Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vintage 2012 Bouchard Père et Fils Tasting at Ripple in Washington DC, USA – With Tasting Notes by Annette Schiller

Picture: Ben Gilberti, Calvert and Woodley , Panos Kakaviatos, Wine Chronicles, and Annette Schiller, ombiasyPR and WineTours, at the Vintage 2012 Bouchard Père et Fils Wines Tastingat Ripple in Washington DC

When our friend and wine journalist Panos Kakaviatos is in town, there is always a flurry of tastings taking place in Washington DC. I have already reported about an impressive vertical tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron wines with Jean-Rene Matignon at trendy Restaurant Ripple - Annette Schiller, ombiasyPR and WineTours, provided the tasting notes: Vertical Tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron with Jean-Rene Matignon and Panos Kakaviatos

This posting is about a tasting of 2012 Bouchard Père et Fils wines with fellow wine lovers, merchants and bloggers, again at Restaurant Ripple. And as in the case of the Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, Annette Schiller provided the tasting notes, ahead of her first wine tour by ombiasy to the Bourgogne later this year. In addition to the ten 2012 Bouchard Père et Fils wines, provided by Bouchard Père et Fils US Importer Henriot, participants brought older vintages of Bouchard Père et Fils wines and some Champagnes to start with. Annette’s tasting notes comprise the older vintages and the bubblies as well.

Pictures: Ripple

Let me quote Panos Kakaviatos (Panos already reported on the event on his web site - 2012: Bouchard kicks ass. Older vintages, too.): This year, on 14 January, our group included a mix of trade representatives – including sommeliers and wine merchants David and Maria Denton, wine tour organizer Annette Schiller, Ben Giliberti of Calvert Woodley and Tim O’Rourke of Weygandt; wine bloggers like Christian Schiller and active wine forum writers such as Howard Cooper, who has been my Burgundy guru for several years now, and Kevin Shin, who is a member of the Grand Jury Europeen. And some of Washington D.C.’s most avid (and enthusiastic) wine buyers including Chris Bublitz, who shares my passion in particular for Bordeaux, and Ken Barr among others.

Bouchard Père et Fils

Bouchard Père et Fils is a large wine grower and négociant, based in Beaune, in the Côte de Beaune. Bouchard Père et Fils was established as a cloth merchant by Michel Bouchard in Volnay in 1731.

Starting in 1746, his son Joseph Bouchard began selling wines and acquiring vineyards. Over several generations, Bouchard Père et Fils has assembled one of the finest portfolios in Bourgogne of 130 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Côte d’Or – 12 of them classified as Grand Cru and 74 as Premier Cru, including: Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Clos Vougeot, Chambertin, Beaune Grèves Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus, Volnay Caillerets, Meursault Perrières. Particularly noteworthy are high proportions of the two Grands Crus Le Montrachet (1.1 ha) and Chevalier-Montrachet (2.3 ha). Bouchard Père et Fils is since 1820 installed at Château de Beaune in the heart of Beaune (Monument Historique), with a vast cellar. In 1995, the Bouchard family sold Bouchard Père et Fils to Joseph Henriot in the Champagne.

Pictures: The Tasting


The Henriot Family has been in Champagne since the 16th Century. In 1808, Apolline Henriot, one of the many famous widows of the Champagne region, decided to sell their wines under the Champagne Henriot label, hitherto only reserved for family and friends. Today, Henriot Champagne can be found around the world.

When Etienne Henriot died in 1957, his son, Joseph Henriot, also a trained agronomist, gradually took over the reins of the family company from 1962. Joseph Henriot, a successful businessman, also became President of Charles Heidsieck, then Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. In 1995, Joseph Henriot bought Bouchard Père et Fils.

Since 1999, Stanislas Henriot, son of Joseph Henriot, gradually took over the management of the House and was President from 2004 to 2010. He was responsible for turning Henriot Champagne from a relatively unknown Champagne House outside of France to a global player. Notably, he set up a subsidiary in the US that imports and sells, inter alia, Henriot Champagne and Bouchard Père et Fils wines.

The Tasting

The tasting notes were provided by Annette Schiller, ombiasyPR and WineTours.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Jean-Nicolas Méo, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, see: Tasting the Wines of Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Bourgogne, with Owner Jean-Nicolas Méo, France


For warming up, some Champagnes, provided by Tim O’Rourke, Weygandt Wines.

NV J.L. Vergnon Champagne Rosémotion Brut de Brut, Grand Cru, Champagne, France

This rosé champagne started off with an intense bouquet of almonds, marzipan. On the palate the nutty, creamy impression stayed, but the fine bubbles gave it elegance and finesse. This grower Champagne sells for 60 $.

2008 J.L. Vergnon Champagne Confidence Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru, Champagne, France

This had much less intensity on the nose but had a gorgeous, crisp, apple flavor on the palate. The high acidity was counterbalanced with a hint of sweetness and the Champagne just had lots of structure. This sells for 100 $.

2008 Nicolas Maillart Champagne Blanc de Noirs, Les Francs de Pied, Extra Brut, 1er Cru, Champagne, France

The nose was funky, musky. Unfortunately this particular bottle was a bit off. The Champagne was better on the palate. Bone dry, high acidity with nice red fruit flavors. 139 $ in the stores.

Bouchard Père & Fils Tasting: Vintage 2012

The 2012 Burgundy Vintage

2012 was a very strange year in Burgundy. The blossom season and the months up to end of June were cold, wet, and miserable.

Parts of Burgundy were affected by extensive damage from hail, but the weather turned beautiful in July and stayed warm, sunny, and dry until harvest. I quote Clive Coates for the overall assessment: “In the end – quality-wise- 2012 has turned out, not merely “all right”, but really very good indeed, if not perhaps even very fine. I have already heard the wines referred to as “classic”. There are some who regard the potential of 2012 reds as superior to anything recent, and that includes 2010, 2009, 2005 and other years.”

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils Whites

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune Clos Saint-Landry (Monopole), 1er cru, Côte d’Or, Burgundy, France

Ripe pear, vanilla, on the nose. On the palate, a distinctive butterscotch flavor with a nice sweetness / acidity balance gravitating more to the sweet side. This is a medium-bodied wine with good concentration. For my personal preference it lacked a bit of tension.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Meursault, Les Clous, Village, Côte d’Or, Burgundy, France

Intense Chardonnay bouquet on the nose, lots of fruit and also floral notes made the wine very appealing. On the palate high acidity paired with floral flavors gave it tension, and a lively expression. This medium- to full-bodied wine also had a nice medium length finish.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Meursault, Genevrières, 1er cru, Côte d’Or, Burgundy, France

A gorgeous wine! Great characteristic fruity, floral Chardonnay bouquet with just a hint of oak. A full-bodied wine with a perfect acidity level. Some great spicy aromas paired with floral flavors and ripe fruit aromas gave it tension and liveliness. A voluptuous wine with a long lasting finish.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils Reds

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin, Village, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy. France

This bottle had been opened 10 hours before the tasting, and by the time of tasting the nose was expressive with ripe, dark berry and cherry fruit notes, minerals, and earthiness. On the palate, a very pleasant velvety mouthfeel with the tannins and the sweetness of very ripe berry aromas beautifully integrated. A really great, well-balanced wine with a lot of finesse.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Aloxe-Corton, Village, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

On the nose, nice red fruit flavors, not as ripe and pronounced as the previous bottle. A good structure with pronounced tannins, which gave the wine a bit of a rustic impression, which lingered on in the finish. In general this wine was a step down from the Gevrey-Chambertin.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Marconnets, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

A bit restrained on the nose, but lovely dark fruit aromas with some earthy, mushroomy notes and a hint of oak. This is a full-bodied wine with a good tannin structure, nice fruit flavors on the palate and a good, memorable finish.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Clos de la Mousse (“lieu dit”, Monopole), Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

A step up from the Marconnets. Intense red fruit flavors on the nose. An elegant wine with a velvety mouthfeel and lots of power, but at the same time expressing harmony between pronounced tannins, acidity, and delicious fruit aromas.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Grèves Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

Superb ripe, dark berry fruit, spices, oak on the nose. Almost, but really only almost! jammy like a New World wine. A very intense, rich, complex wine but with a surprising delicacy and impressive, perfect balance between tannins, fruit, acidity, power, only achieved in the Old World. A voluptuous, delicious wine already very good to drink now.

2012 Bouchard Père & Fils, Volnay, 1er cru, Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

Exquisite berry and cherry fruit and spice aromas on the nose. On the palate this wine comes across as much more restraint than the previous one. It also has a perfect harmony between structure and elegance but is more austere and less playful than the “Jésus”. An equally delicious wine but of very different character.

Older Vintages Bouchard Père & Fils

2009 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Beaune du Château, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

Very, almost overripe, ripe fruit, predominantly cherry flavor on the nose, typical 2009, the hot vintage smell! On the palate the ripeness flavor lingers on. The tannins were not very pronounced, but the wine had an overall good structure. It remained somewhat closed, and would have benefited from opening the bottle much earlier. But overall I enjoyed the wine, since I like mature wines in general.

2005 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Beaune du Château, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

This wine was gorgeous! The nose, the palate, a terrific wine with still a lot of aging potential. Gorgeous fruit, cherry aromas, caramel, wet leaves on the nose, beautifully integrated tannins, perfect acidity, and delicious fruit flavors on the palate, a sound structure, and a memorable, medium length finish.

2006 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Grèves Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

Unfortunately this bottle was flawed. Very funky smell, strange taste, just off.

2005 Bouchard Père & Fils, Beaune, 1er cru, Grèves Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

Excellent wine! Ripe cherry fruit on the nose, some caramel, some pine. Fantastic texture. Surprisingly youthful on the palate with great layers of fruit, good tannins, and pronounced acidity. This is a rich, beautiful wine, and who would have thought in a blind tasting that this was 10 years old! In comparison with the already very open 2012 we had earlier, this wine was still somewhat closed and not as accessible than the 2012.

2002 Bouchard Père & Fils, Volnay, 1er cru, Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. France

An excellent wine too! A bit lighter than the previous one with a slightly leaner body. Gorgeous cherry fruit and hints of floral notes on the nose. Very young feel -still, with strong tannins and acidity on the palate, yet with a pronounced ripeness which gives this wine tension.

2006 Bouchard Père & Fils, Grand Cru, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France

This wine was in a different league than all the others! A bewitching nose of red fruits, floral aromas, caramel, spices. A robust intense palate, yet very polished with strong acidity, tannins, minerality, fruit - juicy. A big wine, very complex , but smooth and elegant with a never ending finish.

Perfect finish for this great evening!


Thanks Panos Kakaviatos and Henriot for a wonderful tasting.

schiller-wine: Related Posting

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Tasting the Wines of Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Bourgogne, with Owner Jean-Nicolas Méo, France

Vertical Tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron with Jean-Rene Matignon and Panos Kakaviatos

Owner Jean-Bernard Grenié and Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos Presented the Wines of Chateau Angélus and Chateau Daugay at Black Salt Restaurant in Washington DC, USA

A 16-Vintage Château Calon Ségur Vertical Tasting in Washington DC, with Wine Writer Panos Kakaviatos and Laurent Dufau, Managing Director, USA/Bordeaux

A Vertical Blind Tasting of Châteaux Léoville-Barton and Langoa-Barton plus the 2011 Chateau Mauvesin-Barton with Lilian Barton-Sartorius in Washington DC, USA

A Glass of Bordeaux – What Else? – With Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos  

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