Cedric Bouchard makes fine wines, which just happen to be Champagne. Although he comes from a Champagne background, and his father is a grower, Cedric does things very differently.
Like many other newer Grower Producers, he makes his wines as naturally as possible. This means no fining, no filtering, no cold-stabilization, no chaptalization, and growing as close to organic as possible. No wood is used at all and fermentation occurs in stainless steel or enameled steel vats (some of his still wines do use oak casks). He does diverge somewhat however as he adds no dosage, or at most very very low dosage depending on the vineyard, and where he widely diverges from other Champagne makers is that all his wines are single vineyard, single varietal (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Blanc), and from a single plot of land. His wines also are bottled with less pressure than most others, 4.5 bars of pressure instead of 6 bars, meaning fewer bubbles.
Although all his wines are from a single vintage, they have not traditionally all carried vintage designations. Starting with his 2010s, they will all have vintage designations as well as the date of disgorgement.
He is located in the South of Champagne, the Côte des Bar in The Aube, about 100 kilometers south of Reims and Epernay. The terroir is limestone, and Kimmeridgian marl, a clay based soil heavy in limestone. This is far more similar to the terroir of Chablis than the chalk based terroir of most of Champagne. This helps explain the minerality of the wines (although notice my tasting notes below do mention chalk on the nose).
Tasting Note: Cedric Bouchard Inflorescense La Parcelle Blanc de Noirs, Lieu-dit "Cote de Bechalin" - April 2015, rated B+
Disgorged April 2013, vintage 2006. From a 1.5 hectare vineyards with 35 year old vines.
Fresh bread dough immediately on the nose. Chalk and apple. The smallest tinge of red fruit with lots of air.
Spicy pineapple. Lemon custard. Warm orange citrus. Orange candy. Some spicy minerality below, shining through with air.
A beguiling sweetness, especially considering it is a zero dosage wine!
Lovely juice! A big wine.
Tasting Note: Cedric Bouchard Inflorescense Blanc de Noirs, Lieu-dit "Cote de Val Vilaine" - April 2015, rated A-
Disgorged April 2012. A light yellow color.
The nose has a hint of pineapple, chalk, and is very nice and expansive.
On the palate, sweet apple, extremely long & well balanced. A little orange or tangerine, simply delicious. Very creamy and rich after an hour of air.
A big wine. Lovely. Drank well out of the bottle and opened up fairly quickly, fully in about an hour (which is quick for a Bouchard).
Tasting Note: Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Blanc de blancs, Lieu-dit "La Haut Lemble" - April 2015, rated A
Slightly lighter color than the La Bororee below. Bottled April 2013, from the 2009 vintage.
This also took some time to open, but not nearly as long as the La Bororee - it was good to go out of the bottle and simply improved with time.
100% Chardonnay from the tiny 1/10 of a Hectare La Haut Lemble plot.
The nose is wonderfully cavernous with lots of chalk and minerals and a lovely and enticing spring floral component.
Spicy orange on the palate, orange as in the citrus fruit. Rolling in minerals. A little apple. Again, a floral component.
A lovely sweet finish. Wonderfully "complete" and perfectly balanced. Warm and giving.
This simply rocks!
Tasting Note: Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Blanc de blancs, Lieu-dit "La Bororee" - April, 2015, rated A/A-
100% Pinot Blanc. From the miniscule 0.2107 hectare plot knows as La Bororee. Roughly half century old vines. Disgorged April 2013
An amazing wine, that only shows well with extended breathing. Decant it for an hour and drink it slowly! It took 2-3 hours to fully open up and a half glass left out overnight was delicious!
Bottled April 2013, from the 2009 vintage.
Light yet bright yellow in color.
The nose was very precise, with apple, cavernous chalk, deep minerals, and a touch of peppermint or spearmint.
The plate had a touch of tangerine, sweet apple, lemon curd, Asian pear and a great creamy mouthfeel. After 3 hours it was incredibly rich and creamy!
The palate was more impressive than the nose, but a spectacular (and unique) wine!
Tasting Note: Cedric Bouchard Inflorescence Cote de Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs - Oct, 2013- rated B+/A- and I may be a stingy bastard.
On the advice of my friend Paul Ferrari, I decant this for slightly over an hour (although I did sip at it). Yes, decanting was a good idea. Bouchard himself recommends decanting, as well as drinking from regular wine glasses instead of flutes. You can see it in the decanter in the picture.
A very light golden color. 100% Pinot Noir.
On the nose, plenty of chalk, minerals, and a hint of orange, which combine to make a nose I'd almost describe as "perfumed." Certainly lovely!
A well textured mouthfeel in line with the nose. Some citrus, perhaps lime with a tinge of orange. Lots of minerality. Quite dry, which makes sense as he uses little to no dosage.
This is certainly a lovely wine, although I'm not as crazy about his wines as some of my friends are and many others are. Although I must say, this juice gets better and better the more it breathes and I may just be wrong and it may be eventually truly mind blowing. And I am very much looking forward to trying more of his wines.
Tasting Note: Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs - Nov, 2013 - rated B+/A-. I liked the Cote de Val Vilaine just a hair better,
A very light pink-orange. Wasn't sure it was a rose as I decanted it (recommended by Bouchard). Despite the term "Rose" in it's title in fact it is not a Rose. His Rose is called Creux d'Enfer, and has been described as "pretty much a red wine" by Brad Baker, The Champagne Warrior, and "haunting" - hope to find a bottle some day!
The nose has lots of chalk and minerals, very airy and uplifting, with some red fruit in the background.
It has a great mouthfeel with some red cherry. Lots of minerals. Exquisitely balanced. Wonderful texture on the tongue. Very vinuous.