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2006 La Bolorée Roses de Jeanne, Domaine Cédric Bouchard
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Cedric Bouchard is an enthusiastic and talented young grower who established his own Champagne House, Roses de Jeanne in 2000. At the time he started out as the smaller owner to produce his own label, with a total 1.09ha under vines. He has since emerged as one of the most promising, small Champagne producers, based in Aube.
Centred on the Medieval city of Troyes, and well on the way to Burgundy, the Aube is a completely autonomous area, its Champagnes shaped by the distinctive clay limestone soils and , of course by the warmer microclimate. This is Pinot Noir country, and in the enigmatic and almost Byronic Cédric Bouchard it may well have found its champion. Youthful ideals have prompted Cédric to eschew the methodology of his family and to set out on his own, practising a viticulture which is in essence (although not formally certified) bio-dynamic.
There are two ranges; the Inflorescence wines are made from vineyards owned by Bouchard's father, while the Roses de Jeanne wines are made from vineyards Bouchard owns himself.
The cuvées include: Two Blancs de Noirs Brut (100% Pinot Noir): Les Ursules from a densely planted, very low-yield single Pinot parcel and Inflorescence (from several small parcels of Pinot Noir), a Rosé de Saignée, Le Creux d'Enfer (100% Pinot Noir) and La Haute-Lemblée, Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay).
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Rosé wines are produced by leaving the juice of red grapes to macerate on their skins for a brief time to extract pigments (natural colourings). However, Rosé Champagne is notable in that it is produced by the addition of a small percentage of red wine – usually Pinot Noir from the village of Bouzy – during blending.