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Bouchard Pere & Fils Cote de Beaune Villages 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 1731, Maison Bouchard Père & Fils is one of Burgundy’s oldest wine merchant houses. Over the centuries, the House has been devoted to acquiring highly renowned parcels, in order to build a prestigious domaine: 130 hectares of vines in the heart of the Côte d’Or - 12 classified as Grand Crus and 74 as Premier Crus. The famed vineyards include: Beaune Gréves Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus, Chevalier-Montrachet, Montrachet, Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Bonnes-Mares and Clos Vougeot to name a few.
In 1995 this exceptional collection was purchased by Joseph Henriot, and is today part of Maisons & Domaines Henriot. Maison Bouchard Père & Fils has invested in a modern cuverie enabling the vinification of more than 100 different crus. From the vine to bottle, the process is handled with meticulous care, to ensure the most faithful expression of each terroir.
Installed since the beginning of the 19th century on the site of the ancient Château de Beaune, Maison Bouchard Père & Fils uses the underground galleries and bastions of this fortress built by Luis XI, 10 meters below ground, for the slow maturing of its wines under optimal conditions. Millions of bottles, including a rare collection of prephylloxera wines rest in the cellars today protected by 7 meter thick walls.
A classic source of exceptional Chardonnay as well as Pinot noir, the Côte de Beaune makes up the southern half of the Côte d’Or. Its principal wine-producing villages are Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.
The area is named for its own important town of Beaune, which is essentially the center of the Burgundy wine business and where many negociants center their work. Hospices de Beaune, the annual wine auction, is based here as well.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
In the Glass
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.