Baudry, Domaine Bernard
- Chinon, Loire, France
Thank you to importer Louis/Dressner for this producer profile:
(Click here for more on Louis/Dressner's website and here for Baudry's own website)
Bernard Baudry founded his eponymous estate in the early 1980's with a couple inherited hectares. After graduating from the Lycée de Beaune, he quickly rose to prominence in the appellation for precise, textured Chinon. Today, Bernard is technically retired (vignerons never really retire) and his son Matthieu, who has been making wine with his father since 2000, has taken over as head vigneron. Over the years, the father and son team's fascination with Chinon's diverse terroirs have led them to expand the estate to its current 32 hectares.
The first release and most youthful wine is "Les Granges". This is from young vines (25 years old) planted on alluvial soil and gravel near the Vienne riverbed. When it floods in some springs, Baudry may be found pruning the vines from a boat. This is a wine that is supple and fruity with smoky cherry fruit and is meant to drink young. It is a perfect wine for simple foods and cheeses.
The "Cuvée Domaine" is a blend of parcels of older vines (30-35 years old) planted in alluvial gravel bed and hillside clay. It has more structure and can use a short aging period in bottle before drinking. The wine has deep, dark ruby color and is beautifully extracted.
"Les Grézeaux" is from vines of 40 years on average, planted on gravely soil with a bedrock of limestone and clay. For many years it was aged in but today it is only fermented and aged in large concrete vats.
"Clos Guillot" is a four hectare plot of vines Bernard replanted in 1995 on a site abandoned since World War 2. It ferments in concrete and is aged in barrel.
Finally, "Croix Boisée" comes from the Baudry's "Grand Cru" vineyards, two hectares exposed full south on clay and limestone. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc is planted here and two separate wines are producee under the "Croix Boisée" label. These are are a much more structured affair, hence their fermentation and aging in barrel.
A small amount of Chinon Blanc and rosé is also produced; both have a cult following and sell out instantly.