July.
I wasn’t really confident about the vintage before July but then the wines just seemed to take-off…”
Just a great set of wines here – the whites are exceptional and the reds really show the strength of well triaged, concentrated, Côte de Beaune fruit.
2014 Côteaux Bourguignone
Mainly gamay from Beaujolais, some crus in there, plus pinot from the Côte Chalonnais. Some aging in new barrels.
A wide, nose, certainly gamay. Quite okay. Lovely in the mouth – very nicely textured. With a fine and direct finishing flavour.
‘Mainly from Côte d’Or fruit, many of the villages so representative of Côte d’Or.’ 15% in-oak elevage, the rest stainless-steel with lees.
A modest nose. In the mouth there’s good width, and mouth-filling roundness of shape. Good texture again, and the flavour is fresh and interesting, indeed really excellent for the label in the finish.
From 6 (owned) hectares: from Meix de Mypont (south), and 1 ha below Les Duresses where there’s more clay. 20% whole cluster but not a long maceration, using 20% new barrels… bottled last week.
A nice red fruit top note, rather discreet overall. Adds some florals. In the mouth cool, a little more intense, vg energy, more structure from the mid-palate but with fine, refreshing red fruit. Super…
2014 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
Owners of 4 ha, normally one of the last vineyards to be harvested.
Here’s a very pretty and appealing red fruited nose. Sleek but concentrated wine. A wine that builds from its base of flavour, becoming ever more intense. Dark, faintly mineral notes in the mid-palate. Tastes great – theres a lot of wine here, currently framed with a little spicy oak – but with floral references in the finish too. Great finish.
26 hectares; 17 crus all elevaged separately before the blending. The average was not much more than 20 hl/ha, but some were closer to 10 – Aigrots only 6! Only Clos de la Mousse, Teurons and Enfant Jesus were bottled separately this year.
A warm core of red fruit on the nose. Wow weight, concentrated and texture this vintage. Top wine here. There’s some tannin to assimilate, but this is a top purchase in 2014!
This is a 3.36 hectare monopole next to Les Avaux. It’s a deep clay soil that’s rich in lime so needs 5 or 6 days more time to mature compared to Grèves – but it never suffers from drought as there are some springs. 30-35% whole-clusters here. …
Deep, darker red fruit. Big in the mouth, plenty of tannin, but finely textured. Vins de garde these Beaunes. Yum! Great finish, with a hint of minerality.
Four different plot with different vine ages – 45 and 65 years old at the bottom and 25 plus 35 years old at the top – that’s one day difference in terms of ripeness – 0.4 ha of old vines taken out this year – 20-22 hl/ha!
A floral note layer, faintly spiced. Powerful, a wine of muscle but good texture, a growing intensity here, with a salty leading edge. The last act is a pretty, mouth-watering note that escapes the clutches of the mid-palate tannin. As always, excellent, but patience required.
A 3.75 hectares in 4 plots, the hail impact different in each plot. A sunny place so maturity comes very quickly here, so together with Enfant Jesus (Grèves) usually the first to be harvested – just 50 cm of soil before the limestone..
The nose seems a little tight today. Beautifully textured, moving, sliding over the palate, tannin but even finer than the Jesus, with an impressive intensity of fruit. Wide and impressively complex in the finish – bravo
3.65 hectares. Harvested 10 days after Caillerets on 21 Sept, starting with the old vines and finishing with the young. Still in barrel, this cuvée not affected by hail.
A friendly nose but also with an impressive depth of aroma. Wow intense. Then the super-silky texture arrives, cool fruit. Then the finishing width is also very intense. Bravo!
Bought grapes, mainly (70 %). Bottled 2 weeks ago.
Forward with lots of spicy flowers. Big, round, joyfully flavoured. Easier to appreciate today than many of the Côte de Beaune wines – but why not, it’s absolutely delicious.
2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Cailles
One hectare from this 3ha, flat, appellation. Small chalky pebbles. One of first to be harvested in Côte de Nuits; 40 year-old vines, 50% whole-cluster.
Deep, beautiful aromas, Vosne-style with layers of deep fruit. Large scaled, a more seriously proportioned version of the Vosne – really lots of concentration, more intensity and structure, but very easy to drink though. Super!
2014 Clos de Vougeot
0.45 hectares of domaine vines – one plot sited high the other low in the Clos. They were harvested, blended and vinified together.
Deep colour. A discreet nose. Wow, wide but deep too, in no time your mouth is filled. Lots of texture from the tannin – but really with a great texture. Big, open, hardly austere but really one to wait for a little. A salty first attack of flavour followed by along and wide diminuendo. Fine Clos de Vougeot!
2014 Clos de Bèze
A discreet depth, but really wide, pretty red fruits and glimpses of flowers. Direct, intense, very wide, mineral. Cool personality but lots of tiny fireworks of flavour. This wine is shy today but it is giving many fine poses. Im pretty sure this should be excellent…
2014 Côteaux Bourguignone Les 2 Loups
Bought, a mix of aligote and chardonnay
A wide and really pretty, fresh citrus nose – it asks you to take a sip.
A little fat, fresh clean flavours. Not massively complex but a direct and slightly mineral impression. Really quite delicious…
2014 Bourgogne Chardonnay La Reserve
Chardonnay; mainly from the Côte d’Or, indeed mainly the C^te de Beaune.
Fine, fresh, direct with a hint of salinity. Large, fresh and intense. Some salinity a pretty wine of good intensity of flavour. The best part is the finish which I find lovely.
Majority in-must purchases. Mainly elevage in stainless-steel tank, a little more than 5% in barrel but none new.
A freshness but also weight of aroma, ripe but fresh fruit. Fresh, mouth-filling and mineral. Much more upfront interest than the ‘La Reserve.’ Big in the mouth and lovely bright precision on the finish. Super!
2014 Beaune 1er du Château
Fresh, pretty if discreet top notes of white flowers and faint citrus. Broad and textured, but with tannin texture and lots of complexity. Not a precise and fresh wine, more a Vosne white! I like!
2014 Meursault Les Clous
8.6 hectares from the top of the appellation – actually same height as Corton-Charlemagene. 50% in barrel with 10% new. ‘White marl here so normally more acidity and minerality.’
Wide and fresh, classically Meursault nose. Fresh, wide, fleshy palate with a fine mineral core. Slightly spiced. Lovely flavour. A very good villages. Great finishing too.
2.65 hectares from two plots; one from above the road to Chassagne which is a steep slope of old vines. The second, a more stony plot that brings freshness and minerality. They are separately vinified, before eventual blending. 15% new oak, racked at the end of August.
Beautiful fresh, attractive nose of clarity and precision. Waves of flavour, of complexity, of classic Meursault spice and fine freshness. Bravo! Extra long too…
From 3 different plots totalling 1.2 hectares. Again with separate elevage but blended together at the end.
Very fine, precise nose – joyous. More direct and mineral. Intense but not painfully so. Complex and interesting. Intellectual today… A faintly phenolic finishing note. Beautiful…
300m height, 3.85 hectares at the top of the hill, just above their Les Corton, east oriented with rows planted north-south, the intention being to preserve freshness.
Bright, citrus-fresh, complex with a suggestion of wood below. A little salty, weighty, concentrated and very impressive. Agrume in the mid-palate. This will be classic!
2.7 hecatres from all four terraces of the vineyard – all vinified together.
Citrus and fresh yet still very deep aromas. A width of both texture and intensity. Then seemingly more intensity in the mid-palate. Slowly but only very slowly fading in the finish. Direct but with great texture. Super length! Bravo!
From the 0.21 hectare continuation of Montrachet.
Fine, indeed very fine and precise, less overt aromatic today. A little more impact and certainly a rounder, more mouth-filling form. Brilliant intensity, and even more brilliant mouth-water, melting complexity. Bravo finish! Excellent!