Bouchard Père et Fils produce this 1er Cru on an exceptional vineyard, named upon the birth of Louis XIV. It was acquired by the house in 1791. Pure Pinot Noir, the vines grow from limestone and clay. The fruit is handpicked and sorted, with both partial and total destemming depending on the nuances of the vintage. Indeed, production is tailored to best express terroir vintage to vintage, with anywhere from 20-60% of new oak being used in maturation, for 8-13 months.
Bouchard Père et Fils as a Beaune-based producer, initially established in 1731. The Domaine is in possession of 130ha of Burgundy vineyards, with 12ha sitting under the Grand Cru classification, and 74ha considered Premier Cru.
There must have been some divine intervention on the 2016 Beaune 1er Cru Les Grèves Vignes de l'Enfant Jesus because it was less affected by frost than surrounding vineyards. It has a really quite beautiful, very pure bouquet with abundant blackberry, raspberry and crushed strawberry scents laced with crushed violets and rose petals. The palate is medium-bodied with silky smooth tannin, still a little oak to be subsumed but there is superb substance on the sumptuous finish. I bet this is one of the best quality-to-price ratio wines in 2016.
(91 - 93) points, Neal Martin (December 2017)