What We Say 2005 Beaune Premier Cru - Clos du Roi
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s Burgundian selection is not only a fantastic value, but is also a fantastic wine. It is rare to have a Premier Cru of such distinction at such an unbelievable price. If you haven’t yet experienced a Beaune 1er Cru, then this one is perfect for you.
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Mission Codename: Holiday in Beaune
Operative: Agent White & Agent Blush
Objective: Secure a fantastic 1er Cru Burgundy at an unbelievable price
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Bouchard Aine et Fils
Wine Subject: 2005 Beaune Premier Cru – Clos du Roi Signature Cuvee
Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy is famous worldwide for its finesse and elegance. While the region is perhaps most notably known for it s white’s (Chardonnay) with seven of the eight Grand Crus being from the region. That being said, the reds (Pinot Noir) are still exceptional and worthy of your consideration. Today’s selection, a Beaune Premier Cru from the Clos du Roi. The vineyards of this region vary from their northerly neighbors in the Cote de Nuits by both soil, climate and aspect. The terrain is more rolling hills, the climate a bit wetter and the soil has more limestone with flint and clay. This terroir is clearly evident when you taste this wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby red with reddish-garnet hues, excellent almost crystalline clarity. Pink edges with the slightest orange/brick tinge. When swirled, widely spaced slow fat legs cling to the edge of the glass.
Smell – This classic Burgundy is medium in intensity, but the tart earthy cherry hits you upon opening the bottle. Well developed aromas of tart sour and ripe cherry layered over a unique dusty chalk minerality, smokey old wood, earthy notes, and tiny touch of horseradish spice.
Feel – Medium bodied that starts with a bright and tart initial attack with youthful and firm tannic structure (but not overpowering) and good minerality that follows through to the finish.
Taste – Flavors of tart sour cherry lead off, and then plum and other red fruits emerge. The fruit is nicely layered over notes of smokey old wood, hints of chalky minerality, subtle but ever-present earthiness, and spice that evolves into a softer rendition of itself as it opens.
Finish – Long and lingering with notes of its structure leading the way over its earthy fruit, oak and spice notes.
Conclusion – The 2005 Beaune Premier Cru – Clos du Roi is a classic old-world Burgundy and at the price is an outstanding value. Great finesse and Burgundy’s fun evolution in glass make this perfect for those new to French Pinot. Not quite ‘austere’, but certainly different from the fruit dominated new-world styles, as this wine opens and breathes it becomes very soft and elegant with lots of finesse and subtly in its aromas, feel and flavor. Its bright structure makes this wine great for pairing with food. This wine will continue to develop and evolve over the next 5 years, perhaps even longer.
… December 2008 – East Central France …
We began the day early as we wanted to hit the Route des Grand Crus with lots of time to enjoy the food and especially the wine. Zipping through the back roads from our safe house in Bar Sur Aube(south end of the Champagne region) to Dijon at this hour was fast but just outside of Dijon, we started to hit the normal business day traffic. Thankfully, the GPS devise in my handheld spy communicator quickly re-routed us around and soon we were headed south through some of the finest vineyards in all of Burgundy.
The N74, or Route de Dijon as its known officially but wine aficionados know this as the Route de Grand Crus. We slowed down and started taking it all in. The names of each commune and village familiar to anyone who has spent time in the French section of a good wine shop. The vineyards, this time of year, bare, with a slight fog resting in the lower valleys, and along the tops of the hills to the west. A slight drizzle fell creating an almost surreal experience as the fog and low clouds moved with the weather exposing and then rehiding these prized vineyards.
Rustic farm houses and wine wineries with histories and construction that goes back hundreds of years dot the landscape. Every few kilometers we stop. Poke our heads into some of the shops and wineries, take a sip or two and then take a short walk through the vineyards. Anyone who loves Burgundy should experience this first hand. To see the vineyards up close, the soil, the vines, the aspect is to truly get a sense of why Terroir is so important. And why the wines from this region are so loved.
It wasn’t until lunch that we had a chance to reflect on the day so far. It was almost overwhelming… So many great wines so little time. Not too far out of Beaune, home of the Hospices de Beaune and the Musée du Vin we decided to stop to eat. And, where better than the Place Carnot in the center of town. Our inside asset gave us the name of a place to eat where the local winemakers all bring their latest and greatest selections to share along with the famed Burgundian cuisine, but in a home style manner. This is how one should enjoy the great wines of the region. While the weather may have been cold and damp, the company was anything but…
Quite simply, this is the life. While you may not have been able to join us on the Holiday in Beaune, today’s selection from Bouchard Aîné & Fils will at least give you a small bit of the flavor of the trip!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the village of Beaune in the heart of Burgundy can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Bouchard Aine et Fils
Bouchard Aîné & Fils has been making fine wines for over 250 years. The prestige of its name is due to its permanent commitment to ensuring perfect quality and authenticity of style in its wines.
Agent Blush at the Place Carnot, Beaune, France.
True identity concealed.
About This Wine:
Visual: Light ruby red in color with tinges of violet.
Nose: Open, elegant and lively with hints of sour cherry crushed raspberry and soft tannins.
Palate: Smooth yet structured tannins give way to notes of rose petal, blueberry and black cherry on the palate. This wine will open up quickly and is the perfect accompaniment to red meat.
The Cuvée Signature range is a selection of reputed villages, Premier and Grand Crus from Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune principally. Harvested, they are produced in very limited quantities.
Overlooking the town of Beaune, the 20 acre “Clos du Roi” Premier Cru vineyard (whose name refers to King Louis XI who appropriated this vineyard upon the death of Charles the Bold, the last Duke of Burgundy) produces magnificent Pinot Noir grapes.
Vinified in wooden vats and matured in oak barrels for 17 months (30% new oak).
About The Winery:
History – When Michel Bouchard settled in Burgundy in 1731 to set up a flourishing business in the fabric trade followed by branching out to become a wine broker, he laid down the family’s Burgundian roots. In 1750, his eldest son, Joseph, joined him in his venture, reaffirming the presence of the Bouchards in the Côte d’Or. Working closely with local winegrowers, they developed a unique form of expertise, and created the profession of négociant-winemaker-cellarer.
For over two centuries, the House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils has had as its mission an unyielding quest for perfection in quality, authenticity of style, the prestige that lies in a name, and perfect mastery of grape selection, winemaking and ageing. The first négociants came into being at the beginning of the 18th century to meet the demand of French and Flemish clients in particular; this was the beginning of the development of international trade.
A great brand, since 1750 a sign of prestige – All of the wines made by our House bear the Bouchard Aîné & Fils signature, a name which has been a sign of prestige synonymous with tradition, excellence and know-how since 1750.
This signature, applied to a complete range of wines, takes the Bouchard Aîné & Fils name to the four corners of the globe. Over the years, the name and the House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils have become synonymous with the Great Wines of Burgundy.
International exposure – Since the end of the 19th century, the House of Bouchard Aîné & Fils’ wines have been widely enjoyed by consumers outside of France. Today, our wines are available in nearly 130 countries in 5 continents: Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvested: September 23rd, 2006
Average year vines were planted: 1963
Bottled: March, 2008
Production: 3,800 bottles
Agent White on the Route des Grand Crus, France.
True identity concealed.