Matthieu and Bernard with La Croix Boissee 2014 (Jan 2015?)

The Superb Chinons of Domaine Baudry: 2019 La Croix Boissée; 2020 Le Clos Guillot; 2020 Les Grézeaux and More!

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Last year we snuck the Baudry 2018 La Croix Boissée into an email about the Northern Rhône, as there are parallels between the elegant Cabernet Francs of Matthieu and Bernard Baudry and the great Syrahs of Faurie, Gonon, Balthazar, our friend Eric Texier and others. I remember Albert Dervieux-Thaize yelling "never, never, new oak for Syrah!" as he climbed up a ladder alongside an old foudre, and the same might be said for Cabernet Franc in Chinon, as practised by the Baudrys. All aspects of winemaking at Domaine Baudry are performed with the utmost intelligence and care: superb organic farming with their own composts, careful manual harvests, vinifications perfectly suited to each terroir with zero or minimal added SO2 - only a tiny adddition as needed before bottling -  and aging in carefully chosen cement or barrels, with no new oak in the cellar.

2019 La Croix Boissée Rouge

Top of La Croix Boissee, summer

From a vineyard of shallow sandy clay soils over limestone (Middle Turonian calcaire micacé) high on a south-facing slope above Cravant. 20 to 45 year-old vines.  20-day fermentation in tronconic wooden vats, 24 months of aging in 1 to 4 year-old Burgundy barriques, 9 months in cement, bottled 3 years after harvest. Zero SO2 added until a small dosage at assembly, 10 to 20 mg/L, bottled unfiltered. (Over the years, the Baudrys have moved to a more gentle extraction on this wine and have lengthened the barrel aging, never in new oak.) This is one of the greatest reds of the Loire Valley - at it's best after ten to thirty years of aging, the wine is also quite delicious, though with firm chalky tannins, when young. "The colour is a gorgeous black violet hue, and the nose is filled with aromatic black and curranty fruits, with hints of liquorice and rose garden. ...this feels fresh and vigorous, with a silky composition, and notes of liquorice, toast, currant and white chalk. A brilliant wine." winedoctor, October 2020

2020 Le Clos Guillot

Upper part of Le Clos Guillot in spring, many years ago...

Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful south-east facing vineyard, just east of the town of Chinon, above the Clos de l'Olive and adjacent to Le Chêne Vert. The upper slope of the parcel is clay over limestone (the lower part has sand and gravel over the rock, which permitted a tiny separate production from franc de pied vines, now mostly deceased) and the vines are young, planted from 1993 to 2000. Fermentation in wooden cuves, 12 months of aging in three to ten year-old barriques, 9 additional months in unlined cement vats. We have been buying this wine since it's first production in 2000 – it's one of the most elegant and Burgundian of Chinons. It's become incrreasingly difficult to write superlatives about this wine, as each vintage since 2014 has been superb in it's own way. And now 2020, a vintage the Baudrys describe as having old fashioned aromas and freshness typical of Chinon in years past, with firm acidity permitting long-term aging.

2020 Les Grézeaux

One of the most pleasurable red wines of the Loire Valley, the Baudry Chinon "Les Grézeaux" is from a unique parcel of sixty year-old vines near the bottom of the slope in Sonnay (near Cravant-les-Coteaux) on a bed of gravel over a base of clay, sand and limestone. The grapes are harvested by hand of course and fermented with wild yeasts with zero SO2 added during vinification. Beginning in 2017, the wine ages in large cement vats by Nico Velo, which are slightly porous. Les Grézeaux always has an elegant silky texture and wonderful freshness, making it delicious as a young wine, combined with the ability to age beautifully for 20 years and more in good vintages. "Very generous on the attack with a luscious and 'gourmande' texture which tightens in the finish with very appetizing bitter chocolate notes. Very marked by the gravel terroir with silky black/red fruits, showing the ripeness of the vintage, but vibrant and fresh."

2020 Cuvée Domaine

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 clay over limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Wines from Saint-Louans (such as the amazing 1989 "Clos du Parc" of Louis Farou) are characterised by intense earthy dryness which is always an aspect of the Baudry "Domaine" that we particularly enjoy...

2021 Chinon Blanc "Domaine"

The Baudry Blanc "Domaine" is normally from young vines in several parcels on the clay/limestone slopes in and around Cravant. Due to the tiny yields in 2021, the grapes normally in "La Croix Boissée," from older vines in the thin clay/silex soils at the top of the slope, were included  in this cuvée to make one Chinon Blanc in this vintage.

The wines are here, please allow until Tuesday, 11/29 for pick-up or shipping. All wines discount 10% on a case or mixed case.

Baudry 2020 Chinon Cuvée Domaine

 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 clay over limestone soils give earthy well-structured wines, with 25% from gravel soils near Cravant, giving supple fruit and freshness. Organic farming, wild-yeast fermentation, aging in 5 to 10 year-old wooden vats and cement with almost no added SO2. The 2020 shows a pretty red/black color with bright rim. The aromas are quite floral and bright, a pretty melange of boysenberry, black raspberry and tart cherry, very pure with hints of earth and pepper. The palate is supple, sapid and ripe and the tannins are round and silky. At 13% alcohol, the balance seems perfect. Firm acidity and mineral flavors are mostly hidden under the beautiful melange of ripe red and black fruits. This is a beautiful "Cuvée Domaine" that is sensational now, served slightly cool, and that will cellar ten years and more due to the firm acidity. We loved the rather brawny 2019 which needs a few more years to drink at its best - drink the 2020 while you wait but put some away as well. Very highly recommended, and thanks to the Baudrys for producing such honest and soulful wines. David Lillie

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Baudry 2019 Chinon La Croix Boissée

(Arrives Tuesday 11/29) La Croix Boissee is a superb vineyard on thin sandy clay soils over limestone (Middle Turonian calcaire micacé) high on a south-facing slope above Cravant. 20 to 50 year-old vines.  20-day fermentation in tronconic wooden vats, 24 months of aging in 1 to 4 year-old Burgundy barriques, 3 months in cement. Zero SO2 added until a small dosage at assembly, 10 to 20 mg/L, bottled unfiltered.  This is one of the greatest reds of the Loire Valley - at it's best after ten to thirty years of aging, the wine is also quite delicious, though with firm chalky tannins, when young. Unlike other famous wines of the Loire (and elsewhere) there is very gentle extraction and aging is in carefully selected used barrels and concrete, bringing great intensity of flavor but with an intriguing lightness allowing full expression of the limestone/clay soils.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $56.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Baudry 2020 Chinon Le Clos Guillot

Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful south-east facing vineyard, just east of the town of Chinon, above the Clos de l'Olive and adjacent to Le Chêne Vert. The upper slope of the parcel is clay over limestone (the lower part has sand and gravel over the rock, which permitted a tiny separate production from franc de pied vines, now mostly deceased) and the vines are young, planted from 1993 to 2000. Fermentation in wooden cuves, 12 months of aging in three to ten year-old barriques, 9 additional months in unlined cement vats. We have been buying this wine since it's first production in 2000 – it's one of the most elegant and Burgundian of Chinons. It's become increasingly difficult to write superlatives about this wine, as each vintage since 2014 has been superb in it's own way.  And now 2020, a vintage the Baudrys describe as having old fashioned aromas and freshness typical of Chinon in years past, with firm acidity permitting long-term aging. The wine shows subtle, pretty aromas of raspberry,  strawberry, earth, violet and citrus with hints of meat and bitter chocolate, bright and high-toned. The palate is medium-bodied and earthy with a chalky texture and firm acidity. The berry fruits have nice density, light but persistent, merging with mineral flavors in the long and very food friendly finish. This is a beautiful wine for those who appreciate subtlety and earthiness in their Chinons, reminding me of 2012 and 2014. Serve now with monkfish or halibut, roast chicken and white meats. This will be a lovely, light-bodied mature wine in 10 to 20 years.  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Baudry 2020 Chinon Les Grézeaux

(10/18) One of the most pleasurable red wines of the Loire Valley, the Baudry Chinon "Les Grézeaux " is from a unique parcel of sixty year-old vines near the bottom of the slope in Sonnay (near Cravant-les-Coteaux) on a bed of gravel over a base of clay, sand and limestone. The grapes are harvested by hand of course and fermented with wild yeasts with zero SO2 added during vinification. Beginning in 2017, the wine ages in large cement vats by Nico Velo, which are slightly porous. Les Grézeaux always has an elegant silky texture and wonderful freshness, making it delicious as a young wine, combined with the ability to age beautifully for 20 years and more in good vintages. Tasted just before the bottling by our secret agent in France the wine was "very generous on the attack with a luscious and 'gourmande' texture which tightens in the finish with very appetizing bitter chocolate notes. Very marked by the gravel terroir with silky black/red fruits, showing the ripeness of the vintage, but vibrant and fresh." As Matthieu Baudry says, the 2020s are "balanced and fresh, a bit less rich than the three precceding vintages. One finds again a more typical Chinon style with bright red fruit aromas, and the "vins de garde" will age gracefully thanks to their freshness and beautiful acidity." "Les Grézeaux" is always superb as a young wine - the 2020 should be marvelous on arrival - perhaps, for those who can wait, peak drinking will be 2030 to 2040? I wish I still had some 1989...  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Baudry 2021 Chinon Blanc "Domaine"

(10/18)  The Baudry Blanc "Domaine" is normally from young vines in several parcels on the clay/limestone slopes in and around Cravant. Due to the tiny yields in 2021, the grapes normally in "La Croix Boissée," from older vines in the thin clay/silex soils at the top of the slope, were included  in this cuvée to make one Chinon Blanc in this vintage. While we're sad that there will be no "La Croix Boissée" Blanc in 2021, this "Le Domaine" will be a beautiful Chenin to enjoy now or to cellar for perhaps ten to fifteen years. The grapes are hand-harvested of course and ferment slowly with wild yeasts in 500 liter oak barrels until dry, normally less than 2 g/l RS. The wine is aged on its fine lees in used 500-liter demi-muids until the June after the vintage and is very lightly filtered at bottling. Sulfur usage is minimal. Quantity is limited.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur