Bernard Baudry may one of the newer stars in the Chinon appellation but his wines come across as the work of an old soul. His wines aren’t just precise and textured, as you might expect from a a perfectionist, they’re also deep and purposeful; a rare combination of qualities found in the wines of just a handful of great producers. The names Dujac, Lafarge and Mugnier come to mind. Bernard Baudry and his son Mathieu, just taking over the reins here, are staunch traditionalists despite studies at French viticultural schools and winemaking stints, in Mathieu’s case, in new world wineries abroad. This means lots of work in the vineyards and a custodial, hands off approach in the cellar.
These aren’t the “petits Chinons” of the bistro scene in Paris but rather exhilirating cabernet francs of great transparency and Burgundian levels of finesse. Organic farming - notoriously difficult in the Loire with it’s humidity - low yields, hand harvesting, no pumps, concrete and old wood. Not so much as a single stainless steel tank to be found. Everything I look for in a great producer. The Baudrys have a pretty broad range of terroirs to work with, various soil types, exposures etc, the variations of which make their cuvées unique and distinctive. Really just gorgeous wines with the stuffing to age gracefully or enjoy in their exuberant youth.