Bouchard Père & Fils Les Suchots Premier Cru Vosne-Romanée
The Premier Cru terroirs of Les Suchots divide the Echézeaux Grand Cru plots from those of the Romanée-St-Vivant and Richebourg to the south. Here, in this part of the world, Pinot Noir achieves its zenith, at least in the eyes (indeed all senses) of Burgundy obsessives.
The grapes are handpicked into small crates. Each bunch is carefully sorted by hand prior to partial or full destemming, a decision made based on the caprice of the vintage. The wine is then fermented in small vessels with some light piégage. The vatting with last between two to three weeks depending on the vintage. After this, there are 12 to 14 months on oak with around half of that new barrels.
The resulting wine is racy yet sure-footed. It will age well and reveal the evolved aromas of red and black fruits it shows so well in youth.
Renowned for producing some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world, it is one of the jewels in the Côte de Nuits’ crown and boasts the biggest concentration of top vineyards in the entire Côte d’Or with some of the world’s finest producers - not only with talent, but pioneers of innovation.
The wines are intense and powerful with finesse and elegance. Although Vosne-Romanée’s Grand Cru wines of La Tache, La Romanée and Richebourg are a wine aficionado’s household names (and dreams), the commune’s Premier Cru wines are magnificent and with a well deserved reputation.
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.