2007 Chevalier Montrachet La Cabotte Bouchard Pere & Fils



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£377.00

Average critic rating : 95.67 points

95

95

A slightly riper but equally elegant nose of green apple, white flower, anise, clove and wet stone is trimmed in a bit of oak toast nose before merging seamlessly into rather muscular and notably powerful big-bodied flavors that are rich, full and sappy while delivering a concentrated, explosive and hugely long finish. This can't quite match the power and depth of the Montrachet but it's not far off either. Allen Meadows, Burghound. Jul01,2009

96

96

Reflecting a terrace adjacent to Le Montrachet (one of four Bouchard terraces that collectively constitute around one third of this great cru) the 2007 Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte offers a floral bouquet as ravishing as that of its “regular” Chevalier-Montrachet counterpart. Here the scents range from iris through orange blossom, and including that of the flowering vines themselves. This is even more penetrating yet also more rarified than its immediate sibling, with the high-toned floral notes again carrying along with citrus oils all the way into the finish, here characterized by transparency to and a dynamically shimmering interchange with saline, stony, and savory crustacean mineral elements. A hint of white pepper adds invigoration to the litany of luscious fruit and intriguing mineral characteristics of this subtly creamy-textured, uncannily buoyant expression of a great site which – although Bouchard has appealed to the authorities in past for a reclassification as Montrachet – strikes me as distinctively Chevalier in personality, or perhaps in this vintage like a cross between Montrachet and Les Preuses! I both hope and anticipate that this will be worth following for well more than a decade, but anyone lucky enough to acquire some would be crazy not to begin enjoying it young. David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate. Dec 2009

96

96

Reflecting a terrace adjacent to Le Montrachet (one of four Bouchard terraces that collectively constitute around one third of this great cru) the 2007 Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte offers a floral bouquet as ravishing as that of its “regular” Chevalier-Montrachet counterpart. Here the scents range from iris through orange blossom, and including that of the flowering vines themselves. This is even more penetrating yet also more rarified than its immediate sibling, with the high-toned floral notes again carrying along with citrus oils all the way into the finish, here characterized by transparency to and a dynamically shimmering interchange with saline, stony, and savory crustacean mineral elements. A hint of white pepper adds invigoration to the litany of luscious fruit and intriguing mineral characteristics of this subtly creamy-textured, uncannily buoyant expression of a great site which – although Bouchard has appealed to the authorities in past for a reclassification as Montrachet – strikes me as distinctively Chevalier in personality, or perhaps in this vintage like a cross between Montrachet and Les Preuses! I both hope and anticipate that this will be worth following for well more than a decade, but anyone lucky enough to acquire some would be crazy not to begin enjoying it young. ||Philippe Prost’s late-August starting date for the 2007 white harvest reflects not simply the enormous acreage over which Bouchard holds sway. (In fact, they can muster correspondingly large forces and their gargantuan facility with its battery of presses can handle the harvest in ten days if need be.) It is also a function of assiduous yield control that promotes ripening, and of a professed interest in capturing freshness and vivacity. Furthermore, picking extended for 18 days, until mid-September, and most of the estate’s top sites were brought in near the end. And with the exception of a Pouilly-Fuisse rendered from contract fruit, none of the 2007 whites here were chaptalized. Most came in a bit over 13% alcohol and – as Prost asserts and his wines testify – with excellent phenolic maturity. Prost prefers to avoid sulfuring the fruit or must, letting it darken from oxidation during its period of skin contact and settling because, in his view, not only the color but the flavors bounce back as soon as the juice starts fermenting, and the resulting wine is both more expressive and more stable. “You know,” he says by way of general commentary on the evolution of Bouchard vinification, “a few years ago we were too concerned to be clean and clinical” with the result that “the wines were closed,” especially in their youth. No one could level that charge at the wines now, even if some are subtle and understated. The question now – just as at other Burgundy addresses – is how white wines from the last several vintages will age. Among many recent changes made at Bouchard in the name (dare I interject, “hope”?) of reducing instances of premature oxidation and bottle variation are blanketing the assembled wines in nitrogen, a sophisticated new bottling protocol, and the use of Diam (specially treated composite) corks for village level wines and dense corks from Sardinia for crus. eRobertParker.com.December, 2009

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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