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Collecting with Kev: Bernard Baudry

Kevin Peterson

The autumnal potpourri of dried leaves, damp earth & burning wood that pervades the air this time of year has me pining for cabernet franc. Actually, I drink cabernet franc regardless of the weather. But there is something about the orphan grape that complements the fall season: its rustic texture, distinct blood-iron filling, and vegetal, bell-peppery edge.

For this edition of Collecting with Kev, I’ve selected classically styled Chinon from Bernard Baudry’s site, Le Clos Guillot. Bernard founded the estate in 1975 and he currently works the vines organically with his son, Matthieu, in the commune of Cravant-les-Côteaux, just on the north side of the Vienne River, a tributary to the Loire. Planted between 1993-2000, Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful southeast-facing vineyard comprised of yellow limestone, clay, silica & sandy soils. The wine is bottled after 15 months in used barriques and nine additional months in concrete.

 
 
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I picked this wine for three reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, I love it. Chinon is a great introduction to the reds of the Loire Valley, as the wines are typically a little softer and rounder than those of neighboring appellations such as Bourgeuil - and Baudry is the classic expression of Chinon. Secondly, this particular cuvée has great aging potential, thanks to the sandy soils that help drain water and produce acidic, potent buds. And thirdly, we have another label of Baudry’s in the store right now – the younger brother to Le Clos Guillot, if you will, simply called Domaine Baudry – allowing you satisfy your autumnal thirst while getting a feel for the domaine by tasting one of its younger, more approachable wines.


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Baudry produces five different cuvées from five different soil types, each distinguished in its own right, while remaining true to that classic Chinon elegance.

The wines from Le Clos Guillot tend to have supple texture bordered with tannic, mineral edge. If you’re into high-tone wines with a little bite, open this guy up today. Let it rest for ten years and the acid will drop, revealing dark, mellow fruit and savory notes of tobacco. You probably couldn’t hold onto this bottle for too long.

Domaine Baudry (the little brother), by comparison, is a product of 30-35 year-old-vines planted on a gravely sand-limestone plateau. The wine is aged for 15 months in concrete and wood tanks before the spring bottling. Also of supple and elegant texture, the Domaine has juicy black fruit that’s ready to pop upon release. A mineral core gives this wine some aging potential as well: best drunk now until 2022.

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Bernard Baudry Le Clos Guillot
Chinon, Loire Valley, France
Cabernet Franc
$25

Bernard Baudry Domaine Baudry
Chinon, Loire Valley, France
Cabernet Franc
$20