Friday, April 10, 2009

Bernard Baudry's 2007 Chinon "Les Granges"

If yesterday was tomorrow, it’s now clearly today…. With that, as promised on Wednesday, today’s post takes us about a half-hour’s drive to the west along the greater Loire Valley to the commune of Chinon and, specifically, to the Domaine of Bernard and Matthieu Baudry in Cravant les Coteaux. Baudry’s wines have been promoted gregariously by Brooklynguy of late, an endorsement that always raises my expectations. This represents my first chance to check in with any of the estate’s wines from the 2007 vintage.

Chinon "Les Granges," Domaine Bernard Baudry 2007
$18. 12.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: Louis/Dressner, New York, NY.
In direct opposition to Wednesday’s Cheverny, Baudry’s “Les Granges” was at its most seductive immediately after pouring. Right off the bat, it delivered aromatic waves of hothouse flowers and macerated blue fruit, interspersed with a natural, attractive equine scent. Like many of the other 2007s I’ve tasted from Chinon, Bourgueil and St. Nicolas de Bourgueil, it’s extremely fruit-forward and supple. One could chalk that up partly to the young-vine nature of “Les Granges” but it also seems to be a signature of the vintage – less structured and easier drinking than 2006.

After about 20 minutes, the wine settled into a more red-fruited and slightly leaner stance, with red cassis, pencil shavings and mineral character coming through on the nose and palate. Though its tannins remained quite gentle, the raspy, invigorating texture and bright acidity – both aspects that help wines from this region work so beautifully on the table – became clearer than when first poured. Day two brought much of the same. Not profound but highly pleasurable, this will make a great choice for regular drinking over the next year or two and is more than enough to make me look forward to spending some time with Baudry’s other cuvées from 2007.

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