Bernard Baudry "Les Granges" Chinon 2020Regular price $23.00 Save Liquid error (product-template line 131): Computation results to '-Infinity'%
Direct Press Selection | November 2021
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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 black cherry, black pepper, and only a hint of Cabernet Franc's hallmark bell pepper note. The fruit is ripe and silky with fine tannic details and a really engaging finish with iron, graphite, and mineral notes. All this in an approachable, easy-going profile that will pair with anything from roasted root vegetables to duck breast. I once poured a bottle of Les Granges into a water bottle and drank it on MetroNorth with some cheese, olives, and baguette; that was a pretty great train ride. [Jonathan Kemp, November 2021]