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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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