Cedric Bouchard

Cédric Bouchard, photo taken from madwine.blogspot.com

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Country of Origin: France
Location: Aube Valley
People: Cédric Bouchard, Winemaker & Owner

Items

Cedric Bouchard 2009 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs, La Bolorée, Champagne AOC Login AG 95 Sold Out
Cedric Bouchard 2010 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs, La Bolorée, Champagne AOC Login OOS, on order
Cedric Bouchard 2009 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs, La Haute Lemblé, Champagne AOC Login AG 94 In Stock
Cedric Bouchard 2010 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs, La Haute Lemblé, Champagne AOC Login OOS, on order
Cedric Bouchard 2006 Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs 'La Parcelle' Champagne AOC Login <1 Case
Cedric Bouchard 2007 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs, Cote de Bechalin (La Parcelle), Champagne AOC Login OOS, on order
Cedric Bouchard 2011 Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs, Val Vilaine, Champagne AOC Login Sold Out
Cedric Bouchard 2012 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs, Val Vilaine, Champagne AOC Login OOS, on order

Cédric Bouchard is young, talented, and iconoclastic. Though relatively new on the scene (he started his label in 2000), he’s already trying to redefine the centuries-old traditions of Champagne by eschewing blending and focusing on single-vineyard, single-varietal, single-vintage wines. Perhaps it was this initiative that earned him the title of Champagne’s finest winemaker by the Gault Millau in 2008. 

Bouchard seeks to create wines of individual character and minimal intervention. His wines are made from organically farmed grapes with highly restricted yields, which ensures that only excellent fruit goes into the wine. He ferments the first pressing of the juice to preserve its most delicate flavors, and uses only indigenous yeasts for the first fermentation (neutral yeasts for the second). His wine ferments in steel, and he adds little or no dosage. At every turn, he aims to preserve the natural qualities of his fruit. 

The three bottlings from his own vineyards all sold under his “Roses de Jeanne” label. These include a Blanc de Noirs from the small vineyard of Les Ursules, which produces annually less than 300 cases; a rosé from the tiny Le Creux d'Enfer vineyard, made by the saignée method of crushing the Pinot Noir and running off the juice after several hours of skin contact, with only 300 to 500 bottles are produced annually; and a Blanc de Blancs from the vineyard of Le Haute-Lemblée, which only produces 500 to 800 per year, as yet unreleased. 

Bouchard’s second label, which he calls “Inflorescence,” is made of grapes sourced from his family’s vineyards, and he employs the same singular focus to the winemaking process. His terroir-driven wines from both labels are underscored by their long, cool fermentation and delicate bubbles (he’s been said to find bubbles distracting--in fact, he even recommends gently decanting his wines). Made in miniscule quantities with the utmost care, these wines are stellar examples of innovative winemaking. 

"Readers seeking to discover the finest in Champagne owe it to themselves to check out the wines of Cédric Bouchard. Minuscule yields, organically farmed old-vine parcels, a non-interventionalist approach in the winery and cellar and Bouchard’s inspired vision elevate these single-vintage, lieu-dit wines to the summit of Champagne. The wines are bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no dosage, leaving only the indelible stamp of vintage, vineyard, and grape variety as interpreted by this immensely gifted vigneron. For what it is worth, these are some of the most treasured bottles I own." --Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate 12/2010

Media Links
The New York Times Dining & Wine: Champagne's Servants Join the Masters
SFGate: Champagne's Aube region gets a moment to sparkle
ChampagneGuide.net: Cédric Bouchard

Reviews

  • Cedric Bouchard 2009 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs, La Bolorée, Champagne AOC
    Vinous by Antonio Galloni
    Rating: 95 (11/1/2013)

    Bouchard's 2009 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs La Bolorée is painfully young and almost austere. A huge, powerful wine, Bolorée is all about structure and potential. Pear, white apple, flowers and crushed rocks all meld together in the glass in an inward Champagne that is going to need a few years in bottle. In my view, the Bolorée, 100% Pinot Blanc from 50+ year-old vines, is Bouchard's greatest wine.
  • Cedric Bouchard 2009 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs, La Haute Lemblé, Champagne AOC
    Vinous by Antonio Galloni
    Rating: 94 (11/1/2013)

    The 2009 Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs La Haute Lemblée is quite a bit creamier and expressive than it typically is. White peach, flowers, spices and crushed rocks are woven together in a stunning Champagne. Even with all of its texture, the 2009 remains airy and light on its feet. I would give the 2009 a few more years in bottle, even though it will be virtually impossible to resist before then. This bottle was disgorged in April 2013.