Domaine des Baumard
Baumard’s Savennières are enthralling. The piercing minerality offset by a deep ripeness, the distinct flavors of stone fruits, spices and honeyed notes. The fabulous pleasure they offer when young, and their ability to age seemingly forever: these are special wines, appreciated at the most basic level, and revered by the most knowledgeable.
Savennières is a tiny region located on the northern banks of the Loire River, just across from the town of Rochefort Sur Loire. The entire appellation consists of fewer than 360 acres of vines, all planted to Chenin Blanc. The South/Southeast facing vineyards are planted on unique soils composed of schistous volcanic debris mixed with sandstone and granite, imparting a strong, intensely original minerality to the Chenin Blanc grape. The average yields for the appellation are well below permitted levels, and actually the lowest of any dry french white wines; the resulting wines have stunning concentration and perfume. The combination of this concentration with the naturally high acidity of the Chenin Blanc grape results in wines capable of lasting and improving for decades.
Baumard’s Savennières bottling comes from their 15 acre Clos Sainte Yves vineyard between the Clos du Papillon and Roche aux Moines. The vineyard’s soil profile is of shale, sand and sandstone. Mutltiple passes are made in order to pick grapes at perfect maturity. In an average year yields can range from the absurdly low 30 hl/ha to the merely very low 50 hl/ha.
Baumard adheres to several core principles in managing their vineyard, including:
– alternating cover crop among rows
– trellising high to capture sunlight and ensure ripeness
– respecting natural balances and treatments
– controlled treatments
– waste management
The grapes are whole bunch pressed in a pneumatic press. Pressings are gentle and fractional, meaning that Florent Baumard collects the pressed juice at ascending intervals of pressure and ferments the lots separately. The wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures on their lees; no wood is used in the winemaking or aging process, which Florent believes allows him to achieve a purer expression of site. The wine then spends 9 months on the lees in tank before being bottled.
An intense dry wine, with structure and complexity. The white fruits and minerality come through this structured body, yet have an appealing roundness that becomes more apparent with air and time.
Sustainable. Refrains from using herbicides. Grasses over alternate vineyard rows.
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Other Wines by this Producer
If Savennières produces some of the most compelling dry white wines in the world, the Clos du Papillon plot within Savennières , so named for its butterfly shape, concentrates and magnifies all the characteristics of this small, distinct appellation. Baumard is the largest owner of this vineyard, with the best holdings, and the wines display a captivating combination of ripe orchard fruit, floral, and mineral notes, within a structure able to age decades.
The dramatically beautiful Quarts de Chaume appellation produces some of the great sweet wines of the world, Baumard's chiefly among them. Truly the "Grand Cru" site of the Loire Valley.