Organic. 100% Cabernet Franc. Le Domaine hails from Baudry’s high-sited vines on the plateau above Chinon’s première côte. The lion’s share of the fruit comes from vines with an average age of around 35 years, planted on the local sandy, limestone-rich soils (known as millarges), while between 20 and 30% is drawn from slightly younger vines on gravelly soils. The principal vineyard here is evocatively named Cimetière aux Chiens, which translates as ‘dog cemetery’ (probably a reference to the limestone that litters the soil here).
Harvested by hand, this wine was fermented naturally in traditional cement vats. Aging occurred in both concrete and old casks for 13 months and the wine was bottled unfiltered, two springs after harvest. This is a considerably longer aging than in the past and is really making a difference. Baudry believes this drawn-out élevage brings more relaxed tannin and mineral limestone character to his wine, making it more immediately seductive and approachable.
It has the meaty, ferrous, animal nose so typical of top-notch Chinon and this particular Baudry cuvée—a complex, fluid, sappy palate with roasted meat, wet earth, blackberry pastille and menthol characters. It’s a wine for the table, ideally with a 600-gram piece of aged ribeye. This is not at all a modern, pure, fruit-driven red, but rather it harks back to the more rustic, complex, sauvage, Rabelaisian Chinons of old. That said, the more air you give it, the more fruit you get.
“The nose is aromatic and welcoming, with scents of dark cherry and currant to the fore, followed by more floral nuances reminiscent of rose petal and peony. In terms of aromatic style it feels very true to the Cabernet Franc variety. Taut and tense at the start of the palate this is grippy and structured, but with dried berry and floral notes. Through the middle it develops an almost silky texture, a supple and slightly spiced perfume, leading into a limestone grip in the finish. Texturally very different to Les Granges, for sure. And full of promise.” 91-93 points Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor