Tag Archives: Bernard Baudry

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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Bernard Baudry – 21/11/2012

Les Granges 2011
Clean bright red fruits, some stalky brown green elements. Slight carbonic aromas from tank fermentation and aging. A little green tomato and balsamic elements. Tight precise light and fresh, not fruit sweet at all, good acidity freshness, balanced. A nice bitterness and bite to it.

Chinon 2010 (plateau)
A more pronounced balsamic character, slightly darker smaller berry notes, somewhat softer and more mellow, rounded but still not fruit sweet, lovely balanced, still quite light. Extremely pleasant wine with character, wonderful with food. Less bite, nice clean soft finish.

Les Grezeaux 2010 (65 year old vines)
More balsamic, darker purple berries, more deeper cab franc notes, intensity and expression on the nose. Slightly more lifted off the palate, but more flavour somehow. Lighter and brighter texture, not as mellow and round. Nice acids, not as concentrated. Nicely balanced and fresh, interesting development over the next few years.

Les Clos Guillot 2010
Darker nose, a little more brooding and intense, more masculine and powerful but a bit locked away. Earthier elements, less balsamic, more dried red fruits and nuts. Lovely and full on the palate, much more dark rich fruit notes, Very locked away and tight, will improve with time, but still great now with food.

Les Croix Boissee 2010
Rosy bright juicy red fruits, very pretty nose. Not showing too much oak or earthy notes, fresh clean but good character, very inviting. Great structure, not heavy or tight, nicely balanced. Intense but not heavy or too mellow, balanced between fruit and savoury elements, the highlight thus far. Great now and will improve more. Quite a lot going on.

La Croix Boissee Blanc 2011
Very green and herbaceous notes, very delicate apricot and peach notes, some glazed orange and ginger. Thyme and parsley. Fresh but not fruity, quite dry and clean but also has a touch of green on the palate.

Les Grezeaux 1990
Nice mature aromatics, some cocoa, a little leather, carob and some great earthy notes. Still quite intense with some excellent savoury elements, some soy and oyster sauce, great texture but still bright. Excellent concentration, power but also finesse. A bit wild and gamey. But unmistakably cabernet franc.

The Bernard Baudry range of wines

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