Bouchard Aîné et Fils – 2015


Tasted in Beaune with Vincent Bottreau, 13 December 2016.

Maison Bouchard Aîné et Fils
4 Boulevard Maréchal Foch
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 24 06 66

Bouchard Aîné – first visited last year.

Vincent was kind enough to make time for me, despite this being his last working day chez Bouchard Aîné – he will be taking up his new position as winemaker chez Domaine d’Ardhuy 29 December 2016.

Vincent on the 2016s:
2016 looks like 2010 vs the bigger 2015s, there is more elegance and freshness but also 40-50% less volume in total. We lost some contracts where producers had so few yields that they preferred to keep grapes for themselves. But in the end it was a very agreeable surprise.

Vincent on the 2015s:
Whites were bottled in July, reds in week 48. The whites I chose largely not to do the malos, I like the maturity but the acidities were lower than I would have liked. We harvested 02-13 September, starting in Beaune and finishing in the Chalonnais and with Maranges. We saw super cleanliness, only 2-2.5% triage, which was less than in 2014 – we used more whole clusters than in 2014 too – some cuvées were 100%.

The wines…

I found relatively rustic wines here last year, but this year (at least for those tasted) the 2015s were different beasts; the wine personality here is for plenty of oak, yet a spiced rather than a creamy vanilla, and these 2015s seemed more sophisticated, indeed, quite tasty! There are some new labels on the way for these 2015s…

Starting with a little white:

2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune
Not on the label but from les Balliards. 100% pinot blanc… only one batonnage and later fined, nothing else done here.
A decent freshness and plenty of citrus. Actually this is nice on the palate silky, rich but balanced. A little prickle of gas, but this is really super.

2015 Beaune 1er les Marconnets Blanc
Above Clos du roi, have red and white from this source.
A deep nose with citrus and a quite a some oak notes too. Fresh, nicely saline complexity, good texture. This is excellent and it finishes really well. I’d like the nose to improve but it tastes great.

Les rouges…

2015 Santenay St.John
25% new oak, 20% wc
Deep, rippling with fine muscle, a mineral dark fruit that’s totally engaging. Wide, with good freshness a little tannin in the width, but fine, pure, engaging fruit notes too. Super Santenay. Yum!

2015 Pommard la Chanière
High up, hard to access, later ripening here. 1/3 wc and about half new wood.
A little tighter, a little redder and a little more composed, if less thrilling than the nose of the Santenay. Wide, nicely textured, it’s mobile in the mouth, growing in intensity, longer with a deeper finishing note. This is lovely, overall I’ve a slight preference for the previous wine today, but I’m sure the gap will close!

2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Au Guettes
Guette means ‘to watch,’ – a little more wc – 75%.
Wide, less depth, a more obvious oak spice. In the mouth there’s a lovely and complex width and bright finishing flavour. Some tannin at the end, with the family oak spice in the finish… will be good but wait for the oak to be consumed.

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Chaboeufs
All wc. It did a very fast malo – done in January, but anyway decided to keep the normal elevage and not bottle in July. ‘I’m never looking to extract with this wine and its anyway in a cool corner of Nuits.’ About 40% oak
Spicy oak, but not at all unattractive. In the mouth, it shows good fruit, oak spice, tannin and altogether this is attractive and quite complex, but I’ve the feeling I’d like to be seeing more of the wine… tasty all the same. And really a super length of finish.

2015 Fixin La Maizières
Pretty much a Clos in the centre of the village, just over 1 ha, plenty of millerandes and a modest yield each year. 75% wc, 30% new oak.
Fresh, more floral nose, oak spice in support of-course. Wide, followed by good volume, plenty of tannin but micro-fine and silky, bright and tasty in the finish, lots of oak, but always tasty…

2015 Beaune 1er Les Marconnets
100% wc, 25% new oak.
A deep nose, dark fruit at the base, only modestly oak-spiced. I like the concentration here, the tannin like the last is incredibly fine. Very long. Super!

2015 Pommard 1er Les Charmots
100% wc, 50% new oak.
Deeply coloured. A pretty floral aroma with a faint oak spice over a tighter but dark-fruited base. I like the length, and the texture in the mid-palate. Lovely wine…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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