100% Pinot Noir from a single 0.97 hectare site in Celles-Sur-Ource (this was the first vineyard that Bouchard inherited from his father). 100% vinification in steel with natural yeast. Disgorged without dosage April 2018. With all the hype I was perhaps expecting this to be a bit more of an outlier on the nose! Dried apple, baked pear and waxy lemon, with some sweet apricot. There is a sense of creaminess and stoniness (think oatmeal and limestone) with shortcrust pastry weaving in some nice richness. It feels composed, friendly and elemental, although there is a suggestion of complexity in touches of heather honey, white pepper, cocoa and something almost like rosemary/camphor.

The palate is where this wine lifts off, with a brilliant attack of fruit that threatens to be overpowering at first, but easies out seamlessly into a lovely, creamy, vinous mid-palate that brings chalk, and floral notes with subtle bitter almond, charred earth and that sunny herbal quality coming through again. There’s almost a milky/marine sweetness to the finish. The acidity feels supple – it’s playing second fiddle to texture and flavour here. It works though.

This really is a fine and fascinating wine, much more dense on the palate than most champagnes but without edging into harshness. It’s almost as if Chablis did Blanc De Noirs! Unusually, I find it more interesting on the palate than it is on the nose at the moment. Over the evening it sometimes seemed to cross the line into being a bit heavy, but then at other moments seemed just perfect. Unique.

17.5

Date Tasted : 07/02/2019

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