Producer Profile

Cedric Bouchard

Côte des Bar, Champagne, France

Cédric Bouchard is one of the fastest rising stars in the firmament of Champagne. Having only started his own label, "Roses de Jeanne" and producing his own wines in 2000, he is very quickly garnering a reputation as Champagne’s most talented new wine producer/ Cedric was just awarded the title as Champagne’s finest winemaker for the year 2008 by the Gault Millau. Monsieur Bouchard’s philosophy borders on the revolutionary in Champagne, as he insists on bottling single vineyard, single varietal (Pinot Noir or Chardonnay), and single vintage cuveés. Rather than blending different sources to make a single cuvée. This is a highly unique concept in Champagne, where so many of the Grandes Marques have made their reputations for many centuries on the high art created in blending various wines and various vintages to make a consistently excellent bottle of bubbly year in and year out. However, blending is anathema to Cédric Bouchard, who seeks to create individual wines of great character each year from his single vineyard bottlings. Each wine is made only from juice from the first pressing, fermented only with indigenous yeast and handled meticulously in the cellar to guarantee the finest wines possible. Monsieur Bouchard began his career in 2000 by taking a portion of his family’s vineyards to begin working on his own. He started out with only 1.37 hectares of vines in the village of Celles-sur-Ource in the Côte des Bar region of Champagne. His approach in the vineyards and in the cellars seeks to maximize quality every step along the way, and consequently Monsieur Bouchard practices dramatically restricting yields in the vineyard, which can often be rather generous in the Champagne region. All his vines are farmed organically and the grapes are harvested at the optimum moment. There are three distinct bottlings from Monsieur Bouchard’s own vineyards, which are all bottled under his Roses de Jeanne label, These include: a Blanc de Noirs bottling from the miniscule (nine-tenths of a hectare) vineyard, Les Ursules; a Rosé made from the tiny (.07 hectare) Le Creux d’Enfer vineyard, which is made by the “saignée” method of crushing the pinot noir and running off the juice after several hours of skin contact; and a Blanc de Blancs bottling from the vineyard of Le Haute-Lemblée. Cédric Bouchard has augmented his tiny initial holdings by now working 1.47 hectares of vines owned by his father as well, which he farms with the same meticulous care as his own parcels. From these he has introduced a new Blanc de Noirs cuvée, which hails from the Val Vilaine vineyard and which he sells under the Champagne Inflorescence label, rather than labeled as Roses de Jeanne. Again, like the wines from his own vineyard parcels, the wine is made entirely from one variety, in this case pinot noir. All of Monsieur Bouchard’s wines are characterized by uniquely soil-driven personalities, with the underlying terroir of each parcel jumping from the glass with a purity of expression that is extremely rare in Champagne. Bouchard believes in a long, slow and cool second fermentation which creates smaller, finer bubbles, and helps to enhance the vinosity of the underlying wine. The wines are produced with very, very low, or no dosage, depending on the vintage, with the goal of allowing the unique terroir of each wine to take center stage. These are brilliant wines made from a young, perfectionist vigneron who is likely to completely revolutionize the landscape of Champagne before he writes the last chapter on his career. The wines are available in miniscule quantities, so it is highly, highly recommended to snap them up immediately when they become available. We cannot recommend these magical wines highly enough.

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