Bernard Baudry "Les Granges" Chinon 2021
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Direct Press Selection | December 2022
- Press 4 Red
Bernard Baudry was instrumental in making Chinon such a well-respected appellation. In the 1970s yields were high and quality was low, but Bernard went in the opposite direction when he began in 1975. He gained a reputation for highlighting the texture and serious qualities of Cabernet Franc in the region, and they are now known around the world for making the best examples of Chinon. The estate is certified organic, they use their own composts, harvests are all done by hand, and sulfur levels are low. They aren't going for massive extraction but their wines have a lot of depth and develop extremely well with age. Even their top wines are still relative values compared to Clos Rougeard and other highly sought-after Loire producers. Though Bernard is technically retired and his son Matthieu has been working with him since 2000, Bernard hasn't really stopped being involved.
The "Les Granges" is from their younger vines, but these are not really that young anymore, planted in 1985 and 1988 on clay and sandy soils. Fermented and aged in cement tank, it is a superbly serious wine for the price. This vintage is a classic Chinon profile, with its mix of earthier tones and beautiful, floral lift. Spiced red plum, cherry, cinnamon, and cumin with delicate, peppery tannins. There is a savory shallot note with a chalky, tangy lift at the end. This wine somehow manages to feel sincerely profound and thirst-quenchingly unimposing at the same time. Jonathan Kemp