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Bouchard Père & Fils : Clos Vougeot Grand cru Domaine 2008
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The Bouchard domaine 2008 Clos Vougeot Domaine Bouchard - from one parcel high-up in the Plante de l'Abbaye, and another low but against the wall of the clos - smells of cedar, licorice, blond tobacco, sandalwood, dark cherry, and black raspberry. Rich and sapid in fruit, deeply, cleanly meaty, savory and invigorating in its salinity and its recapitulation of themes sounded in the nose, this has surprisingly much in common with the virtues of the corresponding non-estate-bottled Clos Vougeot. Saliva-inducing and tongue quivering in finish, it superbly demonstrates the vibrancy to which 2008 vintage Pinots can aspire, and should be worth following for two decades. Director-winemaker Philippe Prost made no attempt to minimize the challenges of 2008 and was careful to distinguish between its wind-borne concentration and genuinely ideal phenolic maturity (approached more nearly this year in white than red). He opined that the wide window afforded for relaxed picking despite the late calendar date was critical, since the levels of ripeness were so disparate from one site to another. That said, he showed me an outstanding collection of Pinots. Ironically, as he pointed out, ripeness was also disparate in one of the two earliest vintages on record, 2007, yet picking - while fitful - was anything but relaxed due to the pressure of rot. And here, too, Bouchard scored excellent successes. By means of, where necessary, swapping lees between barrels to inoculate stubborn lots, Prost says he was able to get all of his 2008s through malo-lactic conversion in timely fashion, which he considers especially important with Pinot. Bottling of the 2008 reds - with a few exceptions mentioned in my notes and due to have been bottled in April - took place in December and January, the same schedule adopted for their 2007s. I did not have an opportunity to taste nearly all of Bouchard's vast collection from either vintage, and have in the text of my notes indicated a few from among their 2008s that I take to represent significant omissions. (I have not noted Domaine to distinguish those wines that are part of the Bouchard, except in cases where there is another otherwise eponymous wine.)