Class and Confidence for the Long Haul
2008 Bouchard Chambertin-Clos de Bèze
"The suggested initial drinking window is not a typo.
Drink: 2033+." - Burghound
Yes, Meadows, we concur: This wine should be screaming good in a quarter century. But let's not ignore that this is already really impressive - in fact, one of the best from the 2008 vintage that we sampled on our trip to Burgundy this July.
Today, this is also one of the most impressive values for Grand Cru red Burgundy from the vintage. Consider that the only other Bèze even close to Bouchard's epic 08 is Rousseau's - and this is a bottle with a $400+ price tag.
This is a monumental Burgundy that is going to surprise many, many people.
First, the 2008 red Burgundies only continue to grow in stature and reputation. One of the undeniable lessons of a week in Burgundy in July (with well over 400 wines tasted and nearly all the top growers visited) is the energy and purity and substance of the 2008s.
This is not a "light and fun" vintage to drink up while waiting for your "serious" vintages to develop. Frankly, among the top growers, 2008 is as serious as it gets, and for the true Burgundy purists, the vintage may very well end up standing toe-to-toe with the 09s.
Second, Bouchard just nailed the vintage, and the stature and rigor of Bèze shine in the 08 - as stated above, this bottle just floored Bobby and me at the estate. While the zenith may not be for another two or three decades, you can certainly derive great pleasure from this before that, with the bold red and black raspberries, the "earth, underbrush and certain animale character" that Meadows mentions shining beautifully already in conjunction with powerfully stated class and confidence.
Bouchard’s 2008s, and particularly the Clos de Bèze, are impressively well-structured and complete, playing host to vibrant and authoritative spice, earth and fruit that will meld over the next couple of decades into a seamless, finely knit and fresh - yet very concentrated - whole.
Since Henriot’s takeover and the placement of Philippe Prost as winemaker, this house has, without a doubt, established itself once again as one of the premier domaines in the Côte d’Or, and their Clos de Bèze has reemerged as one of the benchmarks for this site, fully embodying the vigor and power matched with grace and finesse that make it worthy of being called Grand. Though Bouchard uses purchased fruit here, Prost said they’ve been working with the same grower and the same fruit for nearly two decades, so you could almost call this a domaine wine. There's certainly no sacrifice in quality here.
One more quick story before I wrap this up: Bouchard's cellars are housed in the impressive former royal fortress of Beaune and are some of the coldest, deepest, most expansive cellars in the region, with back-vintage bottles piled in every corner. When Bobby and I visited, we spotted a pile of 1861 Chambertin down there. 1861! Few domaines in the world could boast such a thing. Could the 2008 Clos de Bèze be the bottle occupying that same place another 150 years from now?
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Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
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