Bernard Baudry, 2009 Update

After tasting Philippe Alliet’s wines at the Salon des Vins de Loire in 2009 it was perhaps only natural that I should gravitate towards the other leading domaine in Chinon, that of Bernard Baudry. If Philippe Alliet’s wines, regal as they are, are the kings of this appellation, robust, powerful and firm, then Baudry’s are the queens. These are perhaps more elegant wines, more harmonious, graceful, and yet not without the requisite substance to fill the palate, or to prosper in the cellar.

Bernard Baudry

Baudry was not hard to find, as he had taken up residence in a corner position right at the entrance to the main tasting hall, just a short meander from the cloakroom, through the fretwork of stands in the anteroom and corridor leading up to this huge arena. Manning the stand with him was Matthieu, his son, a graduate of Mâcon, Bordeaux, Tasmania and California, as well as his niece who I met when I last visited the domaine in 2008. Having worked numerous stages abroad Matthieu naturally speaks good English, but in order to continue improving my French I stuck with Bernard, who makes up for his limited English with more than the requisite amount of charm. Together we tasted through a range of Baudry bottlings, starting with some just-fermented barrel samples from the 2008 vintage, before moving on to the 2007 vintage, and as most of these were red these too were largely barrel samples, to be bottled later this year, starting with the likes of Les Grézeaux (from the vines pictured above) and Le Clos Guillot which see a year in barrel, finishing with La Croix Boissée which will have eighteen months.

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