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Working the vines: This Premier Cru parcel is tended by a vine-grower who takes care of the vineyard up to the harvest. Working with the cycle of nature, he enables the terroir to fully express its nuances from vintage to vintage.
Winemaking and maturing: Following hand picking in small cases, ruthless sorting of the grapes, total or partial destemming depending on the vintage, and fermentation in small containers, gentle pressing ensures optimal vinification. Depending on the profile of the vintage, vatting lasts 12 to 15 days before maturing is carried out for 10 to 18 months in French oak barrels, with 60 to 85% new barrels.
Ageing: The cellars of the Bastions of the ancient Château de Beaune offer natural ambient conditions that are perfectly adapted to ageing the Premiers Crus.
The name " Vigne de l'Enfant Jesus " refers to an old story. It is said that Marguerite du Saint Sacrement, the founding carmelite of the "Domestiques de la famille du Saint Enfant Jesus", predicted the birth of the king of France, Louis XIV, although her mother, Anne of Austria, was sterile. On the birth of the future "Roi Soleil", this exceptional vineyard which belonged to the Carmelites, took on the name "Vigne de l'Enfant Jesus". In 1791, when all national property was sold, Bouchard Père et Fils put in a bid for the vineyard, situated in the heart of the 32 hectares of the Beaune Grèves appellation, of which it still has the monopoly today.
Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus - Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils
The origins of Bouchard Père & Fils date back to the 18th century, when Joseph Bouchard (1720-1804) established a business in Beaune in 1751. He began selling Burgundian wines and started acquiring some property of his own.
One of the gems of today’s Bouchard Père & Fils is the almost 4 hectares of reputed red Premier Cru from Beaune. In the 17th century, this vineyard was given to the Carmelite nuns who worked there until the confiscation of the clergy's possessions which became "national property" during the French Revolution in 1789.
Legend has it that the name " Vigne de l'Enfant Jésus " refers to an amusing old story which tells that Marguerite du Saint Sacrement, the Carmelite founder of the "Domestiques de la famille du Saint Enfant Jésus", predicted the birth of Louis XIV - Le Roi Soleil - the King of France, when his mother, Anne of Austria was sterile...Ever since, this piece of land, in the heart of the " Les Grèves " appellation has borne the name " l'Enfant Jésus ".
In 1791, during the auction of national property, Bouchard Père & Fils acquired the land and still farms this exceptional vineyard which belongs entirely to the company.
Bouchard has now consolidated winemaking operations into a massive new facility between Beaune and Savigny, where all work can be done by gravity and the barrel cellar is a full ten meters underground. New director Stephane Follin-Arbelet noted that, by coincidence, Bouchard owns 130 hectares of vines and functions as a negociant with another 130 hectares; similarly, there are 130 hectares of red vines and 130 of white.
Vineyard soil: limestone and clay, sandy and gravelly
Production area: 4 ha
Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest method: hand picked
Winemaking: fermentation in small temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 12 to 20 days
Ageing: in French oak barrels
Bouchard Père & Fils
Château de Beaune
FranceTél +33 (0)3 8024 8024
Fax +33 (0)3 8022 5588
1996 VINTAGE in Burgundy
Maturity levels were in general high following a long hot summer. The wines from the famous Pinot Noir have an intense ruby red colour with lush red fruit aromas. They are wines that are comparable with the outstanding 88s and 89s. The whites are just as outstanding full-bodied with elegant vibrant Chardonnay fruit and sweet white flower and grilled nut aromas. These are wines that have the potential to age magnificently.
Each harvest we hope for three things, favorable weather conditions, healthy grape clusters and high sugar levels. The 1996 harvest provided all of these. April was particularly sunny and brought about an early bud burst (18th of April). Following this we had what can be described as a flash flowering which leads to good pollination, creating high yields.
Arean had low rainfall levels, a sturdy breeze (which kept rot to a minimum) and a long ripening period. These factors created high sugar levels and good acidity within the grapes. Cloud cover in August, combined with the coldest September on record meant that the sugar levels were exceptionally high and so was the acidity: 12% potential alcohol with 5.5g of acidity for Corton Reds and 13%-14% potential alcohol with 6g of acidity for Corton Charlemagne.
As a result, most are very pleased with the 1996 vintage. The reds have an intense color, good tannin structure and concentrated Pinot Noir flavor. The white wines are also impressive, containing plenty of rich fruit character, a crisp acidity and are already showing an attractive bouquet.