The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Bouchard Père & Fils and…Bouchard Père & Fils!

Posted on | February 9, 2015 | Written by David Gwo | No Comments

d gwoIf you’re just getting into Burgundy, starting with one of the region’s staple négociants is a great way to get introduced to what Burgundy is about. A négociant is a producer who purchases the grapes used to make its wines from trusted growers, and the estate may or may not own portions of vineyards as well. This allows the négociant to maintain consistency even in difficult vintages because strict standards are maintained during the selection process. Names like Louis Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, and my selection today – Bouchard Père et Fils – have a tremendous amount of history, and they produce both white and red Burgundies from many of the most famous appellations and vineyards. This gives a lot of flexibility when trying to taste the many different offerings that are available from this prestigious French wine region.

Bouchard Père et Fils produces an extensive line-up of terrific white and red Burgundy from both the northern (Côte de Nuits) and southern (Côte de Beaune) portions of the Côte d’Or, the most famous region in Burgundy that heralds the best and most expensive bottlings. This piece would be extremely long if I tried to go through everything that Bouchard Père et Fils makes, so I’ve simplified things and made two great selections for you, the 2011 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru and the 2011 Le Corton Grand Cru.

Bouchard Père & Fils 2011 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru $179.00

Burgundy arguably produces the world’s greatest expressions of Chardonnay, bottles that possess a tremendous amount of varietal character and sit among the great age-worthy whites in the wine world. The Grand Cru designation is the highest that a vineyard can achieve, and this wine comes from the Côte de Beaune, from the great hill of Corton. Corton-Charlemagne is famous its white Burgundy, and in 2011 the whites from this appellation have notable acidity and freshness in addition to the hallmark rich, lush fruit character distinctive to these wines. This is amazing bottling to lay down if you can keep your hands off it!

Bouchard Père & Fils 2011 Le Corton Grand Cru $119.00

Burgundy also produces the world’s greatest expressions of Pinot Noir, but wine is subjective so it depends on what style you like. While Corton is famous for its white Burgundy, it can also make terrific expressions of Pinot Noir. These reds are very elegant and finessed, but they possess enough concentration and depth to keep things interesting and delicious—especially when coming from the Grand Cru vineyard of Le Corton. Another age-worthy example from Bouchard, this wine will develop gorgeously over the course of the next decade and a terrific deal coming from a Grand Cru vineyard.


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