09 C. Bouchard Val Vilaine: New Release, Pricing as Sharp as Ever

Posted by Ian McFadden

At the Forefront of Grower Champagne
2009 Cédric Bouchard Inflorescence
Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs

Impossible to Keep in Stock

We first wrote about Cédric Bouchard and his Val Vilaine Champagne two years ago, right after Antonio Galloni wrote: "Readers should do whatever they can to experience these magnificent wines."

Since then, Cédric Bouchard has gone from virtually unheard of to THE name at the forefront of grower Champagne, and the press and wild praise Bouchard has received seem unprecedented - as well as wholly warranted.

There are too many choice lines dripping with praise to quote them all, but this one from Galloni sort of sums it up:

"These remain some of the most vivid, eloquent Champagnes readers are likely to come across and I can’t recommend them highly enough."

The demand, too, has been strong. It seems impossible for us to keep this wine in stock, no matter how hard we try. It only got more impossible when, a few months ago, Eric Asimov wrote about Bouchard and his "little region that could" in southern Champagne: "Foremost, perhaps, among the region's new stars is Cédric Bouchard."

So. With all that said, today we'd STRONGLY urge you to give us your maximum order as quickly as possible, because demand is certainly as high as ever.

On to the details: Cédric Bouchard works a tiny parcel of vineyards in the Aube, way down in the south of the Champagne region. He farms his Val Vilaine site organically (about 1.5 hectares, still owned by Cédric's father); yields are kept absurdly low and, like all of his wines, this is fermented using only native yeast in stainless steel tanks. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered with no added dosage.

Bouchard is known for being despotic about tiny, perfect yields and subsequent wines that pack massive concentration and a staining vinosity into a rigid, taut mineral framework. It's unreal how much complexity and nuance he crams in here.

He always releases his wines early, and they need some time in bottle (as well as in the glass) to open up fully, to really show off, and 2009 in particular deserves bigger-bowled glasses and, in fairness, a good spread on the dinner table and a couple hours to evolve.

2009 was a warmer year in Champagne, as it was most elsewhere in France, and so this Val Vilaine shows a particularly exotic flair, with a gorgeous roundness encircling all the wild intensity of minerals, all the raw power of the Pinot Noir grape and all the fierce precision this cuvée is known for. Should you wish to cellar a few bottles (a wise move), a decade will not be a problem here.

It hardly needs repeating, but this is an outstanding deal for grower Champagne from this one-man operation with barely enough vineyard holdings to make 500 cases. Bouchard is SO intensely focused on quality and the expression of terroir that the pricing on his Inflorescence almost seems silly when you consider the quality and Bouchard's dedication to his craft.

Again, this parcel, while sizable, will not last. You should give us your maximum order, but expect that we'll need to make allocations. We'll do our best!

To order, please click below, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Cédric Bouchard Inflorescence
Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs