2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon "Domaine"

Year: 2009
Appellation: Loire Valley
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 90-91+
Red Wine
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"A taut, chalky style, exhibiting lots of sinewy cut to the black cherry, currant and plum skin notes. A racy iron note knifes through on the tobacco-tinged finish. Best from 2012 through 2014. 250 cases imported." (WS)

"I referred in print to predecessors of the Baudrys’ 2009 Chinon as “Chinon Le Domaine” because that is how they describe it, but in fact the word domaine only appears once, before “Baudry” on its label, the same as with all of their other wines. Tasted from tank – and not due for bottling before December – this represents, as usual, a melange of fruit from numerous parcels, around 80% from the chalk-clay plateau, and the rest from gravel near the river. Dramatically contrasting with the Les Granges for its satiny texture and prominent sense of ripe mulberry and beet root, this is suffused with a savory salinity akin to shrimp shell reduction, nut oils, and crushed stone. It’s hard to imagine a much more ideal combination in red wine of saliva-inducing yet richly ripe fruit with almost white wine-like freshness and mineral interplay. This should be delightful to follow for 6-8 years, though one ought on no account to miss out on its youthful virtues. And given that previous vintages of this wine have always retailed for not much over $20, it’s bound to represent outstanding value.

For notes on Bernard and Matthieu Baudry’s outstanding latest whites, consult my parallel report on “Central Loire Chenin.” They took their time waiting for what they deemed the optimum moment for picking in 2009 – even if any moment would have been outstanding by long-term standards! – but then brought in their entire crop in six days." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Bernard Baudry is unquestionably one of Chinon’s most outstanding producers. Not only does he have the talent to make delicious and consistent wines, vintage to vintage, but he is also fortunate enough to have vineyard land that showcases many of the varied soil types of the appellation. After completing his studies at the viticultural school in Beaune, Bernard returned to the Loire Valley to consult in Tours. By 1975, he had purchased his first two hectares of land in Cravant-les-Coteaux, a village from which almost half of the production of A.O.C. Chinon is sourced. Over the years, the domaine has grown to twenty-five hectares. Bernard’s son, Mathieu, joined the family domaine in 2000 after studying winemaking in the Mâconnais and Bordeaux, with internships both in Tasmania and California!

The Baudrys work vineyards composed of gravel, sand, limestone, silica, and clay. The variations of terroir and vinification methods make each of their cuvées unique and distinct. Bernard and Mathieu focus the lion’s share of their production on Chinon Rouge, five fine cuvées of Cabernet Franc, all aged in old and new barrels in their incredible cellars chiseled out of tuffeau behind the winery. They make a surprising Chinon Blanc, a rarity to find let alone to import, as well as a stunning Chinon Rosé. The Baudrys are staunch traditionalists, and you would have a hard time finding a Chinon more classic than theirs.