Vinous – 94+
Bright medium red. Musky, smoky aromas of raspberry, clove and underbrush complemented by blood orange and an exotic note of apricot. Then silky, juicy and dry on the palate, with red berry and spice flavors enlivened by smoky minerality. Really coats the mouth and spreads out on the very long, youthfully tight finish. Has the tannin/acid spine to support a leisurely evolution in bottle.
Robert Parker – 93
Bouchard’s 2008 Chambertin Clos de Beze smells of dark cherry and plum, dusty crushed stone, peat, and licorice, Fine grained tannins permit a caressing palate feel that fits the wine’s sumptuously rich fruit, while mineral interest lends its long finish an almost spell-binding sense of interactivity. This should be worthy of at least 15 years of attention. There were fewer than two barriques’ worth of Bouchard Chambertin this year, and I did not taste that wine. 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, â€œswapping leesâ€ 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 â€œDomaineâ€ to distinguish those wines that are part of the Bouchard, except in cases where there is another otherwise eponymous wine.) Importer: Henriot, Inc, New York, NY; tel. (212) 605-6767
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025