Domaine Bernard Baudry

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.