The Surgical Focus of Céderic Bouchard

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Whether from his tiny estate Roses de Jeanne or formerly from his bespoke négoce operation, Cédric Bouchard crafts Champagnes of breathtaking focus. Each derived from one grape and one parcel and vinified to maximize sense of terroir and fruit while eliminating those elements Bouchard finds extraneous. To this end the base wines never chaptalized, are fermented in tank without filtering, fining, cold stabilization, they undergo malolactic fermentation, and are bottled with no dosage under less pressure than other Champagnes to produce a finer mousse. The quantities produced range from tiny to nearly anecdotal. The wines are pure, unabashedly terroir-specific, and vinous, and will reward cellaring or (dare we say) decanting. John McIlwain

 

 

Bouchard, Cedric 2011 Champagne Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blanc La Bolorée

In many ways Bolorée is as much an expression of Cedric Bouchard's aesthetic as it is an expression of terroir. It is made in tiny quantities from 50-year-old parcel of Pinot Blanc planted on chalk rather than the typical argilo-calcaire (clay and limestone) of the Aube. And while Pinot Blanc can be a bit vapid in some cases, Bouchard's has a taut, mineral, and nervy architecture beneath the richness of the fruit. John McIlwain  

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Bouchard, Cedric "Vintage 2011" Champagne Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs Haut Lemble

One of the crown jewels in the Roses de Jeanne lineup, Haut Lemble is a south-facing plot of Chardonnay from the Cotes des Bars. Both in terms of vineyard specificity and fruit expression, Haut Lemble combines power and structure from the warm site with layers of ripe fruit. The structure and tension begs for cellaring or decanting for maximum enjoyment. John McIlwain

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Bouchard, Cedric 2008 Champagne Blanc de Noirs Côte de Béchalin (La Parcelle) R

Formerly part of the Inflorescence lineup, La Parcelle (now Côte de Béchalin) comes from a meticulously farmed .73 hectare parcel in Celles-sur-Ource. Where previously Bouchard sold wines made by the former owner, then vinified the wines in those cellars, 2007 was the first vintage where the wines were made completely in Bouchard's cellars. While these Champagnes have seemed to have a broader palate with more exotic fruit, they maintain poise with pinpoint acidity. One can certainly enjoy this now, but some time in the cellar to further knit the elements of structure and fruit should pay off handsomely. -John McIlwain

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Bouchard, Cedric 2013 Champagne Blanc de Noirs Val de Vilaine (Inflorescence)

Formerly known as Infloresence, as of 2012 Val de Vilaine, this blanc de noirs comes from a south-facing 1.49ha plot of vines in Polisy planted in 1974 owned by Cédric's father. If there's such a thing as an 'entry level' Champagne in Bouchard's lineup, this is it. Historically more approachable when young than Bouchard's other wines, Val de Vilaine, is now more tightly wound and concentrated as the already small yields were nearly halved to 26hl/ha bringing it in line with the other cuvées of Roses de Jeanne. Here you'll find a classic expression of Polisy terroir. -John McIlwain

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