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Domaine Bouard-Bonnefoy, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru, “Le Charmois”Burgundy, France 2018 (750mL)  |  FREE Shipping on any 6 bottles!

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Domaine Bouard-Bonnefoy, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru, “Le Charmois” Burgundy, France 2018 (750mL)

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 will never tire of “working the fringes” in Burgundy; it’s what I live for. And my obsession is rewarded by exceptional wines like today’s opulent Saint-Aubin from Bouard-Bonnefoy.

Let’s start with its Premier Cru vineyard source, “Le Charmois,” which is nominally in the village of Saint-Aubin but hugs the border with Chassagne-Montrachet: This ultra-prime parcel is mere moments from the Montrachet Grand Crus, and yes it does show in the wine. Then there’s its maker, the meticulous garagiste Fabrice Bouard, whose entire production is housed in a barrel room the size of a two-car garage (and happens to be adjacent to…a two-car garage!). I’d equate the feeling of being in Bouard’s cellar to having dinner at a great chef’s house rather than a restaurant; each wine feels so personal, so hand-crafted, that you find yourself wondering for a moment whether he’s actually going to let you buy any. In the case of his “Charmois” bottling, as with most of the single-vineyard wines he makes, there isn’t much to buy in the first place, because there’s precious little made—which only makes its gentle pricing even more glaring. Today’s ’18 is the total white Burgundy package—a Premier Cru with Grand Cru ambitions despite its village-level price. This is what we’ve come to expect from this jewel-box domaine, and if you consider yourself a Burgundy insider, this is one of the greatest “gets” of the year—take up to six bottles today and run!

Fabrice Bouard is an ex-officer in the French equivalent of the Secret Service who launched a second career in wine with the help of his wife, Carine Bonnefoy, whose family has long farmed vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet and beyond. The Bouard-Bonnefoy domaine is a tiny one, with about 8 hectares of vines concentrated in Chassagne-Montrachet. Carine is descended from a long line of vignerons in Chassagne, one of whom is her father, who still offers invaluable assistance in the vineyards and cellar. Fabrice, Carine, and Bonnefoy père are effectively gardeners at this scale, farming according to lutte raisonnée (‘reasoned struggle’) principles. Chemical herbicides and pesticides are avoided at all costs, only indigenous yeasts are used in fermentations, and grapes are always harvested by hand. The couple still use an antique, hand-cranked wooden press and overwhelmingly favor used barrels for fermentation and aging. They even bottle their wines by hand.

The Charmois Premier Cru is on the “Chassagne side” of Saint-Aubin, with a south-southeast aspect and a reportedly higher percentage of clay in the soils. Its wines tend to skew a little richer, although there’s some altitude (and corresponding cooling breezes) that help mitigate that and maintain freshness. Sourced from impeccably maintained vines ranging from 30-60 years of age, the 2018 Le Charmois Premier Cru was barrel-fermented with only indigenous yeasts and aged in barrels (20% new) for one year. In the glass, it’s a deep yellow-gold with a slight hint of green at the rim, with expressive aromas of yellow apple, pear, acacia honey, salted lemon, white mushroom, a hint of fresh cream, and crushed white rocks. It is medium-plus in body, with a lush texture and well-integrated acidity. It’s quite delicious now, and should be magical with 3-5 years further aging, though I wouldn’t necessarily characterize it as a “20-year” wine. I’ll be re-visiting my stash periodically over the next 5-7 years, and I’m confident it’s going to keep getting better. Decant this bold white about 30 minutes before serving at 50 degrees in Burgundy stems. Pair it with a rich, white-fleshed fish like cod or halibut, maybe something with an enriching crust as in the attached recipe. You don’t have to be wealthy to eat and drink like a king—just persistent! Cheers!



Domaine Bouard-Bonnefoy, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru, “Le Charmois” Burgundy, France 2018 - SommSelect

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  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy
  • Sub-RegionSaint-Aubin 1er Cru, “Le Charmois”
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendChardonnay 100%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Oak20% New French

  • ProducerBouard-Bonnefoy
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy
  • Sub-RegionSaint-Aubin 1er Cru, “Le Charmois”
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendChardonnay 100%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Oak20% New French
  • Temp.Serve at 50-55° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2028
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingParmesan/Panko-Crusted Halibut

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