Historic vinification in 2018
“For the 2018 harvests, we finally returned to more normal quantities,” says Laurent Mairet, the winemaker at Bouchard Aîné & Fils. “We vinify between 300 and 400 pièces every year, with 320 pièces last year, we have returned to a volume of wine that we hadn’t seen for the last few years, which is a real treat!” he concludes.
With 19 appellations vinified in 2018, 44 pièces of white and 276 of red, Bouchard Aîné & Fils confirms its preference for the red Burgundy climats. Its emblematic wines are mainly located on the Côte de Beaune: Pommard Premier Cru Les Charmots, Beaune Premier Cru Clos du Roi, Beaune Premier Cru Les Marconnets in both colors, and Savigny-Lès-Beaune white. And lastly, the Fixin La Mazière, a very old contract for wine from this quasi-monopole on the Côte de Nuits, a very high-quality plot surrounded by stone walls in the village.
We also know that 2018 is a quality vintage thanks to very favorable weather, despite sometimes being on a knife-edge. A new de-stalker is helping preserve that quality thanks to a next-generation rubber “hedgehog” mechanism that stops the berries being crushed. This is a major detail because it allows for intracellular fermentation which very slowly reduces the sugar. It also allows us to avoid crushing the grapes too violently at this early stage.
We also vinified three new appellations in 2018: Pernand-Vergelesses white, Pernand Premier Cru Les Fichots red, and Savigny-Lès-Beaune Premier Cru Les Vergelesses red.
As we write this in mid-February, the reds have yet to begin their malolactic fermentation, but they already taste wonderful, with an intense red color promising wonderful keeping potential. The whites are indulgent and aromatic, and are already opening up to reveal a style that is all about roundness with notes of vanilla and white-fleshed fruit like peach and pear, characteristic of the great classic Chardonnays. For both whites and reds, the 2018 vintage will be one for laying down!