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Bernard Baudry

New Introductory Chinons from an Estate that “Represents so much of what can be Great in French Wine Today”
Bernard Baudry

“Today, it is largely Bernard’s son Matthieu running things—and improving on what already was impeccable winemaking and organic farming.” Jon Bonné, The New Wines of France

Jon Bonné’s quote above could be a little misleading—Matthieu Baudry has been in sole charge of his family’s domaine since the mid-2000s, even if his pioneering father remains a daily presence at the estate. But we get the point; Matthieu continues to fine-tune and progress this Chinon benchmark. The father’s wines and great taste in vineyards lit the torch, yet the son’s progressive, outward-looking philosophy in the vineyard—and his traditionalist, low-sulphur regime in the cellar—has, naturally, taken things to a new level.

Giving rise to several lieu-dit bottlings, Baudry farms the full spectrum of Chinon’s varied terroirs, from the limestone-rich plateau and hillsides to the lower-lying gravel and sands of the Cravant-les-Côteaux valley. We ran out of Baudry’s introductory Chinon, Les Granges, some time ago, so we’re delighted to offer new stocks of this lip-smacking Cabernet Franc.

We also offer a new vintage of the mineral, floral-scented red from Les Grézeaux, sourced from an organic vineyard on gravel. This wine offers a fascinating counterpoint to Baudry’s Domaine label, which draws its wild, old-school personality from high-sited vines on Chinon’s plateau. Then we have the new release of Matthieu’s silky and layered rosé. Alongside the quality and authenticity of the wines, there is compelling value at every level.

The Wines

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2022

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2022

Organic. 100% Cabernet Franc. Les Granges is the Baudry family’s vin de bistro—a delicious, entry-level Cabernet Franc designed for early drinking. It comes mostly from the estate’s younger vines, planted between 1985 and 1988 in the alluvial gravel soils of the terraces beside the river Vienne. The fruit is picked by hand and coolly ferments for two weeks in cement tanks, before being raised for seven to 10 months, also in cement.

The new vintage is bright and perfumed, packed with succulent cherry fruit and finishing with crunchy freshness alongside a lick of mineral and dried chilli—a fine release, and just what you want from this type of agile, juicy Cabernet Franc. As Chinon’s most famous son, François Rabelais, once wrote: “Drink always before the thirst, and it will never come upon you.”

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2022
Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé 2022

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé 2022

Organic. 100% Cabernet Franc. Baudry’s irresistible rosé was traditionally drawn from a parcel of vines rooted in the gravel terroir of Grézeaux, originally planted by Matthieu’s father some 30 years ago. More recently, to counter the warmer seasons, Baudry has introduced a new vineyard: Les Balais. It sits on clay and flint (silex) soils sited high on the Chinon coteau, above his iconic Croix Boissée vineyard. The fruit from the flinty soils of this site now contributes at least 70% of the blend and brings incisive cut and minerality to the riper fruit from the valley floor.

As always, the grapes are picked by hand and made by the pressurage method, whereby the wine’s delicate colour comes from minimal skin contact in the press. The wine fermented with indigenous yeasts—two-thirds in Italian-made concrete tanks and the remainder in stainless steel. It was left on lees with no sulphur added before bottling. If we’re splitting hairs, it’s a little more generous than last year’s wine, yet, as always, it’s a layered, gently creamy and delicately complex rosé with a burst of summer berry and sweet citrus fruit sculpted by stony freshness. Unique and delicious.

“The nose is all strawberry, peach leaf and fresh cherry. The palate is quite beautiful, fresh and delicate, with creamed summer fruits and a light-footed dance across the palate. With a gentle grip and good acidity for the vintage, this is quite delicious.”
92 points, Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor
“Baudry’s 2022 Le Rosé is full, textural and satisfying. Its pretty salmon pink hue belies its depth and elegance. While there are attractive red fruit aromas and a note of violets, this is a rosé that relies on fruity flavors for its personality. The balanced, dry and fresh finish has a savory twist adding interest.”
92 points, Rebecca Gibb MW
Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Rosé 2022
Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Domaine 2021

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Domaine 2021

Organic. 100% Cabernet Franc. The lion’s share of this bottling is drawn from Baudry’s high-sited vines, which lie in Saint Louans on a plateau above Chinon’s première côte. The principal vineyard here is evocatively named Cimetière aux Chiens, which translates as ‘dog cemetery’ (probably a reference to the limestone that litters the soil here). To this fruit source, Baudry blends in roughly 20% from vines rooted in the gravelly soils of Cravant-les-Côteaux.

Fermented with wild yeasts in traditional cement vats, Le Domaine ages in both concrete and old casks for 15 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, two springs after harvest. This is a considerably longer aging cycle than in the past. Baudry believes this drawn-out maturation brings more mineral limestone character to his wine, and it is now more seductive and approachable.

Crammed with Rabelaisian charm, this offers the meaty, earthy, ‘sauvage’ nose so typical of this wine, alongside a juicy, silky palate with flavours of roast meat, wet earth, creamy raspberry fruit and a floral lift. With its mouth-puckering tannins and food-friendly acidity, it’s a wine for the table—ideally with hearty, slow cooked meat dishes. It may not be for everyone, but it is the kind of wine that made the region famous—and it is deliciously unique. An old-school 12.2% completes the picture (so you can drink by the tankard). Eat, drink and be merry! 

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Domaine 2021
Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux 2021

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux 2021

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux 2021

★★ Producteur de très grands vins Le Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France 2023 (The equal highest-rated domaine in Chinon)

“While they are sometimes labelled traditionalists, I find them to be more naturalists. In any case, theirs is a style that I admire: they make cabernet franc taste as suave and succulent as pinot noir.”
Joel B. Payne, Vinous

“The entire wine range displays tender loving care and a light touch: the fruit shows excellent purity.”
Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous

“This estate represents so much of what can be great in French wine today—a fantastic family, vineyards and winemaking worked by the owners, and obsessively terroir-specific drive to capture all of Chinon’s facets.”
Parr & Mackay, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste

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