Monday, March 2, 2015

Winemaker Dinner with Vincent Bottreau and his Maison Bouchard Aîne & Fils Wines at L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Picture: Winemaker Vincent Bottreau, Maison Bouchard Aîne & Fils, Annette Schiller, ombiasyOR and WineTours, and Sommelier Hilaire L. Creamer, L'Auberge Chez François

A few weeks ago, Annette Schiller and I enjoyed a massive Bouchard Père et Fils wine tasting, organized by Panos Kakaviatos at Ripple in Washington DC. I have provided a write-up of the event, with extensive tasting notes by Annette Schiller, here:
Vintage 2012 Bouchard Père et Fils Tasting at Ripple in Washington DC, USA – With Tasting Notes by Annette Schiller

This time, it was again a Bouchard tasting. However, we did not taste as many wines and they were not Bouchard Père et Fils wines, but wines of Bouchard Aîne & Fils. The 2 Bourgogne wine producers Bouchard Père et Fils and Bouchard Aîne & Fils have similar names and the same roots, but are now completely independent of each other.

Further, this time, the tasting was part of a delicious, elaborate dinner prepared by the team of Chef Jacques E. Haeringer and his team at L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls. Chef Jacques was on vacation, but the dinner was nevertheless excellent. Typical, classic French food at a very high level.

Also, this time, the winemaker was present and talked extensively about the Bouchard Aîne & Fils wines he presented.

Again, Annette Schiller, ombiasyPR and WineTours, provided the tasting notes for this posting and I did the rest.

Bouchard Aîne & Fils

Bouchard Aîne & Fils is a large negociant, based in Beaune, in the Côte de Beaune. Bouchard Aîne & Fils and Bouchard Père et Fils have the same roots: the company 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.

Pictures: Winemaker Dinner with Vincent Bottreau and his Maison Bouchard Aîne & Fils Wines at L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, USA

The split-up came in the early 1800s, when Antoine-Philibert-Joseph Bouchard broke up with his oldest son, Joseph-Théodore. In 1813, Joseph-Théodore Bouchard married the daughter of Simon Maire, who was a negociant in Beaune. The Bouchard family affaires were divided in 1828, with Joseph-Théodore Bouchard talking over one part (and calling it Bouchard Aîne & Fils) and his brother Bernard Bouchard talking over the other part (and keeping the name Bouchard Père et Fils).

While the latter over time 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 - Bouchard Aîne & Fils always remained a negociant.

In 1993, Bouchard Aîne & Fils was sold to the Boisset family. In 1995, Bouchard Père et Fils was sold to Joseph Henriot in the Champagne.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils in Beaune

The history of Bouchard Aîné & Fils in Beaune is inextricably linked with that of Burgundy wine and the town of Beaune itself. The Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy, built in 1743, is a jewel of Burgundian architecture and houses the headquarters of Bouchard Aîné & Fils. It is located just a five-minute walk from the town’s famous Hospices de Beaune. At the time it was built, it was the town’s first residence to be built outside the city walls. The Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy opens the doors to its cellars for one-of-a-kind tours and tastings, known as the Tour of the Five Senses.

Picture:  Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy


Bouchard Aîné & Fils is part of the Boisset portfolio. The Boisset family business (Boisset - La Famille des Grands Vins), based at Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy, is France's third largest wine group, and Burgundy's largest wine producer. In the US (Boisset Family Estates), it is one of the top 25 wine producers.

Jean-Charles Boisset is President of Boisset - La Famille des Grands Vins. Decanter magazine has recognized Jean-Charles #24 among its "Power List" of the most influential people in the world of wine. Jean-Charles Boisset is married to Gina Gallo, granddaughter of Julio Gallo of E & J Gallo Winery, America’s largest winery, and the world's second-biggest wine company after Constellation. They have 2 children (twin girls).

The Boisset Family Estates in the US include: Raymond Vineyards, Napa Valley, DeLoach Vineyards, Russian River Valley, Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma.

The Boisset Family Estates in France include: Domaine de la Vougeraie, Premeaux-Prissey, Jean-Claude Boisset, Nuits-St.-Georges, Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Beaune, J. Moreau & Fils, Chablis, Mommessin, Beaujolais, Louis Bouillot, Nuits-St.-Georges, Ropiteau, Meursault, Fortant, Sete.

Winemaker Vincent Bottreau: From Technology to Oenology!

In the 18th century, the Bouchard family moved from the world of fabric to the world of wine. In the 21st century, the Bouchard Aîné & Fils has a winemaker who moved from the digital world to the universe of all things wine.

Pictures: Vincent Bottreau, Annette Schiller and Christian G.E. Schiller

A few years ago, Vincent Bottreau made his own career shift into vine and wine. This former telecommunications engineer who registered 15 patents and had several scientific papers published, had always been passionate about Bourgogne wines, and proved this when he obtained his a BPREA qualification in wine and oenology in Beaune, followed by a DNO from Dijon, coming top of his class in 2013. After experiencing several vintages in South Africa as well as in a range of reputed Burgundy estates, Vincent, who favors balanced, forthright wines, took over the reins at Bouchard Aîné & Fils in 2014.

The Dinner

Chef Jacques' Hors d’oeuvres
Assorted Housemade Patés, Norwegian Smoked Salmon, Parmesan Puff Pastry Straws
Bouchard Pouilly Fuisse 2010

Napoléon of Virginia Smoked Trout
Bouchard Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2012

Rockfish Mousseline with Salmon Caviar, Quenelle of Carrot Purée and Broccoli Florets with Chardonnay Reduction
Bouchard Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Macharelles 2012

Grilled Medallion of Ahi Tuna with Fried Leeks, Green Peppercorn Sauce
Bouchard Fixin "La Maziere" 2012
Bouchard Pommard 1er Cru Les Charmots 2012

Classic Baked Alaska

Tasting Notes (Annette Schiller, ombiasyPR and WineTours)

The tasting notes were provided by Annette Schiller from ombiasyPR and WineTours. The ombiasyPR and WineTours 2015 program includes 3 tours to Germany (East, South, North) and 1 tour to Bordeaux. See: 4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South, Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

The 2016 program also includes a wine tour to Bourgogne. In fact, we will tour Bourgogne in 2015, but with a specific group (Wine Brotherhood Hochheim). This tour will be repeated in 2016 and open for anybody, who would like to come along.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Vincent Bottreau

Bouchard Aîné & Fils Pouilly-Fussé 2010

Very aromatic on the nose, floral notes paired with mineral notes. This is due to the fact that the clone of the Chardonnay grapes used for this wine differs somewhat from the rest: old vines with a hint of Muscat, which explains the pronounced aromatic on the nose. Despite being aged in 20% new oak barrels, no overbearing oak on the nose and the palate. This five year old wine came together beautifully. A full-bodied, elegant, harmonious wine with a wonderful finish.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2012

A very nice, fruity Chardonnay with hints of lemon, herbs on the nose, yet still restraint. Will need some more time to fully open up. The fermentation started out in stainless steel, then aged for 10 months in 15% new oak. Still a bit oaky on the nose, but on the palate aromas, oak, minerality, and acidity were already nicely integrated. The finish was moderately long.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Macharelles 2012

A beautiful nose of white fruit, floral notes with a hint of pastries. This wine was in French oak -25% new oak- for 16 months. There was no stirring on the lease to avoid heaviness. The oak is moderate on the nose as well as on the palate. A beautiful, creamy Chardonnay with a lot of finesse and a very good finish.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils Bouchard Fixin “La Maziere” 2012

A very nice nose of dark berry fruits, cherry, a bit of wet leaves, fur. Maceration in large wooden vats as long as possible, starting out with cold maceration to give the juice some nice color, temperature was gradually increased to start the fermentation, after first fermentation a pneumatic press was used to remove the skins, followed by malolactic fermentation and ageing for 10 months in French oak with 25% new oak. On the palate the wine was dense, with pronounces tannins and acidity that were already nicely balanced.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils Bouchard Pommard 1er Cru Les Charmots 2012

On the nose the wine showed the typical Pinot-Noir characteristics: black ripe fruit, cherry, a bit of spice, some leather. The vinification process was similar to the previous wine. Fermentation took 22 days and the wine aged for 12 months in French oak with 40% new oak. However the terroir differs from the previous wine and the vines are much older, which lets the wine develop in a different direction. A strong backbone with pronounced tannins, well integrated fruit and acidity gave the wine a velvety, rich mouthfeel. The finish was long and delicious.

Jacques E. Haeringer and L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Virginia

L’Auberge Chez Francois is an extraordinary place in the hills outside of Washington DC. It was founded by François Haeringer in the heart of Washington DC in 1954. Today, L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls is much the same as when François first opened it - family-run, with Jacques’ brother Paul as the restaurant's sommelier and Jacques as Chef de Cuisine. L'Auberge Chez François is on the top 50 list of "Best Overall" Restaurants in US, as voted by users of the Open Table reservation system.

Picture: Winemaker Dinner with Vincent Bottreau and his Maison Bouchard Aîne & Fils Wines at L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, USA

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Chef Jacques at an earlier Event

Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected culinary personalities. His menus feature classic Alsatian and French cuisine reinterpreted for American palates. While his father Francois used to say that the chef has to stay in the kitchen, Chef Jacques is very present in the restaurant. He clearly enjoys talking about food and to communicate with his guests. He is great fun to listen to. No wonder that Jacques can be found sharing his cooking secrets on radio and television programs across the country.

Jacques is also a great writer and his articles have been featured in such journals as Gourmet, Wine and Spirits,and Cosmopolitan. Finally, Jacques is the author of “Two for Tonight,” a collection of recipes that inspire romance through food and togetherness, and the “Chez François Cookbook,” the bible of classic Alsatian cuisine featuring some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

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

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013  

Leo Hillinger Wines and Alsatian Food with Hillinger’s Michael Hoeffken and Chef Jacques E. Haeringer at L’Auberge Chez François in Virginia, USA

Domaine Weinbach Wines and Alsatian Food with Winemaker Catherine Faller, Alsace, and Chef Jacques E. Haeringer, Virginia

Anton Bauer and his Wines and Chef Jacques E. Haeringer and his Food at L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Virginia, with Klaus Wittauer of Kwselection, USA

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

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