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2008 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauDec. 2011
Gradually there are some higher, floral tones and eventually a few flashes of tobacco too, but mainly this has a deeper register of dark fruit buttressed by equally dark oak. Round, plenty of sweet depth, just a little cushioning, balanced by close to perfect acidity. There’s plenty of flavour here, but I really can’t find the ‘Beaune’, and that’s because such a large part of the flavour profile is the sweetness of dark oak. Despite that oak, this has quite a measure of elegance – this is a lovely wine – but it needs to shed a lot of non-grape derived flavour before it becomes a lovely Beaune.
2008 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauJul. 2011
Sealed with the Diam 10. On first opening there is nothing on the nose save oak-spice, the palate has some density and suggestions of fruit but little else. As the wine aerates and warms there is a short period where the oak and fruit come close to aromatic balance, but afterwards the impression is rather diffuse. Likewise the flavours never offer the focus and intensity that I would hope for and indeed expect. It seems disappointing, yet I’m loathed to discount it – I didn’t like either the 2001 or 2006 at this stage/age yet they improved immeasurably with another 3+ years in bottle – but I don’t think oak was the issue with those wines. Still, to drink today I wouldn’t/couldn’t recommend it. Day 2 and the oak is, if anything, more dominant. I have a couple more to see if I’m (yet again) wrong about this wine.
2007 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauDec. 2009
Medium, medium-pale colour. The nose is less bright and precise than the Monthèlie, yet has a little more depth and complexity. More depth on the mid-palate and this is the first wine with some tannin, perhaps partly oak derived, but good length.
2006 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauApr. 2009
A bright and pretty medium cherry-red colour. The nose is a broad and forward blend of sweet toasty elements, some coffee even something faintly resembling fruit. Obvious, but quite well textured and slightly astringent tannin. Good intensity that grows and grows before peaking in the mid-palate. Helped by perfect acidity there is a very good length – but that length is mainly oak derived and relatively bitter – much more than a bitter chocolate effect. I’m sure this will be nicer, and perhaps even ‘worthy’ in a couple of years, but frankly today the forward oak left me with little to enjoy.
2004 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauJul. 2008
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is deep and oaky; dark, sweet oak rather than overt toast and there’s not a trace of vintage cedar. In the mouth it is similarly dominated by the oak. Certainly there is decent, sweet intensity behind the wood and a more than lingering finish – it really is very long – but frankly on day one, whilst it’s a tasty oak beverage, I can find little to suggest Burgundy, let-alone Beaune! This is usually one of the best value cuvées you can buy from any négoce so I gave it a chance: Day 2. The nose remains deep, a little musky – not so much oak but still hard to spot the fruit – perhaps dark-skinned plum, but on the negative side as it warms in the glass you get a hint of ash. In the mouth it now has a higher-toned dimension and plenty of sweetness. The length is unchanged and I’m happy to report that it shows more of a creamy than vanilla edge. This is significantly improved, even if I still wouldn’t guess Beaune! If you want to drink Beaune, then decant this at least 5-6 hours before drinking. If you just want a delicious glass, pop and pour.
2006 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauApr. 2008
A mix of red berries and an additional darker aspect which seems to be from the oak. Ripeness, intensity, lovely acidity and a creaminess to the fruit that covers the slightly grainy tannin. There is some oak flavour but it’s not overdone. Lingers well on the tongue – as usual it’s an easy ‘buy’ recommendation.
2006 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauApr. 2008
From 4 parcels; Aigrots, Tuvilains, Sizies and Sur Les Grèves. A deeper nose than the bourgogne, more brioche too. A richer and softer texture in the mouth. Plenty of mid-palate interest and a decent length. The acidity is understated though I never felt it to be lacking.
2001 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauNov. 2007
Last tried almost 3 years ago and it was very ‘awkward’. Medium ruby-red colour. Softly sweet red nose – primary but pretty. Medium weight, nicely transparent and with good acidity. This is altogether quite a charmer today – shame I held of more purchases as it’s all gone now!
2002 Bouchard Père et Fils, Beaune du ChâteauApr. 2007
Medium-plus cherry-red colour, no evolution of the colour yet. The nose started powdery and a little mildewy, it took over an hour in the glass to clean up and show high toned red fruits at the top and just a little blacker material below. Sweet, quite well textured and with lovely mid-palate intensity. The tannins are less grainy than many 2002’s and still reasonably well-covered. There’s plenty of good acidity to ride you through into an equally good finish – though there’s just a little finishing bitterness – this will resolve over the next 2 years. Still a relative bargain for the quality, I expect this wine will have a good long life.
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