Bouchard Père & Fils Chambertin
After the fruit is hand-picked into small crates, in the winery they begin a “draconian” sorting of the grapes. They are then twice pressed with the first free run juice separated before a subsequent slow pressing over two hours. The wine then rests in vats for around three weeks, give or take a few days depending on the vintage. After that, there are 12 to 14 months of oak ageing with a little over half of the barrels being new.
This Grand Cru Chambertin is made for ageing, a minimum of 10 years is recommended. On the nose, the bouquet is as deep as it intense, showing fruit, spice and smoke.
Vivid coloration ranging from deep ruby to black-cherry. Their aromas suggest strawberry, blackcurrant, and gooseberry as well as fruit pits, liquorice, and spices. Violet, moss and underbrush are also likely to be present. On the palate, power, opulence and elegance unite to make a full and complex body, full of sap and voluptuosness textured. Keeping potential is 10 years minimum. Although these sumptuous Grands Crus share a family resemblance, each has its own distinctive nuances.
While Bouchard Père et Fil’s history goes back to 1731 when Michel Bouchard, a cloth merchant, began selling wine, it wasn’t until 1775, that Michel’s son, Joseph, acquired Bouchard’s first vineyards by purchasing 7 hectares in Volnay.
During the French Revolution, property belonging to the clergy and nobility was confiscated and sold and Joseph’s son, Antoine Philibert extended the family’s vineyard holdings; particularly in Beaune where Bouchard still own some 46.59 ha of premier cru vineyards.
Bouchard Père et Fils was officially incorporated in 1811 and in 1820 Bernard Bouchard purchased the Château de Beaune, a 15th-century fortress that has been Bouchard’s headquarters ever since and where over 2,000 bottles from the 19th century are still housed.
Bouchard continued to purchase vineyards and while some great wines were made after the second world war, by the 1980s the company was a remnant of its former self and in 1995, Joseph Henriot from Champagne Henriot purchased Bouchard for a reported £32m (a bargain compared to its value today) adding Domaine William Fevre in Chablis to the portfolio in 1998.
Henriot immediately set about restoring its fortunes, building a gravity fed winery in 2005 and while Bouchard are both a domaine and a negociant, it’s worth noting that with 130 hectares of land including 12 hectares of grand cru vineyards and 75 hectares of premier cru, they are the largest vineyard owner in the Cote d’Or.
Henriot passed away in 2015 but under the watchful eye of Technical Director of Operations Philippe Prost and Frédéric Weber, Bouchard continue to make an incredible range of wines across various prices points, communes and levels.