Bernard Baudry Update, February 2012

My most recent encounter with Matthieu Baudry, of Domaine Bernard Baudry, did not yield as much new information as, for example, my recently described meeting with Anne-Charlotte Genet of Charles Joguet did about that domaine. I suspect this is largely because I have kept a much closer eye on Bernard and Matthieu Baudry and their wines over the past few years than I have on Charles Joguet. After all, whereas Charles Joguet is without doubt an important domaine within the appellation, and has produced wines – admittedly more than twenty years ago now – which would probably appear in many a Chinon ‘top ten’, Bernard Baudry is, here and now, one of the leading domaines of the appellation. Some would say the leading domaine of the appellation. The wines are of exceptionally high quality, and it’s a pleasure (and perhaps my duty) to check in on them regularly to see how things are going.

The 2011 Vintage

Meeting Matthieu Baudry (pictured below, with Bernard) in February this year I was pleased to see he was pouring a selection of wines from the 2011 vintage, whereas a number of other domaines had been showing older perhaps more flattering vintages. And so this was the perfect opportunity to quiz Matthieu on his view of the 2011 vintage, and to hear what difficulties he and his father had experienced. Surprisingly, the news differed somewhat from that which I heard from Anne-Charlotte Genet. She had disclosed the existence of rot on some lesser terroirs, especially those vineyards with more moisture-retentive alluvial soils and on the flatlands nearer rivers, where we would naturally expect the humidity to be higher.

Bernard Baudry

In contrast, Matthieu denied that there had been any difficulties with rot in this vintage, neither on his own domaine, nor on those of friends in Bourgueil, despite that fact that the domaine’s holdings includes some alluvial vineyards (the well-worn anecdote about Bernard Baudry pruning vines from a rowing boat tells us that much). Clarifying to ensure I had understood correctly, Matthieu repeated his assertion and stated that, even on the most sandy of terroirs, there was absolutely no discard due to rot in 2011. It was a declaration I found quite remarkable considering the testimony of not only Anne-Charlotte Genet, but also of numerous other vignerons I had spoken too about the vintage. Nevertheless, the proof is usually to be found in the pudding, and thus we moved on to taste the wines.

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