2008 Beaune Greves Vignes de l'Enfant Jesus (Domaine) Bouchard Pere & Fils



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£617.00
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Average critic rating : 92.5 points

90-93

90-93

A superbly elegant red berry fruit nose that offers really striking depth and is the most complex among this group of Beaune 1ers is followed by detailed, minerally and utterly delicious yet entirely serious middle weight flavors that display an intense minerality on the perfectly balanced, long and harmonious finish. Indeed the harmony of this wine is such that I would describe it as having a Zen-like poise. Allen Meadows, Burghound. Apr18,2010

93

93

A cool, almost perpetually breezy site in a vintage of cool, wind-driven concentration, results in a buoyant, refreshing, penetrating personality. Bouchard’s flagship 2008 Beaune Greves L’Enfant Jesus displays the aromatic complexity of a tobacconist’s along with a wide assortment of mouthwateringly ripe red berries and bittersweet hints of citrus oil. Sappy and bright yet richly-textured, and palate-staining in its persistent intensity of tobacco and red fruit, citrus oils, soy, and mineral salts, this superbly conveys the vibrancy of which 2008 is so notably capable, while displaying a plush sense of substantiality and ultra-fine tannins that are less common this year. I would plan to follow it for 15 or more years. Prost reports that the selection was especially rigorous this year, with most of the domaine’s Greves fruit being declassified into the Beaune du Chateau cuvee. Bouchard always presents this wine dead last in any line-up, regardless of the grand crus that might immediately precede it. While I usually list wines in the print edition of a report in the order in which they are served, I move the baby Jesus back to join its fellow Beaunes. That said, in this vintage, Bouchard’s point in serving it last is well-taken! David Schildknech, The Wine Advocate. Jun 2010

93

93

A cool, almost perpetually breezy site in a vintage of cool, wind-driven concentration, results in a buoyant, refreshing, penetrating personality. Bouchard’s flagship 2008 Beaune Greves L’Enfant Jesus displays the aromatic complexity of a tobacconist’s along with a wide assortment of mouthwateringly ripe red berries and bittersweet hints of citrus oil. Sappy and bright yet richly-textured, and palate-staining in its persistent intensity of tobacco and red fruit, citrus oils, soy, and mineral salts, this superbly conveys the vibrancy of which 2008 is so notably capable, while displaying a plush sense of substantiality and ultra-fine tannins that are less common this year. I would plan to follow it for 15 or more years. Prost reports that the selection was especially rigorous this year, with most of the domaine’s Greves fruit being declassified into the Beaune du Chateau cuvee. Bouchard always presents this wine dead last in any line-up, regardless of the grand crus that might immediately precede it. While I usually list wines in the print edition of a report in the order in which they are served, I move the baby Jesus back to join its fellow Beaunes. That said, in this vintage, Bouchard’s point in serving it last is well-taken! ||Director-winemaker Philippe Prost made no attempt to minimize the challenges of 2008 and was careful to distinguish between its wind-borne concentration and genuinely ideal phenolic maturity (approached more nearly this year in white than red). He opined that the wide window afforded for relaxed picking despite the late calendar date was critical, since the levels of ripeness were so disparate from one site to another. That said, he showed me an outstanding collection of Pinots. Ironically, as he pointed out, ripeness was also disparate in one of the two earliest vintages on record, 2007, yet picking – while fitful – was anything but relaxed due to the pressure of rot. And here, too, Bouchard scored excellent successes. By means of, where necessary, “swapping lees” between barrels to inoculate stubborn lots, Prost says he was able to get all of his 2008s through malo-lactic conversion in timely fashion, which he considers especially important with Pinot. Bottling of the 2008 reds – with a few exceptions mentioned in my notes and due to have been bottled in April – took place in December and January, the same schedule adopted for their 2007s. I did not have an opportunity to taste nearly all of Bouchard’s vast collection from either vintage, and have in the text of my notes indicated a few from among their 2008s that I take to represent significant omissions. (I have not noted “Domaine” to distinguish those wines that are part of the Bouchard, except in cases where there is another otherwise eponymous wine.) Wine Advocate.June, 2010

Bouchard Père & Fils: The Importance

The definitive Burgundy négociant is Bouchard Père & Fils, which, in Clive Coates’ opinion, is among the region’s best. Allen Meadows is regularly impressed by wines from this domaine, with old vintage stock providing a backdrop for the youthful recent releases, which have been on a noticeable upward curve in recent years. Steen Öhman tells his readers that he is “a big fan of the Bouchard whites, as they represent purity and refinement.”

 

Bouchard Père & Fils: The Insight

In Robert Parker’s opinion, the highlights of the domaine's offerings include their "flagship" Beaune-Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus, their "outstanding" parcels in Volnay, Vosne-Romanée, and Gevrey-Chambertin; and their "exceptional" holdings in Meursault, Puligny, and Chassagne, including "enough Chevalier-Montrachet to justify two separate bottlings".

 

Parker has reason to be impressed: Bouchard is the biggest landholder in Burgundy, with 43 bottlings from 74 Premier Cru vineyards spanning Burgundy, and 13 Grand Cru bottlings from 12 Grand Cru hectares. These include legendary terroirs such as La Romanée, “a stellar wine” according to Pierre Rovani, as well as a tremendous range of white wines of which Steen Öhman tells his readers that he is “a big fan.” For him, “they represent purity and refinement,” a view that is corroborated by John Gilman who describes recent vintages of the whites as “stunning”.

 

The 2010 Montrachet from Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils is pure magic in the bottle,” writes Gilman, while the 2011 is “utterly exhilarating and profound” and the 2012 “also brilliant.” According to Allen Meadows, the Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny provide “top value,” as does the white Puligny-Montrachet.

 

Bouchard Père & Fils: The Background

John Gilman has emphatically praised Bouchard’s move away from “aggressively spicy” Taransaud barrels for the élevage of their red wines starting in 2011. Gilman also notes that this kind of barrel has never been used for the white wines at Bouchard, which earn high praise from Gilman in every recent vintage.

 

Changes of management are nothing new at Maison Bouchard, whose cellars in Beaune have been in constant production since 1731, with vineyard holdings expanding drastically at the end of the 18th Century. The 19th Century was marked by intensified vineyard plantings in Beaune and the family schism that gave rise to the négociant firm Bouchard Ainé & Fils. As of 2015, Bouchard is part of “La Vigie,” a collection of wine estates managed by the family-run Champagne House Henriot. The highly-regarded Chablis producer William Fèvre is in the same stable, having been originally acquired by Bouchard in 1998.

 



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