This refined Chassagne from Domaine Bouard-Bonnefoy is a wonderful example of white Burgundy from a house dedicated to the tradition. Here, they press with a hand crank, cork and label by hand, farm without pesticides and ferment with indigenous yeast. Authentic and poetic, this wine is pure artistry and too special to pass up.
The first thing you see when you climb down into Fabrice Bouard's cellar is the family's ancient grape press, a large wooden press built in 1946 that could easily be mistaken as a bit of historic décor. Unlike his Burgundian neighbors, this isn't merely a conversational piece. Fabrice actually uses this manual press on every vintage, even though it takes a full day to finish its work (compared to two to three hours for a modern press). Tradition reigns at the house of Bouard-Bonnefoy, and although he doesn't credit the press with the fact that his wines cellar beautifully year after year and that they never experience premature oxidation, he doesn't discount the possibility. At the end of the day, Fabrice will be the first to say that the real stars of Bouard-Bonnefoy are neither press nor winemaker. The stars are the vines, and thanks to his wife Carine, Fabrice has access to some of the rarest hillside plots in Chassagne-Montrachet. Carine's father, celebrated as one of Chassagne's finest growers, owns the estate's ten modest acres and continues to farm them by hand.