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One of the great pleasures of the spring and summer is enjoying a bottle of Baudry Chinon Rosé, outdoors with perhaps some grilled tuna or barbequed chicken, or just by itself, enjoying the silky berry fruits of this beautiful wine. Unfortunately, as the wine has become deservedly very popular, there is less to go around and our allocation has become sadly diminished. Imagine our delight when we heard that an American importer had failed to pick up their allocation of the delicious 2017! We frequently hold some bottles of this superb rosé, to enjoy the following year when it has softened and deepened a bit, but just to be sure we asked our friend Matthieu Baudry how it was drinking. His response: "Yes Rosé 2017 tastes good, it is as always a “rosé de pressurage” quite full bodied especially in this very well rounded vintage 2017. We drank a bottle last Sunday with the family, the wine is rich enough to last 1 or 2 more years."
The wine arrives on or about February 22nd, and while we will not be able to offer case purchases of the 2018 when it arrives in May, we are happy to offer full cases of the delicious 2017. Here is our original offer from last May: "The Baudry Rosé undergoes a slow fermentation with wild yeasts that sometimes takes a long time to finsh - this year it went quickly and finished dry and refreshing at 0.6 grams RS/Liter, with nice ripeness at about 13% alcohol. The grapes were "too beautiful for rosé" said Matthieu - it's a lovely wine but of course they don't make enough so please a 6 bottle maximum purchase, which won't last long..."
From 25 to 30 year-old vines on gravel and sandy soils over clay near the Vienne river. This "basic" cuvée from Bernard and Matthieu Baudy has gotten more and more "serious" as the vines age, giving a wine that is delightful to drink young, but that shows surprising complexity and mineral character as well. The wine shows aromas of ripe red currant and cassis with hints of violet, citrus, earth, graphite, pepper and herbs. The palate is quite mineral with firm stony acids underlying lush, chalky berry fruits, and is beautifully balanced at 12% alcohol. Quite structured for "les Granges," this is delicious now, served cool, with roast chicken, white meats, charcuterie and mild cheeses and will imporve with 3 to 5 years of aging.
The Baudry Chinon "Domaine" is always one of our favorite reds from the Loire Valley and it's a sensational value as well. All Cabernet Franc of course, a blend of 75% from a parcel in St. Louans, where the thin sandy clay over limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Organic farming, 2 week wild-yeast fermentation, aging in 5 to 10 year-old barrels or cement vats, bottled two Springs after harvest, with minimal added SO2, unfiltered. The Baudrys are making elegant, soulful, natural wines from their superb terroirs in Chinon. The 2016 Cuvée Domaine is a beautiful wine, showing a deep black/red color with complex aromas of black raspberry and red currant with musk, earth, violet and black pepper. On the palate the elegant black and red fruits are joined by cocoa, bitter chocolate, plum skin and intense mineral flavors that are framed in firm acidity. The texture is silky, yet earthy and stony with a bracing mineral finish and the lingering memory of bright red fruits. In other words, it's a delicious Chinon that will benefit from aeration or a few years in the cellar. Hold a few bottles until 2040 for a nice surprise. David Lillie
(Was $16.99) Domaine les Fouques has been has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. La Londe is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. Unlike the majority of Provencal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2017 is a beautiful wine, lighter and brighter than the 2016 in style. The wine shows a lovely pale pink/salmon color with elegant aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, peach and rose with hints of spice. The palate shows creamy raspberry, peach and red currant fruit with citrus peel and mineral flavors. The finish is long and refreshing with berry fruits, citrus and firm acidity, just lovely. This wine will gain complexity over the next six months and will drink beautifully through 2019. Highly recommended and a great value! David Lillie
(Was $13.99) Another delicious wine from the affable and talented Eric Laguerre, from organic Syrah, Carignan and Grenache vines grown on granite soils high in the mountains of the Roussillon. The palate is refreshing and dry with hints of raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, almond and stone. Eric's great farming, his natural vinification and the high-altitude granite terroir produce this lovely, inexpensive rosé. Highly recommended!
(Was $11.99) Thierry Navarre is one of the few people who still grow Oeillades - a nearly extinct grape that has a long history in the Langudedoc and is thought to be an old cousin of Cinsault. Thierry's Oeillades grows on the rugged mountainsides above Roquebrun in Saint-Chinian. The 2017 shows a beautiful wild strawberry and purple-tinged color in the glass. The nose offers abundant strawberry and orange aromas with delicate notes of lavender, cardamom and dried rose petals. The palate is light and wonderfully lifted with flavors of ripe strawberry, herbal tea, and refreshing exotic citrus on the finish. A balanced rosé with plenty of aromatic complexity and crunchy acidity to pair with a variety of dishes. We recently enjoyed this with Mediterranean-inspired fried food - a highly recommended pairing! Amanda Bowman
"Les Grézeaux" is at the bottom of the slope in Sonnay on a plateau of gravel with sandy clay soils above limestone that slopes gently down towards the Vienne, the vines are 60 to 70 years old. The wine is aged in five to ten year-old barrels with no added SO2, with a tiny amount added prior to bottling. Tasted from barrel in January of 2017 and 2018, the wine showed beautifully with very floral black fruit aromas and lovely density on the palate with black raspberry, spice and earth, firm and balanced but not overly tannic, with lush fruit lingering in the very long finish. This is a bit firmer and should cellar better than the more forward 2015 - it's a beautiful wine but we have about one-third of the normal allocation, so don't delay. Tasted from bottle in November 2018, the aromas seem brighter, crushed raspberry and black raspberry with stone, spice and floral hints. The palate is tighter and sapid with the mineral components firmly backing the dense black fruits, with stone, citrus and blackberries in the finish. Drink the 2015 now and put this away for five years, or give it a long decant if drinking now. Lovely wine. David Lillie
This is a beautiful Gigondas Rosé from our organic friends at Clos du Joncuas. Pretty bright pink/orange color, aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, blood orange, peach skin and rose. Full palate with silky raspberry, peach, citrus and mineral flavors and firm acidity, beatifully balanced and refreshing. Long finish with tart cherry, peach, earth, and citrusy acids. A bit lighter and better balanced than the 2016, and still young – it should open up nicely over the next two years. It's elegant and delicious now and very food-friendly – serve with grilled fish and white meats, salade nicoise, vegetarian dishes and Provençal foods. A great rosé to enjoy all year-round!