On the Trail

BOULARD-BAUQUAIRE

Christiane & Christophe Boulard tend a twenty acre estate on the very northern edge of Champagne. Their village, Cormincy, is at the very top of Champagne, the northernmost village in the Massif Saint Thierry. While most of their vineyard is in Cormincy, they also have a very old plot of Chardonnay in Trepail, on the east facing side of the mountain of Reims, and a few plots in the valley of the Marne. They are eight generation growers and prefer to work the old fashioned hard way, with two coquard basket presses in the winery. The wines they make from their home village are rich and full bodied, but they do not cross over the line into heaviness. Their Carte Noir, which is a combination of half and half Pinot Noir and Meunier, is entirely from Cormincy. This is a very autumnal wine with plenty of dark fruit and Pinot savor. I love the subtle, porcini complexity in this wine, and love to pair it with pate, stuffed mushrooms, or onion tart as the aperitif. It is also a great partner with soups from French onion to butternut squash. Showing great respect for individual terroir, their Trepail Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes could not be more different. This comes from a tiny, seventy five year old plot of Chardonnay on very chalky soil in the premier cru of Trepail. This has the electricity that we all love in fancy blanc de blancs, with chalky minerality to spare. It also has gravitas and concentration from some of the oldest Chardonnay plants in the entire appellation, and texture and delicacy from their gentle old fashioned pressing and slow ageing on the lees.

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