lunes, 15 de julio de 2013

Maison Bouchard Aine et Fils (Beaune - Burgundy)


- History: When Michel Bouchard settled in Burgundy in 1731 to set up a flourishing business in the fabric trade followed by branching out to become a wine broker, he laid down the family’s Burgundian roots. In 1750, his eldest son, Joseph, joined him in his venture, reaffirming the presence of the Bouchards in the Côte d’Or. Working closely with local winegrowers, they developed a unique form of expertise, and created the profession of négociant-winemaker-cellarer.

For over two centuries, the House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils has had as its mission an unyielding quest for perfection in quality, authenticity of style, the prestige that lies in a name, and perfect mastery of grape selection, winemaking and ageing. The first négociants came into being at the beginning of the 18th century to meet the demand of French and Flemish clients in particular; this was the beginning of the development of international trade.

- The Brand: All of the wines made by the house bear the Bouchard Aîné & Fils signature, a name which has been synonymous with tradition, and know-how since 1750. This signature, applied to a complete range of wines, takes the Bouchard Aîné & Fils name to the four corners of the globe.

- International exposure: Since the end of the 19th century, the House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils’ wines have been widely enjoyed by consumers outside of France. Today, the wines are available in nearly 130 countries in 5 continents: Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

- From négociant to winemaker: The House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils selects and purchases grapes and wines directly from producers whose vineyards and estates are located in Burgundy and the Beaujolais and with whom the House has developed close partnerships over the years. Based on reciprocal trust, these partnerships allow them to guarantee the quality of their grape supplies. They work with approximately thirty partners.

Once their wines have been vinified at the winery in Beaune, they are aged under the care in the cellars before being racked, bottled, and dispatched.

The vinification, ageing, and bottling processes are all overseen by the House winemaker.

- Viticulture: A good wine requires good grapes. Because of this fact, Bouchard Aîné & Fils is as involved in the vineyards as it is in the winery.

The work performed in the vineyards is fundamental. Restricting yields and using environmentally friendly growing methods are determining factors for quality wines. Their objective is to bring in the ripest, healthiest grapes possible to the winery. This approach to quality naturally extends to the different steps in the winemaking process.

- The varietal: is the type of grape that contributes to giving the wine its personality

This is all the more true in Burgundy, where the wines produced are single varietals as compared to elsewhere in France where the wines are made by blending several varietals.

Four varietals have, in different respects, anchored the reputation of Burgundy’s wines.

However, two varietals dominate: Pinot Noir, which has made the great red wines of Burgundy famous, and Chardonnay for the white wines. Aligoté is less prevalent, representing a mere 3% of the area under vine. The Gamay grape is the king varietal in the Beaujolais.

. Pinot Noir, a red grape producing white juice, this varietal grows in compact, purplish-black bunches. The tight clusters of grapes are full of sweet, colourless juice. This is a most delicate and fragile varietal.

. Gamay, is a very vigorous vine whose grapes grow in rather tight clusters, depending on the variety. This varietal thrives in the Beaujolais whose granitic soil produces crunchy, deeply coloured wines, whereas in the Côte-d’Or the wines are less exuberant.

. Chardonnay, the varietal behind the world’s finest dry white wines produces beautiful, golden bunches of grapes which are rather small but are bursting with deliciously sweet juice.

. L’Aligoté is a lesser-known white varietal that is more acidic than Chardonnay, making it ideal as an aperitif wine.

- Terroirs: Burgundy is unique; the terroir brings out the characteristics of the varietal which are expressed through nuances that depend on the region, soil, subsoil, exposure, and viticultural techniques used.

Burgundy’s vineyards are composed of a mosaic of single vineyards, known as “climats”, which determine the hierarchy of the wines within each appellation.

Burgundy’s diversity and richness can be found in its 6 great winegrowing areas. These are, from north to south: Chablis, the Côte de Nuits, the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Châlonnaise, the Mâconnais, and the Beaujolais.

The hierarchy of Burgundy wines is simple and is divided into 4 levels of appellation that are applied to both red and white wines, classifying them according to their quality. Think of a pyramid. The base is made up of the regional appellation: “Bourgogne” (53% of production), then come the communal or “Villages” appellations (30% of production). Moving up another notch, we find the communal appellations generally followed by the name of the “climat” (single vineyard) classified as “Premier Cru” (15% of production), and finally, at the top of the pyramid are the “Grands Crus” (2% of production).

. Chablis: This is the northernmost of Burgundy’s winegrowing areas and takes its name from the village of Chablis, located 150 km south-east of Paris and 150 km north-west of Dijon and Beaune.

Chablis, also known as the “Golden Gateway” to Burgundy, is well-suited for the production of great white wines. Here, the Chardonnay grape expresses all of its elegance, minerality, and liveliness.

Chablis’ vineyards cover a surface area of 4,500 ha that are divided into four levels of appellation: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru.

. Côte de Nuits: Known as Burgundy’s "Champs-Elysées”, the vineyards here cover the slopes of a narrow strip of hillsides that enjoy magnificent eastern exposure. They stretch across 3,200 hectares, running 20 km from north to south, from Dijon to Corgoloin (a village located 8 km north of Beaune). The town of Nuits-Saint-Georges lies at the heart of this "strip" whose width is often no more than a few kilometres! The Pinot Noir grape is king here and is grown in eight villages.

This is the paradise of the red Grand Cru wines, all of which hail from the Côte de Nuits, with the exception of Corton which is located in the Côte de Beaune! High up on the hills that overlook the slopes, the magnificent vineyards of the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits produce highly aromatic, structured wines.

. Côte de Beaune: The town of Beaune is the historic heart of Burgundy wines and has given its name to the vineyards of this range of hills that enjoy south-eastern exposure and cover a surface area of 6,000 hectares, extending from Corgoloin to Maranges (a village located a few kilometres north of Chalon-sur-Saône).

The richness and diversity of the Côte de Beaune’s terroirs yield some truly great, full-bodied, well-balanced, elegant red wines and impressive, rich, complex yet subtle whites. The vineyards at the heart of the “golden triangle” between Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet produce Burgundy’s Grand Cru white wines. The vineyards of the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, which produce fresh, fruity wines that are full of charm and elegance, overlook the Côte de Beaune.

. Côte Chalonnaise: In the natural prolongation of the Côte de Beaune, the vineyards of the Côte Châlonnaise run 25 kilometres from north to south, covering a surface area of 3,800 hectares. They are centred around the town of Chalon-sur-Saône (50,000 inhabitants), 20 kilometres south of Beaune.

The vineyards here are planted on slopes which face all different directions and are interspersed with meadows, fields, and woods. The Villages and Premiers Crus of four principal appellations (Mercurey, Rully, Givry, and Montagny) produce great white and red wines with highly different personalities. Montagny is the only village that produces white wines only.

. Mâconnais: This is the southernmost and largest of all of Burgundy’s winegrowing areas, with a surface area of 6,300 hectares.

Stretching from the town of Mâcon to the northern limit of the Beaujolais, a few dozen kilometres north of Lyon, this area is perfect for the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape which produces fresh, fruity white wines with subtle yet enchanting aromas. The best-known Villages appellations are: Mâcon-Villages, Saint-Véran, and Pouilly-Fuissé. For the reds, the Gamay grape gives the wines their beautiful, lively red colour tinged with violet, their freshness, and their aromas of red berries, reminiscent of the neighbouring Beaujolais wines.

. Beaujolais: This is an entirely distinctive region that lies in the natural prolongation of Burgundy and is similar in size with a surface area of 22,000 hectares. Extending 55 kilometres from north to south up to the outskirts of Lyon, and 15 kilometres from east to west, the vineyards are divided between 96 communes. The vineyards are an integral part of the landscape here, covering the hills right up to their summits.

This region boasts 12 appellations - Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages along with the ten “crus” that represent 28% of the Beaujolais’ total production. The “crus” are concentrated in the northern part of the appellation where the granitic soil is ideal for the Gamay grape to shine: Saint-Amour 1,321 ha - Brouilly 1,321 ha - Morgon 1,139 ha - Fleurie 867 ha – Moulin-à-Vent 654 ha - Juliénas 603 ha - Régnié 566 ha - Chiroubles 373 ha – Côte-de-Brouilly 330 ha - Chénas 283 ha.

- Winery: is located on the road to Savigny-lès-Beaune, near the Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy, headquarters of the House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils.

It was purchased in 2000 and is outfitted to meet Bouchard Aîné & Fils’ strict specifications.

The winery is equipped with:

1 table for hand-sorting the harvested grapes
12 stainless steel tanks (15 to 50-hectolitre capacity) for the vinification of white wines
16 15 to 60-hectolitre oak vats
1 crusher-destemmer
1 pneumatic press

Two cellars, with a total capacity of 760 barrels (each of which contains 228 litres), are used for ageing our wines. Protected from the light, they remain under the constant surveillance of the House winemaker.

- Vinification: It all begins with the harvest, the link between winegrowing and winemaking. Harvesting requires great care as the objective is to optimize the potential quality of the grapes brought in. This is why the grapes are handpicked and transported in 20-kilogram perforated crates. The grapes are weighed upon arrival at the winery and then are meticulously sorted by hand.

Utmost care and respect for the grapes and for the wine determines the winemaker’s day-to-day work at the winery: We aim to intervene as little as possible, but do take appropriate measures when necessary. As the old saying goes, “there is an art in the winery of knowing how to do nothing”.

. White wine vinification:
The entire bunches of grapes are pressed.
The juice is allowed to settle for 24 hours.
Fermentation is slow and takes place in oak vats.

. Red wine vinification:
All of the grapes are destemmed and gently crushed before being transferred to wooden vats (15 to 60 hl) where they undergo pre-fermentation cold maceration for three days.
Alcoholic fermentation lasts between 15 and 20 days depending on the appellation.
Each day the must is pumped over once or twice and the cap is punched twice daily by hand.
Temperatures are allowed to rise (36°C) at the end of fermentation for the Premiers Crus and Grands Crus.
The press and free-run wines are blended.
Barrels from France’s Allier, Vosges and Nièvre regions are used for ageing.
The wine is racked for the first time after malolactic fermentation.

- Ageing: Following vinification, the wines are aged in the cellars by the House winemaker who is careful to respect the terroir and varietal.

Ageing process rounds out the wine’s personality and gives it its House style, lending a hallmark to each cuvée.

Elegant wines with good concentration without being overly aggressive.

Good structure and acidity levels that allow for good ageing potential.

Wines that are representative of their terroirs, respecting the typicity and range of expression that Burgundy’s terroirs and varietals have to offer.

Ageing lasts from 14 to 16 months in oak barrels with a proportion of 15 to 30% new oak.

The wine is fined before being bottled at the winery using a small, mobile bottling line.

Each varietal gives the wines its olfactory and gustatory characteristics.

Each terroir from which a wine originates gives its hallmark to each wine.

Each vintage adds a dimension of surprise and redefines expectations as far as balance, ageing potential, and so on are concerned.

In the end, it is Nature that is fundamentally responsible for what each of these wines will become...

- Tours & Tastings: A unique tour and tasiting of the house wines in the cellars in Beaune, based on the theme of the five senses
The history of Beaune’s House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils melds with that of Burgundy wine and the town of Beaune itself.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils cellars, located at the Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy, which dates back to the 18th century, offer visitors a unique historic, cultural, and gustatory experience.

. The Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy: Built in 1743, this jewel of Burgundian architecture houses the headquarters of Bouchard Aîné & Fils. It is located just a five-minute 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 walls.

The Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy opens the doors to the cellars for the tours and tastings, known as the Tour of the Five Senses.

This is an original approach to discovering wine through the five senses, leading up to the grand finale that examines taste and is complemented by a wine tasting.

Wine shop is open seven day a week, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm (exept mondays on january and febuary and sundays closes at 5:30pm)

Tours: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm


Bouchard Aîné & Fils has been making fine wines for over 250 years. The prestige of its name is due to its permanent commitment to ensuring perfect quality and authenticity of style in its wines.

Mâconnais - Saint-Véran 2011 (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)

- Category:
A Mâcon-Villages appellation grown in 7 villages, which takes its name from the village of St Véran. The vineyards under this appellation extend over 558 hectares.

- The Wine:
Grape variety: 100% Chardonnay.
Alcohol content: 13% by vol.

- Vinification / Ageing:
Fermentation in stainless steel tanks followed by partial maturing for 10 months in barrels, 20% of these being new.

- Tasting:
Visual: Greeny-gold.
Nose: While young it has aromas of white fruits (peaches, pears), white and yellow flowers (acacia and honeysuckle, scotch broom). As it ages it becomes reminiscent of hazelnuts, grilled almonds, honey and gun-flint.
Palate: A dry wine which is also round, soft and fruity.

- Serving Suggestions:
Serving temperature: 10 to 12°C / 52°F
Ideal as an aperitif, with hors-d’oeuvres, delicate cooked meats, oysters, shellfish and fish.

- Ageing:
From 7 to 9 years.

Côte de Nuits - Fixin 2010 (Appellation Fixin Contrôlée) "La Mazière"

Characteristic features of these wines include year-round monitoring of individual vineyards, low yields and limited bottling runs. A showcase for Bouchard Aîne & Fils, Cuvée Signature is the ultimate expression of their style and know-how. These “micro-cuvees” express the richness of the finest terroirs of Burgundy in all their intensity and finesse.

In the lovely village of Fixin, in Côte de Nuits, south of Dijon, there, on 5 acres, is the tiny vineyard of "La Mazière." They have selected their great pinot noir for this Fixin "Cuvée Signature".

- Location:
Village appellation made with grapes from the village of Fixin, in the Côte de Nuits, north of Gevrey Chambertin. The « La Mazière » vineyard covers 2.21 hectares

- Varietal(s):
100% Pinot Noir

- Winemaking:
15 months in oak barrels, with 25% of new oak. Two decanting

- Tasting:
Visual Aspect: Dark ruby with violet hints
Nose: Slightly rustic, spices and woody flavours, red fruit brandy (kirsch)
Palate: Full, racy, and chewy. Firm tannins, marked by the terroir
Food Pairing: Charolais beef rib, or hare to match with the powerful and woody taste of this wine

Beaune Premier Cru "Clos du Roi" 2009 (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)

- Category:
The Cuvée Signature range is a selection of reputed villages, Premier and Grand Crus from Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune principally. Harvested, they are produced in very limited quantities.
Overlooking the town of Beaune, the 20 acre “Clos du Roi” Premier Cru vineyard (whose name refers to King Louis XI who appropriated this vineyard upon the death of Charles the Bold, the last Duke of Burgundy) produces magnificent Pinot Noir grapes.

- The Wine:
Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol content:  13% vo

- Vinification / Ageing:
Vinified in wooden vats and matured in oak barrels for 10 months (30% new oak).
Harvested: August 31th, 2007
Average year vines were planted: 1963
Bottled: June, 2008
Production: 2,119 bottles

- Tasting:
Visual: Deep red in colour with dark tinges.
Nose: The nose is reminiscent of black cherry and blackcurrant.
Palate: The structure of this powerful wine is built on ripe silky tannins, underscoring jammy notes that open up to spicier notes typical of the great barrel-aged wines..

- Serving Suggetions:
Serve at 16-17°C/62°F with red meats or Burgundian cheeses…

- Ageing:
7-9 years

Côte de Nuits - Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2000 (Appelation d'Origine Contrôlée)

- Category:
The Cuvée Signature range is a selection of reputed villages, Premier and Grand Crus from Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune principally. Harvested, they are produced in very limited quantities.
Containing over 50 hectares of vines within its walls that are divided among more than 75 owners, this vineyard's name is inseparable from the history of Burgundy. This prestigious appellation covers a wide diversity of terroirs and can take on multiple facets though the common denominators are elegance and intensity.

- The Wine:   
Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir

- Vinification / Ageing:
Vinified in wooden vats using indigenous yeasts and matured in oak barrels aged for 18 months (40% new oak).

- Tasting:
Visual: Deep red in colour tingued with brown.
Nose: The nose is very concentrated with scents of black fruit, violets and forest undergrowth..
Palate: The palate is fleshy and well-balanced, supported by fine tannins. Over time, this wine will develop finer notes of leather, fur and humus but will conserve its long finish.

- Serving Suggestions:
Serve at 17°C/63°F with game pâtés, braised veal or feathered game.

- Ageing:
7 to 15 years

Bouchard Aîné et Fils – Hôtel du Conseiller du Roy
4, boulevard Maréchal Foch
21200 Beaune
Tel : +33(0)3 80 24 24 00
Fax : +33(0)3 80 24 64 12
email :
Parking near the main entrance

The store
Tel : +33(0)3 80 24 06 66
email :

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