2007 Le Montrachet

Bouchard Pere & Fils

96Average Score
flagBurgundy / France

The Bouchard 2007 Montrachet is scented with peaches, ocean breezes, narcissus, musk, and a hint of sweat, setting the tone for a creamy palate brimming with richly ripe fruit and invigoratingly tinged with salt, sweat, white pepper, lemon zest, and peach fuzz. This is more emphatically concentrated than its Chevalier counterparts as well as – predictably – more overtly rich, but less alluring, and lacking the dynamic or lift that made the La Cabotte bottling especially memorable. Still it is formidably rich stuff, which one hopes will display stamina in bottle concomitant with its palate persistence. If I had some, I would not open a bottle for several years and would anticipate a decade or more of rewards. ||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

David Schildknecht    Score: 94/100

12x75cl-0 Immediate | 1 Marketplace£5,658.00
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