To “burgundize” the palate. Pleasant and within the accepted range of basic Burgundian chardonnay; decent acidity, not overloaded with wood; bit on the fat and juicyfruit side from the vintage. Good for short term drink-it-up and, as now, a palate prep for the 2010s.
Domaine Bouchard Pere Meursault Les Clous 2010
Oh ho! This one punches well above its weight. It could easily slip into the Premier Cru level of quality, if not place. Nicely structured, vibrant with acidity, light touch of fruit sweetness. What some writers try to express as “fine grained”, which is hard to explain but easy to understand here. I suspect this Meursault will develop nicely over the next several years. It coulda been a contendah!
Domaine Bouchard Pere Beaune Premier Cru du Chateau Blanc 2010
Low key, restrained and subtle, with lots of lemony freshness; decent minerality; suspect this wine won’t develop overly much from what it is now, but it’s a good offering from Bouchard at a more affordable price for short term and restaurant consumption.
Domain Bouchard Pere Beaune Clos St. Landry Premier Cru Blanc 2010
I am not impartial about this property: I invariably like it. This vintage is not an exception. This is one of the most distinctive plots (a monopole), within Burgundy and within the many wines of House Bouchard extant. It’s a small dot of chardonnay in a surrounding ocean of pinot noir in the Beaune, developed by those monks many, many years ago, and owned by Bouchard for not quite that long. There is distinctive white-petal florality to this wine each vintage, a light, delicate but pervasive perfume sitting atop a firm base of citrus and limestone oyster-shell minerality, that never fails to charm the nose and the palate. More young oak and less fat fruit than 2009, so it will improve with about five years or so in bottle, and will become more effusive in its charms as it does…but it’s damned attractive right now too.
Domaine Bouchard Pere Meursault Genevrieres Premier Cru Blanc 2010
Quite lovely Meursault! Transitioning from the lemony-crisp St. Landry to an even crisper and more orange- and lime-laden, almost marmalade, compact fruit with rich texture and chewiness, but nicely braced with nervy acidity. Oak is merely a component here, and not a dominant one as the liveliness and vibrancy of the wine dominates the experience entirely. It’s the liveliness and the elegant lines underneath that characterize and define this Meursault and give it a humming vibrancy in the mouth.
Domaine Bouchard Pere Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru 2010
Terroir will out. The Chevalier is a big, bold, acidic, mineral-laden and fruit driven wine, a wine trickled through crushed limestone, macerated with citrus, and infused with almost-stringent acidity which will convey it out of its youth and into a splendid maturity, if one can be patient enough. This is the kind of white burgundy that people search for and so often don’t find, but keep on looking for. (Cue Bono in the background crooning “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” then segue to a picture of a haggard and suspicious wine geek with a large smile slowly spreading across his face and lighting up his eyes.) There should be an “X” on the bottle, to mark the spot.
Domaine Bouchard Pere Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2010
Corton is not a wine for everyone. There are those left unsatisfied with its charms, because it is often so weighty and ponderous and solemn, a wine that can be thuddingly closed when young and brooding when old, a dense, compact and demanding wine that grudgingly allows you to fall in love with it, if you wish. For those people, this is a Corton to try, for it’s a Corton with an engaging nature, showing some brightness and mineral and snappy acidity in its youth, and a liveliness that is sometimes lacking in this weighty wine. Still a big, dense mouthful, mind you, but there’s so much packed into this wine---apple, limestone, lemon, sweet orange, oyster shells, brine (yes, a distinct saltiness laced with mouth-watering lemon zest and minerals), crushed stone, menthol, earth, mushroom and truffles---that it can induce sensory overload in the mouth. Add in the silky weight and the uncharacteristic vitality of this particular version, and you’ve got a Corton to treasure, with limitless development potential.