Tag Archives: Baudry-Dutour

A red dot in a sea of white (Chinon, France)

It was a little strange and unfamiliar at first, returning to winery visits and regions. Interestingly the last region I visited before my break was also in France, but was almost four months ago. I’d forgotten that fear of arriving late or not finding the winery but it came back a little bit. Visiting regions in the Loire Valley is almost like being in Inception as there are so many layers. For example you have the different parts of Chinon which sit around the town of the same name on the Vienne River, and they each have specific vineyards. Then Chinon is part of Touraine, which is then part of the Loire Valley. At this point we are already four layers deep, not including France and Europe. Chinon is the best known red wine appellation in the Loire Valley, although there is quite a bit of red vineyards mostly dedicated to rose in the whole region. They do make some white wine from chenin blanc, but it represents at most 5% of the vineyards and production. The important variety here is cabernet franc, and although there is more planted in Bordeaux, Chinon is the unofficial home of cabernet franc. Appelation laws allow them to use a percentage of cabernet sauvignon, but as sauvignon ripens later they don’t always get it to maturity in this cooler than Bordeaux climate.
Chateau de Chinon

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Baudry-Dutour – 21/11/2012

Domaine du Roncee 2010
Fairly classic chinon(?) nose, slightly green balsamic notes, tomato red berries, stalky leafy basil. Bold bright oaky characters, fairly typical modern winemaking, full concentrated soft but lacking real character. Juicy and intense, full flavour and round tannins. Hardly exceptional but good drinking otherwise.

Domaine du Roncee Clos des Marroniers 2010
Darker more mature and assured nose, earthier minerality and less brightness. Rounder deeper mellow tannins, earthier palate, less fruit but better integrated into the structure, some chocolate and caramel elements.

Chateau de la Grille 2007
Very bordeaux like nose, surprisingly no new oak considering. Vanilla coffee, maceration and dark fruits. Mellow full flavoured simple tannins, smooth and approachable but bold enough to impress simple palates.

Chateau de la Grille 2009
Big difference in the winemaking for the first vintage under the new ownership, excellent to see. The same concentration of fruit and bold tannins, but better structure acids and length. Much more longevity, integrated oak and alcohol. Approachable rusticity and savoury notes.

Chateau de Saint Louans 2008
Obvious new oak on the nose, difficult to see past it for the fruit. Juicy bold full soft and long, dark and lots of caramel and vanilla from the oak. New world? Reflective of Chinon? Trying to target certain clients?

3 Coteaux Chenin 2011
Fresh fruity nose, not a lot of green or herbaceous notes, clean, some minerality. Apricots and nectarines, a little apple blossom. Fruity juicy, a little bitter rather than dry or sharp. Fruity finish but a tad clumsy. Slightly waxy, and some warmth/astringency. Dry and fruity is what the people want, and what this delivers.

This is actually the same bottle as Champagne Gosset, the former owners of Chateay de la Grille

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