My first bottle of Bouchard, now a decade past, was a revelation. The wine’s radical ‘otherness’ began a process of reconceptualizing Champagne, and much of my passion for the region today can be traced to this experience.
Bouchard’s approach- then as today - seeks above all to amplify the imprint of place; the range is entirely composed of single-vineyard and single-varietal wines, none finished with dosage. The result is a range without the obvious tug of a ‘house style.’
What these wines do share is a certain abundance, both in flavor and weight. Calling the wines generically ’generous’ seems not quite right. They are luminous and textural, yes, and yet they trill with energy and freshness. I find the wines show their best in a Burgundy glass, over time trading their inherent phenolic grip for a looser, more sapid richness. A recent bottle of this ‘14 changed dramatically over the course of an evening, becoming more vivid and fresh in its stone-and-apricoty way... Utterly convincing in it’s characteristically contemplative way. - Jason
The 2014 Blanc de Noirs Côte de Béchalin is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with scents of pear, fresh bread, citrus oil, almond paste and crisp white peach. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and vibrant, with a bright core of fruit, brisk acids and Bouchard's typically pillowy, low-pressure mousse, it concludes with a saline, mouthwatering finish. In this vintage, one feels one's geographical and geological proximity to Chablis quite strongly. William Kelley, Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Cédric Bouchard’s Roses have met the acclaim that they deserve and ascended to a painful place of scarcity- they truly are singular, emotive Champagnes, that far transcend the frequent description “Burgundy with bubbles” (although these merit that epithet as well as anything). Single vineyards, single varieties and single vintages are the simple restrictions that Cédric works with, giving stunning results. These are the lowest yields in the region by some way (about half the average). Béchalin (formerly ‘La Parcelle) has always been a favorite of mine and it now sees the longest aging regimen of any of his cuvées, an astonishing 80 months. It’s an excellent representation of his style, now amongst the most important in Champagne today. Quantities extremely limited.