International Wine Cellar | Rating: 94Bright pale yellow. Steely aromas of apple, minerals and warm stone. Voluminous and powerful, with fat flavors of pear, menthol, crushed stone and iodine. Most impressive today on the very long, broad aftertaste, which saturates the palate with lemon and crushed stone. This boasts the sheer size and scale of a Montrachet.Author: Stephen TanzerIssue: September/October 2011
Jancis Robinson | Rating: 17Delicate lemon and oatmeal creaminess. Very inviting and promising on the nose. Much less open on the palate. Tense and determined. Fine-grained texture and long but rather introvert on the palate. (JH)Author: Julia Harding MW
Eighty-six hectares of grand and premier cru vineyards. One hundred thirty total hectares in the Cote d'Or. Eighty crus produced each vintage. Two hundred seventy-five years of history. Bouchard Père et Fils is truly an institution in Beaune. The Maison was founded by father and son Michel and Joseph Bouchard in 1731, and the family wine merchant business has grown steadily ever since, taking any opportunity to add to its vineyard holdings along the way. Not to be completely overshadowed by its wines, Bouchard conducts business in the very center of Beaune in the old Chateau de Beaune, whose storied past rivals that of the Maison. In 1995, the Champagne family of Joseph Henriot took control of Bouchard, resulting in improvements in quality, not to mention the addition of more top-level vineyard sites. Reds of particular interest include the flagship Beaune Grèves Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus and the Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. As for whites, the Meursault Genevrières, Meursault Perrières, Chevalier-Montrachet and Montrachet are all great interpreters of their particular sites, exhibiting the many nuances of grand and premier cru Chardonnay.
Burgundy is home to some of the greatest and most expensive wines in the world. Stretching from Auxerre in the north to Lyon in the south, the region's most famous section is the limestone-rich Côte d'Or. Vineyards in Burgundy are classified according to their locations on the hillsides. Only 2% of total production is from grand cru sites, while premier cru and village-level wines are more common. It is rare for one domaine to own an entire vineyard; rather the land has been divided down to individual rows, in some cases as a result of inheritance laws. While other varieties can be found in Burgundy, and reign supreme. The best examples are capable of aging for 15 years or more, a rarity for these two varieties, making them highly valuable.
Chardonnay is a versatile variety that can grow in a wide range of climates, and its neutral flavor profile offers a blank canvas for winemakers to impart their style. In cool climates, Chardonnay displays flavors of green fruit and citrus. As the climate becomes more moderate, flavors of white peach and melon develop. In warm and hot climates, aromas of banana, pineapple, and other tropical fruit are common.
The best Old-World Chardonnay comes from , where it is uniquely reflective of terroir and can express many different flavor profiles even within this relatively small region. In , the northernmost part of Burgundy, wines are often unoaked and known for their minerality, high acidity, and aromas of green apple, citrus, wet stone, and slate. In the , further south, wines are typically aged in neutral French oak and have flavors of stone fruit, toast, almond, and cream. Burgundian producers pioneered the techniques that are now associated with high-quality Chardonnay around the world, including barrel fermentation, barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and maturation on lees. The best wines, from producers like , , and , can age in the bottle for a decade or more, developing complex aromas of nuts and mushroom.
New-World Chardonnay tends to grow in warmer climates than in the Old World, producing wines that are full-bodied, high in alcohol, and low in acidity. Use of American oak imparts flavors of vanilla, clove, hazelnut, butter, and caramel on top of peach and banana fruit. Look to producers in and , including , , and , for the highest-quality versions of this New-World style.
Chardonnay’s versatility makes it a great option for pairing. High-acid wines from Chablis are the perfect accompaniment to oysters or clams, while oak-forward Napa wines are the best match for buttery lobster. Halibut, cod, and chicken breast are classic pairings with white Burgundy.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 125 bottles owned
- 23 collectors