Saturday, January 30, 2010

2005 Cédric Bouchard "La Bolorée",Champagne

100% Pinot Blanc
Dosage: 0 g/l
Production: 800-1.000 bottles
Time on it's lees: 38 months
Other data: 40-year old vines - 0,2107 ha

Previously, when trying to describe the Champagnes from Cédric Bouchard, I have been mumbling more about a feeling than picking a note here and there. Basically the equation is not that complicated, its Champagnes of highly unique character, which are impossible to place in any category. Even if this might sound a bit pretentious – that’s the only way I can describe his wines – besides they taste horrible good.

So - with a debut release of a100% Pinot Blanc Champagne in front of me, I already know I will be dancing with aliens shortly – I am ready, “beam me up Scotty”.

Mama Mia – I am in love. This is like nothing else, completely unique –dazzling, intriguing, silky and amazing energetic. But there is a difference to what I have described above, because this is filled with aromas so there are tons of notes to pick, even if they are not something you come across everyday. Here is what I have written on my paper: All kinds of spices, candied citrus fruits, lime, ripe fruit, melon, fennel, ginger, flowers, corn and a massive mineral / slate expression providing an enormous intensity. This slate note, made me think of the wines/Rieslings from Weingut Keller in Rheinhessen, Germany (G-Max, Morstein…etc) and if there are any Keller fans in the audience (I can think of a few), you will know exactly what I mean, if you taste this Champagne. But like all the wines from Cédric Bouchard, there are an incredible sleek feeling and all the notes I have written are so refined and breathtaking pure. The taste is a chapter of it’s own. The lower bar pressure (4.5 atmospheres vs normally 6), is adding to the feeling that it’s a more a wine than a Champagne, but who cares, when it taste as good as this. The mousse breaks with sleek diamond dust precision, then calms down and the second wave hits you, filled with a herd of never ending mineral and spicy expressions – it’s pure magic. What a Champagne – a masterpiece.

Glass: Spiegelau Adina “Red wine” and Zalto “White wine” – both did exceptional well.


Anonymous said...

you should become CB's marketing director... I'm convinced I will love this wine even before tasting it thanks to your review.


Anonymous said...


I have to taste it........

Martin "Keller-aficionado"

Thomas said...

Hehe….thank you, Andreas – I think Cédric is his own master – but hell yes I could work for him any day ;-)

You have something to look forward to – hope we can taste it together soon.

Martin – I hoped you would chime in, as I you were my main target for the link to Keller. I will bring this Champagne when I come to Berlin in October.


Voodoo Child said...

Hi Thomas,
Glad you gave Zalto White Wine glass what it deserves,
a brilliant Champagne, never tasted though, I had Clos Ursules friday in Zalto White Wine glass, a completely different experience.
Yesterday Ulysse Collin BdN a fantastic wine, almost notes of eau-de-vis framboise.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...



SK2 said...

Absolutely love your picture, and of course your fantastic blog!

Anonymous said...

C'mon Thomas!
The Keller vinyards are dominated by limestone - so not too different from Champagne.....
Only the 'borrowed' Pettental-rows are(red) slate as far as I know.
Would be great to try a Champagne Pinot Blanc.
I recently had the Sekthaus Raumland Pinot Blanc Brut 2004 which was very good+ now but I think it will age quite well too.
Thanks for an enthusiastic TN.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try it. Any thoughts on how it will develop?


Thomas said...

Ebbe, Thank you for the Zalto White Wine recommendation – I will test it more in future. The shape of this Zalto glass is very similar to the Darsonville glass, which I saw many times in Champagne, during my visit there last year.

Thank you SK2, for those kind words.

Thank you Ulrich. My association to slate is the only way I can describe those brushings of mineral tones, which provides the same darker tones as slate does. In this case it might be the spices adding to the way I perceive it. They should not be associated with typical chalk/limestone, like those Champagnes from Le Mesnil. However, La Bolorée is in fact the only parcel, from Cédric Bouchard, on chalk. My link to Keller is also the fruit package, not that Keller makes spicy wines (he doesn’t)….but you will know what I mean, if you taste it.

Michael – Million dollar question, how it will evolve? It’s not easy for me to answer – as it’s a debut release of this cuvée. I had thought it would be tight as hell – but no. It will become even better with cellaring, as some of these notes are young and will flower even more. I wouldn’t want to miss this firm mineral tallness, but my guess it stay for a long time. Depends on how many you have really. If you have more than 2 I would taste one RIGHT NOW, otherwise maybe rest it for 2 years (but don’t sue me if I am wrong ;-) ).


Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas

I always relate Keller's wines to those of Puligny Montrachet for those who are not familiar with his wines. I have thought of the idea of pairing a stringent Puligny with a one of his more ambitious Rieslings. Could be interesting.

OK - back to your Champaign.....


SK2 said...

Hi Thomas,

What camera are u using? How s the picture taken (what are the settings?)
of course only if you dont mind....


Thomas said...

Hi SK2,

My pleasure to tell about the image.

First, as I have pointed out a few times, I sometimes find it’s very difficult to find new ways of shooting an image of a wine label/bottle.

The best light is always outside, so you will probably see me exploring the possibilities of what my garden and the seasons has to offer…just to have some sort of storytelling.

About the image…..As a lot of new snow had fallen day night before I knew I was going to do an image with that powder snow from my garden. I shot maybe 20 images as the first light of sun came forward the day after, but during the day a better light setting caught my eye, as the sun positioned itself in a lower angle and a clear blue sky came forward.

The camera I use is: Canon 5D Mark II and the lens for this shoot is a 50mm f/1.4, which I shoot many of the wine labels with. I also use a 85mm f/1.2 and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

The data for this image is:

ISO: 160
Shutter Speed: 1/6400
Focal Length: 50mm