Bouchard Pere & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2006
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
"Good pale color. Cool, pungent aromas of orange rind, ginger and chlorophyll; smells like grapes. At once suave and powerful on entry, then chewy and utterly primary in the middle, with superb acids intensifying the flavors of flowers, minerals and soft citrus fruits. Best today on the endless rising finish, which saturates the palate with minerals. A great 2006 in the making."
-International Wine Cellar 93-96
"Entices with its floral and citronella aromas, then follows through with macaroon, lime and mineral flavors. These are set against a refined structure and a creamy texture that lends a lighter-than-air feel. The finish goes on and on. Best from 2010 through 2025. 70 cases imported."
The Wine Advocate - "Mint, talcum, marzipan, and candied lemon dominate the penetratingly high-toned aromas of their 2006 Chevalier-Montrachet, which exhibits a remarkable alliance of textural richness and citric brightness, and a finish of fascinating, low-toned, chalk, stone, citrus zest, and nut oils. For all of the sheer ripeness on display here, there is no sense of superficial sweetness, with fresh lime saturating a palate of formidable density and imposingly ripe pit fruits. And for all of this wine’s more than 14% alcohol, there is barely a hint of warmth. It exhibits to an even greater degree than the corresponding Meursault Perrieres a nearly ineffable, for lack of a better word “mineral” character, as well as an uncanny combination of amplitude and elegance; sheer mass yet vivacity. This memorably long beauty should age well for at least a dozen years. 94-95. "
Bouchard Pere & Fils Winery
Bouchard Père & Fils, which was founded in 1731, began to sell wine during the first half of the 18th century. In 1775 the House acquired its first vineyards in Volnay, where the company was based at the time. In 1791 the French revolutionary government sold off property, which had belonged to the monastic orders, but were confiscated during the Revolution. It was at this time that Bouchard Père & Fils was able to purchase additional vineyards in Beaune, such as the prestigious Vigne de l'enfant Jesus. In 1820 Bouchard Père & Fils moved to the former Château Royal de Beaune, whose bastions and ramparts, with walls measuring 23 feet in thickness, offered the best possible wine-aging conditions for their great wines. In 1995 the Bouchard family passed the helm to the Henriot family, whose aim is to further develop this exceptional Domaine. In 1996, Bouchard took over the Domaine Ropiteau-Mignon, which added a number of prestigious vineyards in Mersault. And in 1998, Bouchard Père & Fils acquired the Domaine William Fèvre in Chablis, thus adding some significant premiers crus and grand crus Chablis to the Bouchard estate. View all Bouchard Pere & Fils Wines
About BurgundyView a map of Burgundy wineries
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.