These are arguably the most interesting and extraordinary wines currently being produced in Champagne. Cedric Bouchard may own the smallest amount of vineyard land in the region, but he uses the fruit from his organically farmed vines to make exceptional wines that are single-varietal, single-parcel and single-vintage. Made in microscopic amounts, do whatever you can to secure yourself a taste of Cedric’s champagne.
4 Rue de Creux-Michel, Celles-sur-Ource +33 3 25 29 69 78
The wines of Cedric Bouchard are as revolutionary as the man himself. Each has a distinctive character and expressive personality. He now bottles exclusively under the Roses de Jeanne label, although before the 2012 vintage he released two cuvees under the name ‘Inflorescence’, made from Pinot Noir vines over 30 years old from his family’s vineyard at Val Vilaine. Cedric suggests that you pair his Roses de Jeanne cuvees with food, and he recommends you decant his wines to help soften the bubbles and experience the wine’s full potential.
Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs Les Ursules
100% Pinot Noir from the small vineyard ‘Les Ursules’ in Celles-sur-Ource. Only the first pressing is used. Indigenous yeasts initiate the first fermentation, which occurs in stainless steel or enamel-coated tanks. The wine is not fined or filtered, and there is no dosage. Even though this has always been a vintage wine, the vintage date has only been listed on the label since 2010.
Roses de Jeanne Rose de Saignee Les Creux d’Enfer
Made with Pinot Noir grapes from just three rows of the ‘Les Creux d’Enfer’ vineyard. The grapes are not pressed, but tread by foot and left to macerate for a very short period on their skins to attain the desired colour. Only the first pressing is used. Indigenous yeasts initiate the first fermentation, which occurs in stainless steel or enamel-coated tanks. The wine is not fined or filtered, and there is no dosage.
Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blancs La Haute Lemble
100% Chardonnay from the ‘La Haute Lemble’ vineyard. Only the first pressing is used. Indigenous yeasts initiate the first fermentation, which occurs in stainless steel or enamel-coated tanks. The wine is not fined or filtered, and there is no dosage.
Roses de Jeanne La Boloree
100% Pinot Blanc from old vines planted in 1960. Only the first pressing is used. Indigenous yeasts initiate the first fermentation, which occurs in stainless steel or enamel-coated tanks. The wine is not fined or filtered, and there is no dosage.
Roses de Jeanne Cotes de Val Vilaine Brut Blanc de Noirs
100% Pinot Noir from the Val Vilaine vineyard at Polisy. Before the 2012 vintage, this wine was labelled as ‘Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine’ (see below). Cedric has also reduced the yields for this wine down to 26 hectolitres per hectare (previously around 50 hl/ha), in line with the rest of the range.
Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine
100% Pinot Noir from the Polisy vineyard, Val Vilaine. The vineyard is owned by his father and planted in 1974, but worked and managed by Cedric. After the 2011 vintage, the wine is released as ‘Roses de Jeanne Cotes de Val Vilaine Brut Blanc de Noirs’, with lower yields.
Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs La Parcell
100% Pinot Noir from the Cote de Bechalin vineyard in Celles-sur-Ource. Cedric purchased this vineyard from a family friend in 2007, and he also purchased all the wine in the cellar. Due to his registration as a Negociant Distributeur, he was able to sell these wines under the Inflorescence label (now discontinued). The first vintage distributed by Cedric was 2004, and from 2007 the wines were made at his own cellar.
Compared to the long history of older Champagne houses dating back two hundred years or more, Cedric Bouchard is almost brand new, established in 2000. Within this short time, this talented vigneron has become one of the most adored, respected and appreciated in the region. In 2008, he was awarded the very prestigious Winemaker of the Year award by Gault Millau.
Cedric got his start when his father, also a winegrower, gave him a tiny vineyard in Celles-sur-Ource in the Cote des Bar, Les Ursules. Cedric immediately set about transforming the vineyard by instituting organic farming, radically reducing crop levels, and paying close attention to the optimum moment for harvesting.
His winemaking philosophy is an unusual one in a land of blending like Champagne, but it could not be more simple: “one variety, one parcel, one harvest.” Nothing is blended – neither vintages, nor vineyards, nor grape varieties. In this regard, he is much more like a winemaker from Burgundy than Champagne. The three varieties he uses for his cuvees are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and a third variety rarely used in Champagne, especially as a single varietal - Pinot Blanc.
Another uncommon penchant of Cedric’s is his desire, in this region famed for bubbles, to produce not just champagne but the finest still wines, under the Coteaux Champenois appellation. Maybe this is due to the fact that Cedric is not the biggest fan of fully sparkling styles, and in fact makes his champagne with much less pressure than average, 4.5 bars of pressure instead of the usual 6.
Cedric bottles his wines from the Les Ursules vineyard under the name ‘Roses de Jeanne’ – a tribute to his grandmother, Janika. He previously produced a range of blancs de noirs under the Inflorescence label, using grapes from another tiny parcel in the Val Vilaine vineyard, in the neighbouring village of Polisy. From the 2012 vintage onwards, Cedric has discontinued the Inflorescence label, and all wines are bottled as Roses de Jeanne.
Cedric organically farms his vineyards, and is uncompromising in his selection of grapes. If they are not up to his standards, he sells them to negociants.
Many winemakers endeavour to create wines that honestly represent their origins, and Cedric takes this to another level. He never uses cold stabilisation; does not chaptalise, fine or filter; and does not add dosage to the wines, allowing them to impart their true nature. It is for this reason that he uses no oak at all - the wines are fermented in stainless or enamel-coated steel.
Only the first pressing of the grapes is used, and the initial fermentation is initiated by indigenous yeasts, the second by neutral yeasts. His preference is for a long, cold second fermentation, which gives smaller bubbles and a marked depth in the wine.