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2005 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Monthelie Les Duresses
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- ABV 13.5%
- Closure: Cork
Producer note: Philippe Prost, Bouchard's winemaker, told me that the 'new cuvérie is a godsend (see Bouchard, Issue 22 for details on their new state-of-the-art facility) in terms of being able to analyze quickly and efficiently what we are bringing in as well as to separate out specific parcels within vineyards and then include them or not later as each cuvée merits. We now can also move grapes, must and wine around with zero pumping, which is especially important with grapes as now we don't break the seeds, which in some vintages is critical because they're not always ripe and as such, they can be the source of bitterness. Thankfully, in the case of 2005 there was excellent phenolic maturity where even the seeds attained a high level of ripeness as well. With the excellent harvest weather and uniform ripeness in most parcels, we had the almost unheard of luxury of harvesting whenever we wanted. We started on the 12th of September with the whites because we wanted to preserve the acidity but waited until the 14th to start on the reds. Despite saying that you could harvest when you wanted, in some particularly well exposed parcels, you had to watch carefully because sugars climbed rapidly right at the end. In fact, in one particularly extreme example, we had a parcel where the sugars went from an average of 13 to 13.7% in two days! Overall, we averaged between 13 and 13.5%, which is more than adequate for the style of wine we want to make. The Côte de Beaune fruit was essentially 100% destemmed though with certain cooler sites, we used up to 25% whole clusters. In the Côte de Nuits however, we essentially did not destem at all because the dry extract levels were superb. For example, in 2004 the average bunch weight was around 110 grams (<.25 lb) whereas in 2005, it was only 70 grams (<.15 lb). Because we had such ripe phenolics, I elected to go with a very long cold soak of 5 to 10 days generally and between 8 and 10 days for the grands crus with a total cuvaison of between 21 and 28 days, which is also on the long side. Interestingly, the Côte de Beaune wines are perhaps even riper than those from the Côte de Nuits and I generally prefer the Côte de Nuits. Perhaps because it was so dry that gave the Côte de Nuits more minerality and a touch of saltiness that adds a supplementary dimension. Overall, 2005 is certainly the best vintage since 1999 and perhaps further back than that. I love the vintage and you can sense this extra dimension and real complexity. For me, as one goes up the rankings hierarchy, there is a clear increase in complexity if not necessarily size, weight and power. And what is also clear is that 2005 will age for years and years with no difficulty.' As the scores and comments suggest, the Bouchard '05s are flat out stupendous wines and absolutely deserve a place in your cellars. However, as I noted with their '04s, some of the wines are carrying noticeably more oak than usual. Except where noted, the wood should integrate with time but if should you elect to try them young, you'll notice a difference relative to prior vintages. Given the track record of the wines for successfully absorbing the wood, I believe that the benefit of the doubt is in order but in certain cases, the wood is not subtle so purists should be aware that there is more oak influence than usual.
Tasting note: For my sensibilities, here the wood is right at the limit where any more of it would begin to detract from the quality of the fruit, which itself is ripe and dense. The relatively big flavors are rich, full and powerful with ample size and weight and while the mid-palate is suave and sappy, the finish is quite firm.
Score: 88 Drink: 2013+
Allen Meadows - Burghound
Tasted: Apr 01, 2007