Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back on Planet Earth

I've been up on a Burgundy high horse for a while. It's been almost 2 months since I've written about anything other than the Burgundy trip, except for Friday Night Bubbles posts. After almost 2 months of nothing but Burgundy and Champagne, anything I do now may seem like a letdown.

But watch this - I'm coming back to planet earth, and I'm coming with value and style. I've had some wine in the past two months, you know. I haven't just been sitting here writing about my trip. And as an inaugural (Hooray Obama!) "back to normal at Brooklynguy" post, I want to highlight a daily drinker of a wine that performs way above its $18 price point. A wine that you can feel responsible while drinking, as it is farmed and vinified organically and with minimal interventions of any kind. And best of all, in my opinion, it is a wine that offers an open window to its underlying terroir.

Bernard Baudry is probably at the head of the class in Chinon right now. His wines are pure and clean and well balanced, and they are unmistakably Chinon. And they are affordable, even at the top of the range. Terrible dollar notwithstanding, the barrel-aged Croix Boisée is $32, the very old vines Les Grézeaux is a silly $25. And the wine I want to talk about, the 2006 Cuvée Domaine, is merely $18. That's $16.20 with the mixed case discount, for you non-mathematicians out there. But please do not be fooled by the price. This is a serious wine, an old vines cuvée (35 years average) that offers great pleasure in young drinking, but will also improve with several years in the cellar.

The 2006 Bernard Baudry Cuvée Domaine, $18, Louis Dressner Selections, is so transparent that it really should be embarrassed. On the nose it shows gravelly earth and beautifully ripe and intense dark fruit, absolutely clean and pure. This wine is quite concentrated and it shows better after an hour open, when the aromas get to know each other a bit and settle into friendly conversation. On the palate, this wine tastes like Baudry's back yard - there is earth with lots of gravel and clay, there is plentiful fruit, there are flowers and trees, there is a river nearby, and in the evenings there is smoke in the air from the fireplaces. This is a delicious wine with great character and depth of fruit, and it's even better on the second day. I imagine that it will be at its peak in about 4 years, although it may be difficult to keep your hands off until then. That's why it's probably a good idea to buy several bottles. If you live in New York City, this wine (for some reason) is available only at Chambers Street Wines. Wherever you live, if you like wine, this is one worth seeking out.


Anonymous said...

In 2006, Baudry did not bottle any wine separately for Les Grezeaux. It was added to the Cuvee Domaine. This is a long lived wine that is a steal by one of the Loire's best producers.

Brooklynguy said...

hi sadams62 - I didn't know that about 2006. Are you sure? There are a lot of people who seem to have drunk this wine. I remember drinking it too...anyway, i completely agree with you about Cuvée Domaine and about Baudry in general.

Anonymous said...

i got the information straight from kermit lynch's monthly newsletter..check the last two or three newsletters from 2008 if you want to read it for yourself.

also note you will not find grezeaux on the marketplace..the other cuvees like boisee have been out for months and grezeaux would have been released at the same time or earlier

Anonymous said... is the november newsletter

"We at KLWM are of the opinion that Bernard Baudry, along with Domaine
Joguet, are the superstars of Chinon, and that they make some of the classiest
pure Cabernet Franc in the world. If you want to see the highest potential of the
grape vinified as a mono-cépage, look no further. The 2006 “Domaine” bottling
from Baudry is particularly successful because the Grézeaux vineyard, normally
bottled separately, was blended into this cuvée and adds significant structure and
complexity. This is marvelous Cabernet at twenty bucks, and you can down it
now or enjoy it over the next decade."

Brooklynguy said...

ah..Grézeaux. I read your comment as Granges, and linked to that too. My mistake. And I have noticed, no 06 Grézeaux. Low yields?

Anonymous said...

grezeaux thus the additional structure and longevity

Chris Townend said...

Totally off-topic, and I don't know (or frankly care) if this is considered just plain wrong, but if Chinon is lightly chilled it makes a fantastic summertime apperatif.

Toot toot!

Brooklynguy said...

how could such a thing be wrong Chris? i prefer many of these loire reds with a bit of a chill, say 15 minutes removed from cellar temp.

Anonymous said...

Many young bold, chewy reds are served slightly chilled in france and they are more gulpable and drinkable with food. When I was in Bandol many of the restaurants would automatically bring out a Champagne ice bucket with any red Bandol wine younger than a few years old. I was told the ideal chill was to put the bottle in the bucket of ice water for exactly 2 minutes and then take it out and serve. Seemed to work pretty well for me. Young Chinon seems similar. Of course, to really get the most out of them I like to sit with them a while and see them develop in glass during which time they warm up pretty quickly.

Love the Baudry wines. The 05's were fantastic and have heard great things about the 06. Just bought half a case of the Croix Boisee but haven't taken delivery of it yet so haven't tried it. Looking forward to it!

Thanks for the note on the basic cuvee!