2015 Bouchard Ainé et Fils Fixin La Mazière Cuvée Signature, Burgundy Pinot Noir
Fixin is certainly a lesser-known appellation of Burgundy, yet one that connoisseurs often describe as masculine, powerfully-structured Pinot Noirs with and firm tannins for the region.
For the price, and relatively for the area, since Burgundy wines are expensive overall, Pinot Noirs in particular, this wine’s quality for the bucks is actually a steal!
So let’s focus on what it is…
Fixin is a village, whose Côte de Nuits appellation wine was named after, located the more famous, or let’s dare the word notorious Gevrey-Chambertin vineyards.
Fixin’s appellation spreads over 100 hectares (250 acres), of which 19 are classified as Premiers Crus, with only 4% producing white wines. Like most vineyards in Burgundy, this is fairly small for an appellation, the size of a classified growth in the Medoc are of the Bordeaux region!
The Signature Cuvées range by Bouchard Ainé et Fils, is a selection of wines from renown villages, Premier and Grand Cru ones, mainly from Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, and meant to highlight the best of perhaps what these lesser known areas can produce. The wines are produced in small quantities, like most wines out of Burgundy one would argue, but it is certainly the case here.
The plot “La Mazière” stands north of the Fixin village, along the Route des Grands Crus and it spreads over 2.2 hectares (about 5 acres). Its name comes from the latin word MACERIA which refers to an enclosure wall made in dry masonry and to some extent, also refers to the ruins of stone houses.
So, how good a wine is Bouchard Ainé et Fils Fixin La Mazière?
This Burgundy red comes in a bright and rather intense red color indeed. It is pretty dark for a Pinot Noir, looking ripe and rich for the grape, a dark yet clear red color to the core, and looking youthful to the rim.
The nose feels also intense and filled with plenty of ripe warming aromas.
Dark cherry and strawberry jam are complemented by sweet-smelling caramel notes, delicate vanilla, and a touch of smokiness. Obvious, yet fine, oak scents are well present to the aromatic profile. These are backed up and lifted by pungent spicy black and white pepper aromas. The whole feels generous and tempting: gorgeously fruity, powerfully oaky, and pungently spicy. What else do you want to smell in a young ripe Pinot?
The palate is opulent too, marked by a warming feel (this is a 13.5% alcohol Burgundy red after all!) that amplifies powerful fruity notes of dark berries, blackberry and dark cherry leading. Yet, this is kept fresh and vibrant by the presence of a crisp and mineral acidity maintaining a constant feel of freshness of the fruit character so it never feels jammy.
From a wealth of caramel notes and toasted hazelnut, coming from the oak barrel ageing, the wine feels slightly sweet and tasting salivating, like biting into a ripe dark cherry really. A little sweet feeling, with crisp acidity, and a burst of pungent fruit characters.
Dense (for a Pinot) and velvety tannins inhabit the palate, rounded up by a solid body. The finish is a little dry at this stage, betraying a little too obviously the abundance of oaky flavors. It feels like this is a wine built to be aged and to be allowed the oaky notes to further integrated finely into the fruit.
A gorgeous and powerful Burgundy red in a ripe and opulent style for the region. Big body for the area, a wealth of warming red berry fruit flavors allied to a heap of oak and strong spices, make for a concentrated wine that delivers a strikingly-generous yet refined tasting experience.
Give the wine 5 years to mellow and temper its fruity enthusiasm, and develop more savoriness, smokiness and earthiness we love and expect from the style. I can clearly see how they will develop nicely in this Fixin, making for a more complete, complex and layered whole.
Drink between 2022 and 2032.