I thought long and hard about this post’s title, weighing whether or not it was sacriligeous, but in the end, I remembered that Jesus’ first recorded miracle was turning water into wine so, in a way, it’s actually rather appropriate.
This is a wine that I’ve been after for forever. Back in the days when I was a rep for the Bouchard Père & Fils wines, I couldn’t get an allocation to sell to any of my accounts. As a buyer, I’ve also never been able to get an allocation. Until now. And to make things even better, the 2019 vintage is fantastic and got some excellent ratings.
But first, why “Baby Jesus?” From the winery:
The name “Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus” refers to an old story. It is said that Marguerite du Saint Sacrement, the founding Carmelite of the “Domestiques de la famille du Saint Enfant Jésus”, predicted the birth of the king of France, Louis XIV, although his mother, Anne of Austria, was sterile. On the birth of the future “Roi Soleil”, this exceptional vineyard which belonged to the Carmelites, took on the name “Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus.” In 1791, when all national property was sold, Bouchard Pere & Fils put in a bid for the vineyard, situated in the heart of the 32 hectares of the Beaune-Grèves appellation, of which it still has the monopoly today.
So what makes this vineyard (and this wine) so special? Beaune-Grèves is one of the largest premiere cru vineyards in the Beaune appellation in Burgundy’s famous Côte de Beaune, and l’Enfant Jésus is a roughly 9.5-acre subsection of the vineyard that’s wholly owned (and has been) by Bouchard Père & Fils for several hundred years. Its terraced slopes offer a range of elevations and have been called ‘vineyards within a vineyard’.
This wine, lovingly referred to by Burgundy geeks simply as “Baby Jesus”, is known for its silky, velvety texture and ageworthiness, but it’s also made in a style where it becomes approachable early on in its life. Philippe Prost, one-time winemaker at Bouchard, notes that this wine is always crafted in a style made to appease both groups of drinkers: those who want to wait for the wine to fully mature, and those who are impatient and want to try a bottle early-on.
The 2019 vintage of this wine was truly a stunner. Check out the press:
“What a fragrant nose of flowers, cherries, licorice and delicate spice! Very elegant and lacy on the medium-bodied palate with breathtaking integration of fine fruit and fine tannins. Super-silky, long finish that’s very sensual. Drink or hold.” 96pts James Suckling
“Beaune Grèves Premier Cru is often described as among the best of the premier cru vineyards in Beaune. This Bouchard monopole is the heart of the vineyard, situated mid-slope, with plenty of gravel in the soil to ensure good drainage. The fruit ripened early and well in 2019, and the results were delicious, with a very floral cast to the ripe black cherry fruit aromas. The wine fills the mouth, with velvety tannins, and it lingers to a delightfully complex finish.” 95pts Decanter
“Though taut and reticent in its aromas and flavors, this red builds on the palate to a long finish. Black cherry and sandalwood notes are the main themes, while toasty oak and a graphite element linger on the aftertaste. This feels like a thoroughbred ready to run. Best from 2023 through 2035.” 94pts Wine Spectator
“A markedly floral-suffused nose blends red and dark currant scents with those of a plethora of spice and earth elements. There is impressive volume to the caressing but solidly punchy and powerful middle weight plus flavors that possess better depth and superb length. Excellent and very much built-to-age. *Sweet Spot, Outstanding*” 92-94pts Burghound
“The 2019 Beaune 1er Cru Les Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus is showing beautifully, bursting from the glass with scents of raspberries, warm spices, plums and incense. Medium to full-bodied, sumptuous and enveloping, with an ample core of fruit and supple, melting tannins, it’s immensely charming and gourmand. I can’t remember an Enfant Jesus that tasted so good, so young. ” 93pts Wine Advocate
“Rich, intense, powerful, lifted, perfumed, some deep raspberry, typical character for this immaculate wine, with its superb velvet texture in the mouth, very long finish, some gravelly notes through the middle to lift the deep sweet raspberry-strawberry fruit.” 92-95pts Jasper Morris, Inside Burgundy
These are some pretty phenomenal recommendations and, considering that we’ve not even been able to get this wine before, this is one that collectors, gift-givers, Burgundy-lovers, and Pinot Noir drinkers of every stripe should seriously consider snapping up. Oh, and did I mention that we’re going to have a better price than just about anywhere else you’ll find it? Come see me, or reserve yours today!!
(We’ve already had 2 bottles reserved!!)