Maison Bouchard Pere et Fils was founded in 1731 and as such is one of the oldest producers in the Cote d’Or, representing a tradition that extends for nine generations over 280 years. Throughout their history the family continuously sought to acquire the very best plots in the leading villages and today they are the largest landowners in the Cote, with 71 Premier Cru and Grand Cru sites, including: Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Beze, Bonnes Mares, Echezeaux, Montrachet and Batard Montrachet. In 1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils was bought by the Henriot Family Group which begun a new phase in their history by providing the financial might to take on the operation. Over the last five years they have been going from strength to strength and making extremely impressive wine.
One could easily make the case that their best Pinot Noir vineyard plot is Chambertin Clos de Beze, a plot where they have over the last five years rivalled Armand Rousseau, the greatest of them all: yet their wines cost a fraction of the price. We were shocked to discover Bouchard rivalling Rousseau, making the price disparity intriguing, Bouchard on average costs 1/5 of the price of Rousseau while scoring almost identically. Prices are for cases of six bottles and the scores are from the world Burgundy authority Allen Meadows:
Chambertin and Chambertin Clos de Beze have for centuries received the ultimate veneration for grace, strength, finesse and delicacy, taken together they are considered primus inter pares (first among equals). Due to an idiosyncrasy in the AOC regulation some plots from Clos de Beze can be labelled as Chambertin, however, instructively, because Clos de Beze is considered great in its own right very few producers do this. The entire vineyard of Chambertin on average only produces 4000 cases and Clos de Beze 5,200; taken together this represents half the production of Lafite Rothschild.
Clos de Beze is found due north of Chambertin and straddles it and Mazis Chambertin at an altitude of 275-300 metres. The incline here is steeper and the soil is very similar to Chambertin, combining limestone, small stones and pebbles with the Bajocian bedrock shining through. The tannins found in the wines from the Chambertins are more obvious than the great wines of Vosne Romanee. The wines are full, firm, structured and fleshy with unmitigated power at the beginning of their lives, wonderful black fruits, coffee and liquorice. Given time in bottle they soften with age developing a wonderful elegance and a finish that literally goes on for minutes: they can age for up to 50 years improving in bottle.
Maison Bouchard Pere et Fils are doing something very special in Clos de Beze, vastly exceeding their plot in Chambertin. It is pertinent that for the time being their wines remain massively undervalued by the market and in particular the 2008, which despite scoring 95 points is currently their best priced recent vintage. This wine offers something remarkable and extremely rare, a wine Burghound has scored 95 points and a wine from one of the greatest vineyards in the world for £108 per bottle. We only have seven half cases available; the price of this wine is set to rise steeply over the coming years and offers Rousseau like quality at one fifth of the price.
‘A wonderfully, even exuberantly spicy and layered nose speaks of earth, underbrush and a certain animale character on the primarily red berry fruit that moves seamlessly into cool and intensely mineral broad-scaled flavors that are powerful, vibrant and display a saline element on the stylish and classy finish that is presently quite linear and will require plenty of time to flesh out because the suggested initial drinking window is not a typo.’ Drink 2033+
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