From someone who sneakily slid into the consciousness of only the most savvy, tuned-in wine pros to a producer who is held in the upper echelon of winemakers but remains an enigma, Cedric Bouchard has been somewhat hard to qualify. When first introduced to the US, the tagline was that Cedric loved Burgundy, abhorred highly fizzy Champagnes, and aimed to make his wines more like those of the
Burgundians. This has long been understood to mean that his wines would be voluptuous and as ripe as La Tache, where really he’s crafting wines worthy of prolonged aging, those of great subtlety and tremendous balance. What is somewhat overlooked is where the Bouchard family calls home - the Aube, a region that for generations was not even permitted to call their wines ‘Champagne’, it was viewed in such poor light. Cedric’s vineyards, including those inherited from his father, are small but expertly maintained, generating painfully small yields.. The deep, dense chalk of the Aube lends a salty brilliance to the wines similar to what you would see in say, Puligny-Montrachet in a minerality comparison. His wines are always monovarietal, single-vineyard and of a single year, though Cedric often made it quite difficult to read what vintage the wine originates from, as they are all technically “non-vintage” because
of Champagne’s laws requiring a much longer duration of lees aging after the second fermentation than Cedric will ever use. Cedric also bottles his wines finally with the lowest allowable pressure allowed by Champagne law, and in his deep, cold cellars the mousse develops slowly and extremely finely."
Côte de Val Vilaine is 100% Pinot Noir, used to be bottled under the Inflorescence label that signified Cedric-made wines made with fruit purchased from his father’s land. Usually the least wound-up, but still rewards a patient drinker. Commonly dark-fruited, floral and salty.
Côte de Bechalin - formerly la Parcelle - is 100% Pinot Noir from a single hectare on Kimmeridgian soils – with time, a ripe and focused burst of flavor. La Bolorée is from a tiny vineyard entirely comprised of Pinot Blanc, think of a minty-green, driedfloral, soft lemon-curd roundness once it opens. One of the most unique wines in all Champagne.
His Chardonnay is dubbed La Haut Lemble, from 0.12 ha of vineyard, and is one of the riper wines produced by Cedric.
Les Ursules is from a tiny vineyard near Cedric’s house, relatively flat, 100% Pinot Noir planted on chalk.
Presle, 100% Pinot Noir from ten different rootstocks selected by Cedric to ensure small yields, has high concentration of flavor and tremendous complexity. The youngest of his vineyards.
Finally, the rosé - a saignée method called La Creux d'Enfer, sourced from essentially one row of Pinot Noir vines. Without a doubt the scarcest of his wines, but bewilderingly complex. Rewarding of time in a decanter, so that you can see the multiple lives of the wine unwind. What starts as tart red fruits soon unveils a savory, spicy, brambly fruit, and at its height there are both salty and candied fruit flavors in the glass.