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** Producteur de trés grande qualité
(one of only 5 in the Touraine) Le Classement 2007, Bettane & Desseauve
Just south west of Tours in France's Loire Valley, lies one of the Loire's greatest red wine regions: Chinon. In the main, Chinon is produced from Cabernet Franc (known locally as Breton), although up to 25% Cabernet Sauvignon is now allowed. Not everyone agrees with this practice and Bernard Baudry's wines, as one example, remain 100% Cabernet Franc. Quality Chinon are typically medium bodied red wines with aromatics reminiscent of berries, violets and nettle and a juicy, silky personality in the mouth that keeps you coming back. In style these wines can remind the drinker of lighter, more elegant Bordeaux although Baudry's wines can also nod towards Burgundy. At this level they represent outstanding value and can age very well.
Bernard Baudry is one the stars of Chinon. A graduate of the Lycée de Beaune, Baudry created his 30-hectare estate from family owned parcels and additionally purchased land. He quickly rose to prominence in the '80s for his intense and textured Chinon. Today he is considered one of the greats of the area. The size of his holdings allows him to vinify each parcel of vines separately. Most of his cuvées correspond to a distinct soil type. Baudry is now assisted by his son Matthieu, who studied in Mâcon and Bordeaux. After a formative experience in Tasmania, then in California, he returned to the family estate in 2000. At Domaine Bernard Baudry the Cabernet Franc is entirely hand harvested, and maturation is in oak barrels, oak casks or in stainless steel depending on the cuvée.
Both 2005 and 2006 are outstanding red vintages in the Loire (albeit '06 was a much smaller vintage). The wines of Bernard Baudry are profound and complex, fleshy yet at the same time retaining the refreshing elegance that makes great Chinon such a damn delicious drink. They go well with a wide variety of foods such as lighter red meats and game, and of course, goats cheese. To get the most from these exhilarating wines when young, it is always a good idea to decant them at least half an hour before serving.
What others are saying:
"For their quality [Chinon] are absurdly undervalued." Hugh Johnson & Francis Robinson, The World Atlas of Wine
This is always the first Baudry wine released each year. It comes from young vines (10-15+ years old) planted on alluvial soil and gravel on the terraces of the Crevant terroir near the Vienne... read more
A step up in structure and complexity here. Le Domaine builds its character from Chinon's diversity of soils. Older vines (around 35 years old), planted on the alluvial gravel solids near the... read more
The Clos Guillot is situated on a south-east facing slope in Chinon with soils of clay, chalk and 'yellow limestone' (known locally as Tuffeau). Harvesting is by hand and yields do not exceed 40... read more
The top cuvée from Baudry comes from very chalky, limestone soils on the slopes above Cravant. This is the soil type that produces Chinon's longest living wines. Baudry's 30 to 50 year old vines... read more