Bernard Baudry - Chinon Blanc 2017
100% Chenin Blanc
Chinon, Loire Valley, France
From the importer-
From 10-15-year-old vines on clay-limestone soils. Fermented to dryness (2 grams RS or under) and aged in 500-liter barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
While Domaine Bernard Baudry is a relatively young Chinon estate, it is certainly one of the stars of the appellations. Bernard began with 2 hectares in Cravant-lès-Coteaux fresh out of wine school in Beaune in 1982 and proceeded to build it to its current 32 hectares—90% of which is Cabernet Franc plus 10% Chenin Blanc—slowly but surely. Though Bernard has retired and allowed his son Mathieu, who began working at his side in 2000, to assume the lead role, together they continue to make wines which set the standard in Chinon.
Baudry bottles Cabernet Francs from a range of soil types and exposures and also makes two dry Chenin Blancs. Their approach in vineyard and cellar is traditional. The estate has been certified organic since 2006 but has been farmed without chemicals and with homemade compost and with active working of the soils for much longer than that. The fruit is all from the estate, is hand-harvested, destemmed, moved only by gravity and fermented with indigenous yeasts in a mix of cement and old barrels; the wines are aged variously in vat and used barriques and bottled with a minimal usage of sulfur. Their wines are noted for precision, concentration and texture and are unquestionably among the finest of the Chinon appellation.
Along with the wines of Domaine Joguet, Baudry is at the vanguard of a new approach to traditional Chinon: purity and extract. In A Wine & Food Guide to the Loire Valley (the most comprehensive guide to Loire Valley wines yet written), Jacqueline Friedrich writes, “My interest in Loire wines hadn’t gone much further than the tasty “petits Chinons” I habitually drank in the wine bistros of Paris. In four days I changed my mind completely. Not only did my thirst grow for the mouth watering little Chinons, but I found the “serious’ versions made by vignerons like Charles Joguet and Bernard Baudry exhilarating.”