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Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2008

Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
  • RP92
13% ABV
  • WS94
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • WE92
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4.0 2 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A beautiful round, harmoniously balanced wine. This is a wine intended for the accompaniment of crustaceans or fish, grilled or in sauce. It is made to be drunk during a meal.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Baumard’s “regular” (a.k.a. Clos St.-Yves) 2008 Savennieres bursts from the glass in an exuberant bouquet of buddleia and apple blossom; quince and intimations of wet stone. This transcends the poise and clarity exhibited by several immediately preceding Clos du Papillon bottlings and suggests that – chronologically speaking – we have moved up into a new echelon of expressiveness. The bitter, piquant notes of toasted nut, quinine, white pepper, and fruit pit here are extremely subtle and integrated into a matrix of lusciously juicy pear, white peach, and quince. A salvia-inducing salinity and scallop-like sweetness ally themselves to the stony mineral elements in this wine’s long finishing colloquy with flowers and fruits, and there is a levity and refreshment – a sheer drinkability – that I have not noticed in previous Baumard Savennieres – particularly pre-2007. Yet there is still ample sense of glycerin-richness and subtle oiliness. The combination of roughly a half percent less alcohol and more expressive acidity renders this drier-tasting than its 2006 and 2007 counterparts. Florent Baumard admits that a lesser percentage of his 2008s went through malo-lactic transformation than in most vintages, though I did not have chance to check precise analytical data on that. This sensational value is a delight to drink now. Whether it will “suffer” on that account a reduced “life span” must remain to be seen, although if anything my intuition is that this will be lovely for a decade, but that you would be foolish to deprive yourself of its short-term pleasure.
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Domaine des Baumard

Domaine des Baumard

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Domaine des Baumard, , France - Other regions
Domaine des Baumard
The Baumard family has been wine growing wine at Rochefort in the Anjou for centuries, working with the noble Chenin in what has long been accepted as its natural home, the slate-covered hillside vineyards along the Loire and Layton rivers. In 1953, the Baumard family acquired a vineyard in the Quarts de Chaume, and in 1968, purchased substantial acreage in Savennieres. Jean Baumard, an enologist and educator, as well as grower, introduced significant innovations to the winemaking region, bringing the dry wines of Savennieres, as well as his sweet wines, Quarts de Chaumes and Coteaux du Layon back to prominence. Now in retirement, further innovation has been carried on by Jean's son, Florent.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular and age-worthy wines at its best. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Bordeaux White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

PBC9128961_2008 Item# 112025

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