Patrick Baudouin, 2015 Update

Today one of the leading vignerons of Anjou, it is remarkable to think that Patrick Baudouin (pictured below) only arrived on the scene in 1990. The family owned a small vineyard, handed down from his great grandparents, but it had been all but abandoned by the family. Patrick took this vineyard in hand and began to build up a significant domaine. It was not long, influenced by the likes of Mark Angeli and the Foucault brothers at Clos Rougeard, before Patrick began to shift towards more ecologically sound practices, calling a halt to the application of chemical herbicides in the vineyard, working the soil instead, while in the cellar he stopped chaptalising and reduced his use of sulphur dioxide. A conversion to organic viticulture came in 2002.

Many of the Loire’s modern-day success stories in Anjou and Vouvray begin in the great 1989 and 1990 vintages, when vignerons began to realise that vineyards did not always have to be blitzed with weedkillers, and good wine could be made without chaptalisation. Patrick was unfortunately not in a position to take advantage of these two very benevolent growing seasons, and instead had to do what he could with the likes of 1991, 1992 and 1993, none of which would be considered ‘great’ in these appellations. Or even ‘very good’ for that matter. Nevertheless, the quality even in those early years was apparent, the results admirable taking into account the nature of the vintages in question.

Patrick Baudouin

Today Patrick Baudouin is one of the top names in the region, turning out not just exemplary sweet wines from the Coteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume appellations, but also super single-vineyard dry whites under the Anjou appellation, and also Savennières. Having encountered them a few times I find his red wines to be less significant, and I suspect Patrick knows this as the wines rarely make an appearance. There is no denying the joy to be found in his white wines though, both dry and sweet. The tasting notes presented here represent my most recent encounter with Patrick, who just happened to have five bottles with him.

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