Bouchard Pere & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015 Magnum 1.5L
Michel Bouchard founded his estate in 1731, almost three centuries and nine generations of winemakers ago. This estate is considered one of the highest quality producers in Burgundy, and their expansion over the years means they can draw from vineyards strewn across 48km of the region - a patchwork of thousands of vines they can source their fruit from. This means each wine is the culmination of a veritable army of experts, from the farmhand to the master winemaker. But their ethos isn’t corporate - they aim for sustainability across the board, and harvest and painstakingly sort their fruit by hand for each and every bottle they produce.
When we talk about Chardy in broad brush strokes we usually refer to a bigger white wine, without the intense tarness, acidity and fresh fruit that a wine like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc possess. There are two things that promote the silky, soft creaminess of a well made Chardonnay. First, a secondary Malolactic fermentation is sometimes induced in varying degrees. This process converts Malic acid to Lactic acid - from tart, to silky smooth. A natural product of ‘Malo’ is Diacetyl, which is often perceived as buttery. Do you like a buttery Chardonnay? Well, that’s why. The other standout with Chardy is it’s love affair with oak. Chardy pairs beautifully with the barrel. This particular wine is mildly oaked, with around 20% of the juice rested in French oak for 6-8 months, and stainless steel maturation for the rest. Full of flavour, and designed to be enjoyed young.
Chardonnay is both full bodied and subtle, because it doesn’t confront the senses with any dizzying acidity. Food pairings need delicate consideration, lest your meal dominates the palate entirely. Keeping in mind Chardonnay is creamy, and silky, with a unique toastiness from oak influence, let’s work with something that will compliment that. Just think ‘white sauce’. A creamy bechamel or mornay is what you’re going for. There are plenty of recipes online, but if you eat seafood, the salt and texture of sliced salmon fillets and prawns cooked with your favourite pasta will work perfectly, served with some crusty garlic bread. If seafood isn’t your thing, softer veggies like asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower in a creamy sauce will be a great match.