Two days ago, I was having dinner with friends and wanted to introduce them to local wines. They told me they prefer reds, but not too strong ones, and rather fruity and dense. When I suggested they taste a Chinon, they sighed and told me that the Chinons they had tried a were quite rustic, quite austere, and that they have trouble with Cabernet Franc.

A high-level Chinon

It is true that some Chinons, when they are young and in “cooler” vintages may have some problems: having “green” aromas (vegetal side) and too persistent tannins. But at Domaine Bernard Baudry, Cabernet Franc is perfectly understood. It is now Mathieu, Bernard’s son, who is at the head of the estate, and who works in organic farming without wanting the label.

He has 5 reds, and Les Grézeaux deserves to be better known. Indeed, on this gravel soil on a clay-siliceous substrate, these old vines (50 years on average) give very concentrated grapes, which ripen well thanks to the gravel. In the cellar, fermentation is classic (15 days in concrete vats) but the aging differs from the majority: 12 months in old oak barrels (which have already made 3-4 wines) in order to soften the tannins, then 12 months in inert vat for the wine to rest and calmly recompose. Bottling (without filtration) therefore takes place 2 years after the harvest, which is why we are now drinking the 2017s.

The entry is juicy and full-bodied, then becomes silky on black fruits, then red berries, with minerality all the way through. Long finish that stays on the fruit, I was advised to wait another 2-3 years to drink it, but by decanting it 2 hours before, it is already super interesting! We accompanied it with a chicken with mushrooms and sour cream with basmati rice, then a cheese platter from the Alps, and we had a great time!

Serve at 15 degrees, decant 2 hours prior to serving.

Price: 17 euros

Contact me to order!

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