Bouchard Père et Fils – 2020


Frédéric Weber 2021 Bouchard Père et FilsTasted twice in Beaune with Frédéric Weber, 07 December 2021.

Bouchard Père et Fils
15 Rue du Château
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 24 80 24
More reports with Maison Bouchard Père et Fils

Frédéric on 2021:
10hl/ha in 2021 vs roughly a normal volume in 2020 for whites. Overall, it’s about a quarter of a harvest in 2021 – we had only 4 barrels of Chevailer-Montrachet from over 2 hectares… 1830 was the most comparable – in 2016 we had more than half a harvest. Plenty of wines are missing in the Côte de Nuits too. Some domaines have stopped personal sales to favour external clients – such is the lack of ‘liquidity’ right now.

Frédéric on 2020:
2020 was a normal volume white vintage with 38 hl/ha – red was more disappointing with 28 hl/ha on average and that’s similar to what we achieved in 2019. We saw a deficit of more than 200mm of rain and that was coupled with the desiccating north wind. Flowering was quite good, just a little coulure for the whites, otherwise their volume would have been higher. Average heat rather than the peaks of temperature in 2003 or 2019 – the pinot suffered more – the chardonnay resisted the heat quite well. 19 August we started harvesting – a record – and that was for the reds. All the grapes went through a cold room before triage the latter for removing the shrivelled grapes which would have brought a porty flavour – lots of acidity and we added a bit more wc in this vintage too. Malos were all done relatively quickly. The wines show a certain weight – the crunchiness of 16 but even more concentrated. Hardly any are racked yet – the reds – probably starting to bottle in the springtime. It’s a vintage that will benefit from more elevage. It was hard to find a system in 2020 you couldn’t say that the limestone soils were sooner ripening for instance. The reds need longer or they might tighten after bottling – they remind of the 1929s from the colour and acidity.

The wines…

What a fabulous tasting. There are many great reds here that are worth a special search – but their whites, as a whole, are probably even better! Bravo!

2020 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Lavières
Practically 4 ha, south-facing
That’s bright and energetic – quite the red fruit aroma for this one. Supple, silky, mouth-filling. Wide and very delicious – that’s directly a great Lavières – super finesse!

2020 Beaune 1er du Chateau
Not the full assembly – but close.
A deeper nose – more wc spice showing here. More structural, but also more mouth-filling and energetic. This is a really super rendition of this cuvée and one that’s going to drink well for many years!

2020 Beaune 1er Teurons
2.4 ha on the hillside – usually the first harvested in Beaune.
More floral and red-fruited – still with some wc spice. Super silky, more elegantly presented red fruit than the ‘Chateau’. That’s a super wine again.

2020 Beaune 1er Clos de la Mousse
This is a 3.36 hectare monopole next to Les Avaux. Before hitting the mother-rock there’s a deep and dense 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.
Narrower, fine herb, dark fruit with some wc accents. A little extra structure is visible and a slowly growing tannin too. Clean, pure finishing – complex and attractive!

2020 Beaune 1er Marconnets
This normally later harvesting but not in 2020 – it was one of the first.
Also a narrower style of aroma with fine, dark-fruited freshness above – slowly adding floral accents. Clean, open, beautifully detailed. A little structural tannin in the more mineral finish but with hardly any grain and no dryness. Excellent!

2020 Beaune 1er Grèves L’Enfant Jesus
Four different plots, vinified separately, 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 – 0.5 ha recently replanted. 3.91 ha.
A fuller nose, more finely divided complexity. Extra width – that’s super – depth and complexity of flavour – structure too but never hard. This wine has everything. Bravo – so complete!
2020 Volnay 1er Les Chevrets
Domaine – declassified into the domaine 1er cru for many years – now it has its own label.
A little more silky width to this nose – airy and slowly developing florals too. More direct, cool fruit – that’s got great energy and complexity – also great!

2020 Volnay 1er Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
A 3.75 hectares, again in 4 plots. 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.
A deeper width of aroma – lovely and very different. Sweeter, always growing. This reminds of the open style of the Baby Jesus – but with a little more tannin and sweetness of flavour. More complex than the Chevret but I prefer the extra clarity of that wine today – and maybe this has the better finish – still, it’s excellent wine!

2020 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Same altitude as the Taillepieds and harvested at the same time.
A more concentrated and almost sugared fruit but growing fresher and finer with air – that’s super. Hmm – the best combination of the last two wines – wide and energetic, so mouth-watering – extra grain but never drying. Floral and fruit in the finish. Excellent again.

2020 Le Corton
Some extra freshness, openness and a more overt wc perfume – but the ensemble is fine. Mouthfilling, extra structure – as it should be – plenty of complexity and a small grain of tannin. The wc visible for sure but never too much. This is another super wine – a sinuous wine – and more persistent finishing than most…

2020 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Cailles
1 ha here
That’s a nose with a finer texture and a more ample width of perfume – a super invitation. Bright, pure, direct, so mouth-watering – great wine!

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
0.25 ha on a good slope, east-facing, just under the trees
More airy, floral, perhaps a small accent of pyrazine. Gorgeous in the mouth – broad but fresh, cool fruit, complex, perhaps still that suggestion of pyrazine – but at this level, it’s just another note of complexity – almost a little graphite minerality at the last. That’s so very good!

2020 Clos de Vougeot
Half a hectare is owned in 2 equal size parcels; one next to Grands-Echézeaux – PLant l’Abbaye – and a lower parcel which has been replanted, but there’s no harvest for now. This the third vintage ‘alone.’ ‘This higher part has much more elegance than the bottom part used to show.’
A more spiced depth of aroma – a great aroma! Correct structure, cool fruit, great energy – classic, complex, fresh, but not austere. Really a super concentration of fresh finishing flavour. Great CV
2020 Echézeaux
Domaine from the Combe d’Orveaux. White, south-facing soil, cool in the nights here but still the most precocious parcel of the domaine in the CdN. There’s a negoce too that’s from Rouges du Bas
Extra width of aroma, very perfumed and floral – that’s another beauty. Fuller, properly Vosne in style, again cool fruit. Beautifully mouth-watering too. Not an ultra-concentrated Echézeaux but still a great one!
2020 Chapelle-Chambertin
Harvested 29 August. A tiny parcel here of old vines next to Drouhin’s Griotte
That’s a beautiful nose – really great – cushioned, cossetting fruit. Also in the mouth – here is dimension a richness from concentration, texturally silky always mouth-watering. A great and ultra-persistent Chapelle!
2020 Clos de Bèze
Almost 1 ha under the wood – so higher vines. Harvested the same day as the Chapelle
A little less colour. A more structured nose – compartmentalised – mineral, floral and there’s fruit too. Extra mouth-filling freshness, perhaps energy too. Really more happening here than with the Chapelle – great finishing too – for the next dozen years you will probably enjoy the Chapelle more – but this is great and will last even longer.
2020 Chambertin
0.16 ha of vines in the domaine near Latricières and the wood at the top.
Hmm – a silky nose – more sophisticated than the Bèze today. Hmm – yes! A spherical impression to this wine – it has everything texturally and from a complexity perspective. Long, mineral finishing – narrower but never shorter. This will be a great bottle too.

Les Whites
Fred explains – “The surprise of the vintage, for me, the wines are more regular, they suffered less, the grapes were juicy – we needed to wait a little longer – 24 August – but still 13° natural. Some of the malos were longer than the reds but all were done by the Springtime. The bottling of these planned to be in Springtime of 2022:

2020 Beaune Blanc
From Prevolles – the second vintage – was pinot, the roots now overgrafted with shoots from Charlemagne
Hmm – that’s a very attractive first wine – a little roundness to the aroma but still alive. Mineral, wide, completely delicious – a pleasure – great Beaune villages!
2020 Meursault Les Clous
An extra weight of pure, ripe, fruit at the core of this wine – finer for sure. Proper Meursault flavour – an extra structural component to this wine. Wide, mouth-watering. To buy in cases and drink over the next 10+ years
2020 Beaune 1er du Château
10 ha from 5 1ers – each with separate elevage
More open, good freshness, a touch of barrel – almost coconut. Extra freshness that I wasn’t expecting – quite a mineral freshness and coolness to this wine. I’d give it a year for the, still modest, oak to fade. Fine and creamy finishing with a faintly phenolic texture – that’s a great Beaune for the price!

2020 Beaune Clos St.Landry
‘A 2 hectare Clos – yellow marne here, practically the only place in Beaune. Even in the 13th century, it is written that here in Beaune was planted chardonnay – it has always been planted to white as far as anyone knows.’

A more vertical nose, super depth and attractive high tones. Broader, more mouth-filling flavour – riper fruit, almost a hint exotic though coupled with fresh energy too. Lots of fun this wine but with just enough seriousness in the finish!

2020 Meursault 1er Bouchères
Not fully open but a beauty – a depth of fine fruit and of clarity too. An insinuating width of flavour, that becomes an intensity. Nicely vibrant finishing too – lots of detail in this finish. Yum!

2020 Meursault 1er Poruzots
Vines here that touch the previous Bouchères
A more vibrant and almost gelée citrus fruit – modestly reductive. Here there’s a little gas. More structural – it’s Porusots! Great clarity and mobility to this flavour. Truly excellent – maybe better than that – the finish with a subtle extra salinity too.

2020 Meursault 1er Goutte d’Or
Narrower but still a fine depth with wonderful aromatic clarity. Bright and wide, lovely attack to this pure flavour – lots of width too. Bravo – I could drink this all day…

2020 Meursault 1er Charmes
A little more, subtly reductive, depth to this nose. Again a little gas – still more mouth-filling volume than the last. There’s more overt complexity to the flavour of this too – the structure is more relaxed but still fine. Long finishing. Simply excellent.

2020 Meursault 1er Genevrières
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.
An accent of noble reduction to this seriously great nose. Along with the Clous a wine for buying cases of! Direct, mouth-watering – hyper-complex great wine.
2020 Meursault 1er Perrières
From 3 different plots totalling 1.2 hectares. Again with separate elevage but blended together at the end.
A nose that’s as good as the last but then with a little extra width – bravo! Overtly more mineral, an almost tight core of flavour to this wine – overtly less open than the Genevrières today – yet still so mouthwatering. I think another great wine but it is the Genevrières that’s more precocious and attractive today.
2020 Corton-Charlemagne
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. ‘It’s important to wait for the maturity here.’
A narrower nose – it’s a little tighter and showing more oak accents today. Wow – serene, mineral, wide – but pure – what detail! What a wine! For the more patient – even more than the Perrières. Great finishing impression too.
2020 Chevalier-Montrachet
Assembly of the 4 terraces. , the Cabotte just racked and sulfured so not shown
A direct nose, pure agrume, apparently silky too. Where the Charlemagne was about width, this is a more direct wine with cool-fruit style. More open and complex in the finish – really complex. A wine that’s much more open than the Charlemagne today – and as a minimum, excellent!
2020 Montrachet
0.89ha bought in 1838, with only 4 (known) owners in centuries. This is still in barrel.
Starting tighter in the top notes but with an impressive width at the base and becoming more and more complex with aeration. Extra in all directions – hard to imagine, but here it is. Mouth-filling energy, minerality, perfect texture and all the while with a vibrancy to the flavours. Great wine – no doubt!

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