2013 Corton Charlemagne Bouchard Pere & Fils



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Average critic rating : 93.0 points

92-94

92-94

The 2013 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru has a very reserved nose at first, but unfolds in the glass to reveal hints of yellow plum, orange peel and light limestone scents. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, quite saline in the mouth, with commendable precision toward the finish. This is certainly one of the better Corton-Charlemagne 2013s – chapeau. ||I met cellarmaster Frédéric Weber at Bouchard Père this year at their winery (on the Beaune péripherique) bustling with tourists. Once we had gotten away from the madding crowds, I tasted through their entire range. “It was a little complicated in the vineyard,” Frédéric explained somewhat euphemistically. “The winter was cold and humid and this retarded the vegetative cycle by around 20 days. There was a lot of coulure in the Côte de Nuits so there was a small harvest. We lost around 30% of the crop from flowering there, but in the Côte de Beaune the flowering was better. However, there was the hailstorm on 23 July and for example, the vineyard of Pommard Pezerolles was completely lost. Fortunately, July was sunnier and it [the growing cycle] managed to catch up. We de-leafed the vines and we found that the berries were small and this aided aeration. We commenced the harvest on 30 September and it finished quite late on 11 October. We undertook a slightly longer maceration this year and we did one pigeage per day and no remontage for a more progressive fermentation. So in total there was an 18 to 22 days cuvaison. There was also greater stem addition this year up to 30% and these were covered in the vat with de-stemmed berries.” I must confess that I found the range of wines from this historic producer a little inconsistent, in particular with regard to the reds that lacked the depth, fruit concentration, the panache of the more impressive 2012s last year. That is to be expected given the growing season. Matters improved once we began broaching the whites and especially around Puligny. Bouchard’s Puligny Combettes is as good as anything I tasted from that premier cru during my travels, likewise their Meursault Perrières: both excellent examples. My advice is to tread carefully in 2013. There are certainly some gems, but also wines that I suspect will be overshadowed by the 2012 and the forthcoming 2014s. | eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

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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