Bernard & Mathieu Baudry

 

Bernard and Matthieu Baudry
 
 

Bernard Baudry and son Matthieu are making some of the best wines in Chinon these days from the best terroirs in the appellation in Cravant-les-Coteaux. That's saying something considering that they didn't even own vines 40 years ago. In fact, along with Raffault, these are pretty clearly the best two sources of Chinon in my mind. Where Raffaults wines tend to be powerful, brooding and very slow to evolve, Baudry's Chinons are made in a slightly more approachable style though not at the expense of structure or integrity. This is more like comparing Latour to Lafite than anything else.

Farming here has been fully organic since 2006, not easy to do in this continental climate with it's humidity and otherwise unpredictable weather. The domaine consists of various parcels planted on diverse soils around Cravant from pure limestone at the top of the slope facing the Vienne river to alluvial deposits near the bottom. The Grézeaux is planted right in the middle on pure gravel and is by far my favorite wine here. These are the oldest vines at the domaine at 65 years and just about the purest expression of Cabernet Franc in the entire Loire Valley. The 2014 vintage got off to a rocky start with characteristically bad spring weather and up and down until August when things calmed down and nothing but perfect weather until harvest. These might be the best wines ever made at Baudry in fact. 


This isn't the green bell pepper tinged, high yielding Loire Cabernet Franc you might find in an ice bucket at many Paris bistros - I do have a soft spot for those actually when it was all I could afford to drink when traveling - but more of an explosion of dark red fruit and minerality right out of the bottle. Really a joy to drink young but will age beautifully and I think everyone ought to have at least a few of these in their cellar for the long term. Not much available as usual.

 


Steve Goldun
Steve Goldun

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