Domaine des Baumard, Quarts de Chaume, Loire, France, 2012
One of the Loire’s most lauded producers, Florent Baumard has courted controversy by pursuing his own ideas and challenging the status quo.
In a deeply traditional region, Florent's early adoption of screwcaps and different vine trellising systems marked him out as the enfant terrible of Savennières. His mantra now encompasses a belief in the individuality of each vintage, believing it should be made with minimal intervention to allow the wine to reflect its vintage and unique character. His Savennières from the famous vineyards of Clos St Yves and Clos du Papillon are rich, yet with a balance and elegance that are unrivalled. His top cuvée of ‘Trie Speciale’ is only made in very exceptional vintages when grape quality is optimal. It is a wine full of paradox, honeyed and yet dry, rounded and yet firm. The rich fruit, tremendous weight and concentration ensure that it is a thoroughly memorable experience.
The Baumard approach to viticulture is a notable one, and it does make it easy to spot the Baumard vines in any given appellation. They are trained in a fashion Baumard describe as vignes hautes et larges (sometimes abbreviated to VHL); the larges refers to the distance between the vines, a remarkable 3 metres between the rows and 0.8 metres between each vine, whereas the hautes refers to the high trellising system employed, taking the vines to a height of more than 2 metres, the object being to obtain a large surface area of foliage. During the vegetative period they see limited leaf-thinning along their base, but otherwise there is little intervention at this time, not even topping-off of the upper shoots as they reach for the sky above. Between the rows, the soil is alternatively ploughed and grassed over, a methodology the Baumards have been following for well over 40 years. The harvest is manual, and the fruit transported in small plastic cages to minimise damage.
Direct whole bunch pressing and fermentation at low temperature, long and controlled. 9 to 18 months in stainless steel tank on fine lees.
No oak treatment
The greatest wine of the Loire Valley. It enjoys a terroir and a unique situation. These wines are rare elegance. A remarkable texture that combines power and clarity, richness and precision. A mingle of floral bouquets, notes of citrus and orchard fruit.
Foie gras on toast or with blue cheese. Delicious with cooked peach, apricot and pear deserts.
Huge fan of wine and cheese pairings and with a wine as good as the 2012 Domaine de Baumards Quarts de Chaume it's not just a delicious endeavour, but a super fun one too! On this day, the luscious sweetness of the wine married well with the washed find soft Brie picking up and parrying it's subtle funky notes, cut through the the spicy provolone fattiness with Chenin's piercing acidity and counterpointing the saltiness with its sugar, and of course just about any blue cheese such as this Roquefort and late harvest Chenin will make for a marriage made in heaven. No better way to spend a quiet Sunday! Id'A Oct 2021.
Chenin Blanc 100%
12 x 37.5cl