Cedric Bouchard

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

Items

Cedric Bouchard 2010 Roses de Jeanne, La Bolorée Login AG 96+ <1 Case
Cedric Bouchard 2010 Roses de Jeanne, La Haute Lemblé Login AG 96 In Stock
Cedric Bouchard 2009 Inflorescence, Val Vilaine, AOC Login <1 Case
Cedric Bouchard 2012 Roses de Jeanne, Val Vilaine Login AG 92 In Stock

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 is no longer making wine under his second label Inflorescence because his father has retired and given him the family's vineyards. Thus all wines will be labeled under the Roses de Jeanne name.

His terroir-driven wines 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
Diner's Journal (NYT): Champagnes With a Sense of Where They Are
Madwine.blogspot.com: Champagne Shaken AND stirred
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 2010 Roses de Jeanne, La Bolorée
    Vinous by Antonio Galloni
    Rating: 96+ (11/30/2014)

    As good as the La Haute-Lemblée is, the 2010 Blanc de Blancs La Bolorée is even better. The most reticent of these new releases, La Bolorée (Pinot Blanc) arguably has the most potential. Rich and layered in the glass, the Bolorée is a wine of pure vertical structure. Here the flavors and textures are bold, ample and all encompassing in their resonance. Hints of apricot, peach and white flowers open up over time, but only with great reluctance. The 2010 needs time in bottle, but make no mistake about it, this is an utterly magnificent Champagne that will mesmerize readers lucky enough to taste it.
  • Cedric Bouchard 2010 Roses de Jeanne, La Haute Lemblé
    Vinous by Antonio Galloni
    Rating: 96 (11/30/2014)

    The 2010 Blanc de Blancs La Haute-Lemblée offers shades of the magnificent 2004 in its finely-cut, chiseled fruit and crystalline purity. A stunner of a wine, the 2010 pulses with energy, delineation and class. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and chalk wrap around the taut, super-expressive finish. There is so much to look forward to here once the wine softens up in another year or two.
  • Cedric Bouchard 2012 Roses de Jeanne, Val Vilaine
    Vinous by Antonio Galloni
    Rating: 92 (11/30/2014)

    Slate, pear, crushed rocks and mint are some of the notes that inform Bouchard's 2012 Côte de Val Vilaine. A very classic, Burgundian-inflected element of reduction is present in the aromatics, so the 2012 needs to be opened at least an hour or two in advance. With time in the glass, the flavors become more precise as the textures open up. This is the most vibrant of Bouchard's Pinot Noir Champagnes.