Bouchard Pere et Fils Beaune Greves Vigne de l'Enfant Jesus Burgundy 2020
Regular price Sale price $179.00
Maison Bouchard Père & Fils
Beaune "Grèves - Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus" ♥
1er Cru Red barrel
Score: 90-93 Burghound
Tasted: Apr 10, 2022
Note: from a 4-ha parcel
Producer note: Winemaker Frédéric Weber is always a wealth of detail regarding the intricacies of the growing season and regarding the 2020 vintage, he explained that "bud break began super-early, which is to say on the 14th of April, which in all the years that I have been doing this I have never seen before. We did suffer some shatter after the flowering in chardonnay but not really in pinot. The summer was extremely hot and very, very dry and the signs of hydric stress were everywhere, in fact we started to see stem lignification by the end of July! There was, happily, not much disease pressure and véraison, which was disparate, was largely finished in most vineyards by the end of July as well. Remarkably, for the season as a whole, it was fully 1.7° C warmer than the long-term average, with about 200 ml less rainfall than average. While it's true that the north wind helped keep the nighttime temperatures cool, it had the associated negative effect of constantly drying everything out. Ultimately, we chose to begin picking the pinot on the 19th of August and the chardonnay on the 25th. There was a lot of sorting required to eliminate either wilted or sunburned fruit. There was evidence of the heat stress in the fruit because while there were excellent sugar maturities, and the stems were mostly lignified but the seeds were still mostly green and super-tannic. Between the less than completely ripe seeds and the ultra-thick skins, we vinified quite softly. Moreover, we had to resist the temptation to extract more as many fermentations began almost immediately followed by a 12-to-15-day cuvaison. Yields for the pinot were in the 25 to 28 hl/ha range with a normal number of berries but with lots of shot berries and not much juice in them. This made for very high solid to liquid ratios, which is another reason why we chose to vinify cautiously. Yields were much better for the chardonnay though by no means high as they averaged 38 hl/ha, which is about normal for us. Potential alcohols were actually pretty reasonable considering the high warmth of the season as the pinot came in between 13 and 13.5% while the chardonnay was slightly higher at between 13.5 to 13.7%. The malos finished very early, in fact basically most wines were done by the end of November. Because there wasn't much potassium in the fruit, the tartaric acid didn't precipitate so we finished with excellent pHs when it would have been more intuitive to expect higher pHs given the growing season heat. This is to say that the reds averaged about 3.5, though interestingly, the Côte de Nuits was higher at 3.6 while the Côte de Beaune was more in the 3.4 to 3.5 range. To me these numbers are reflective of the fact that the Côte de Beaune suffered more hydric stress than the northern Côte and within the Côte de Beaune, Volnay and Beaune really baked. Moreover, the Côte de Nuits benefited from a bit more rainfall so overall, there was less hydric stress. The whites had classic pHs at between 3.2 and 3.25 and I firmly believe that 2020 is genuinely great vintage in white that reminds me of 2008 or 2014. As to the reds, they are still changing for the better and it's not an accident that we have bottled very few wines to this point and we very likely won't start until April and I expect to finish in June." (Maisons & Domaines Henriot America, www.mdhamerica.com, NY, USA; John E. Fells and Sons, www.fells.co.uk, UK; Kerry Wines, www.kerrywines.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: This one of the more floral-suffused wines in the range with its hints of violet, rose petal and lavender that add touch of elegance to the very ripe poached plum scents that presently lack a bit of freshness. There is verve and freshness on the palate of the dense, voluminous and punchy flavors that coat the palate with dry extract that also serves to buffer the firm tannins shaping the powerful, serious and mildly warm finale. Note that my predicted range offers the benefit of the doubt that the nose will recover better freshness.