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Bouchard Père & Fils: faithful guardians of Burgundian heritage

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Founded in 1731 in Beaune by Michel Bouchard, Bouchard Père & Fils remains one of the oldest, family-owned estates in Burgundy. In 1995, Joseph Henriot purchased Bouchard Père & Fils to join Champagne Henriot and later acquired William Fèvre (Chablis) in 1998. The Henriot family then purchased Beaux Frères (Oregon) in 2017, all of which come under the ‘Maisons & Domaines Henriot’ umbrella. Joseph remained a custodian of the house’s history and style until his untimely death in 2015. His nephew, Gilles de Larouzière Henriot, is now President and CEO of the group.

The history of the Maison has taken shape through the acquisition of iconic plots. Bouchards’s first vineyards were purchased in 1755 by second generation Joseph Bouchard in the renowned Volnay climat Les Caillerets, marking the beginning of the development of the family’s holdings. The purchase of the Beaune Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus followed. Expanding the estate’s holdings remained a strategic priority for the successive generations, with more key terroirs in the best Villages of the Côte d’Or purchased in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus

Today, Bouchard owns 130 hectares of vines, of which 12 are classed as Grand Cru and 74 as Premier Cru, ensuring Bouchard are the largest owners of Premier and Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte d’Or. Their holdings span over 48 km from north to south with a mosaic of 450 different individual plots. Bouchard Père & Fils holds an unparalleled selection of unique sites, each expressive of the slice of Burgundian history they represent, within prestigious appellations such as Montrachet, Corton-Charlemagne, Beaune Grèves Vignes de l’Enfant Jésus, Bonnes-Mares, and Meursault Perrières. Bouchard are in fact the largest owners in Meursault and have unique ownership in the Chevalier-Montrachet appellation, being the only house to own land on all four terraces.

Among the estate’s holdings are four monopoles and multiple exclusivities, supporting the development of a deep, in-house knowledge of the specificity and character of each parcel. This in turn is translated into every single bottle, from entry level to Village, Premier and Grand Cru wines. Cellar Master Frédéric Weber and his team dedicate the same care and attention to all Bouchard wines, regardless of appellation and classification, pursuing the same quest for terroir expression and approachable elegance.

Grand Cru Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte

These fine wines, crafted by Frédéric and his team, are stored in the cellars that run deep underground beneath the Château de Beaune, providing ideal natural storage conditions. Purchased in 1820 by Bernard Bouchard, the Château de Beaune is a former royal fortress built in the 15th Century by King Louis XI. Four of the five original towers, as well as parts of the ramparts, still stand today and have featured on the list of historic monuments since 1937. The cellars, up to 10 metres deep, allow the wines to develop and age undisturbed. These include a unique collection of over 2,000 bottles from the 19th Century. A priceless historical legacy with, as its icon, the oldest wine – a Meursault Charmes 1846 which still retains its lustre.

Care, patience, creativity and relentless attention to detail, from root to barrel, shape the ethos of Bouchard Père & Fils, now with a renewed focus on sustainability. Every Bouchard Père & Fils vineyard is managed under sustainable viticulture (certified as High Environmental Value L3 since 2015) in order to bring out the authenticity and full potential of the grapes and climats.  50 hectares of the Bouchard estate are already organically farmed, with Bouchard, along with their sister house William Fèvre, under the process of converting to certified organic viticulture, which will be fully realised in 2026. The constant attention to detail also continues at harvest, when the grapes are picked by hand, placed in small crates, and carefully selected prior to vinification. Winemaking is done, with goldsmith precision, at the high-tech St. Vincent winery built in 2005 in Savigny-lès-Beaune. Located five metres below ground, the grapes are transferred gently and naturally, by gravity, into the 138 maceration tanks and presses over 100 different parcels are individually vinified in. The wines are then matured in oak in an ageing cellar with capacity for 4,000 barrels. This period of maturation allows the purity and complexity of each terroir to fully develop. Dug 10 metres below ground the barrel cellar provides ideal, natural conditions of ventilation and humidity for the wines to complete their maturation process.

Building upon three centuries of experience, Bouchard Père & Fils combines tradition and innovation to bring out the distinctive character of each Burgundian terroir and vintage.

Bouchard Père & Fils – four flagship domaine wines:

Tasted and scored by the Decanter team

Beaune Premier Cru Clos Saint- Landry 2017

95 points
A beautiful rare bird from Pinot Noir country with a muscular intensity balanced by refined elegance. Intense aromas of lemon curd, toasted almonds and apple peel announce a palate that is at once nervy and creamy. Precise structure but also an appealing roundness supported by rich flavours of almond croissant, yellow apple, poached pear and lemon pie. A hint of smoky sandal gives it an alluring exoticism.
100% Chardonnay, 13.5% ABV

Beaune-Grèves Premier Cru Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2017

95 points
A standout wine that leaves no one indifferent. With strong character and a lingering presence, it opens in the glass with alluring freshness and brooding elegance. Fine tannins underpinned by measured acidity. Aromas of dried herbs mingle with intriguing apple peel, smokey bergamot and dried roses. A true journey on the palate with a zesty playfulness on the attack and a crunchy richness on the midpalate. Long finish with subtle spiciness.
100% Pinot Noir, 13.5% ABV

Volnay Premier Cru Les Caillerets ‘Ancienne Cuvée Carnot’ 2016

94 points
A wine that rewards patience and attention, and promises great things in years to come. Upon opening it has a brooding savouriness with earthy aromas of forest floor, wet leaves and prunes. Once in the glass it opens to aromas of blackberry, red plum, hedgerow and mulberry. With very fine tannins but a robust structure. Lingering and refreshing flavours of blood orange and dark plum. Allow it to unravel fully and at length.
100% Pinot Noir, 13.5% ABV

Beaune Premier Cru Clos de La Mousse 2015

94 points
A wine with zesty youthfulness that you could well mistake for a younger, cooler vintage. The nose is a masterful dance of pink grapefruit, fresh thyme, tangerine peel, dried rosemary and baking spices. The palate follows with fine tannins, uplifting freshness and vibrant red fruit (cranberry, redcurrant, raspberry sorbet) lined, again, by a citrus, bergamot-like freshness. Very long finish with grip and nerve.
100% Pinot Noir, 13.5% ABV

Discover more about Bouchard Père & Fils here

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