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Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2008

Chenin Blanc from Loire, France
  • RP92
13% ABV
  • WS93
  • WS94
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • WE92
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  • RP89
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  • RP91
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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, Loire, France
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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.

Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

Chenin Blanc

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Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

PBC9128961_2008 Item# 112025