The Wine Spectator featured a video with Florent Baumard that looks at two of his key wines, Clos du Papillon and Quarts de Chaume. The video goes deeply into the precision viticulture and vinification that is necessary to create beautiful, balanced Savennieres, and the trademark mineral backbone of Quarts de Chaume – click here to see.
Domaine des Baumard
Domaine Des Baumard is situated right in the heart of the Anjou, in the town of Rochefort-Sur-Loire, just south of the town of Savennières itself. The property has been in the Baumard family since 1634, but it was reconstituted and improved by Jean Baumard in the mid-1950s. Since 1992 the estate has been run with meticulous care by Jean’s son, Florent, and the Domaine is now regarded as one of the greatest producers in the Loire Valley and one of the greatest producers of white wine in the world. Yields are low (generally 1.5 -2.5 tons per acre), and the grapes are always hand-harvested and direct-pressed as quickly as possible to preserve freshness and aroma.
Baumard produces several cuvées of Savennières, the great dry Chenin Blanc, including a domaine bottling (AOC or Clos St. Yves), a single vineyard wine (Clos du Papillon), and an extraordinary select-harvested cuvée, Trie Spéciale, produced only in great vintages.
The domaine includes several vineyards in the Coteaux du Layon appellation, from which they produce several long-lived and intense sweet wines (100% Chenin Blanc). These include several cuvées of Coteaux du Layon, a single vineyard bottling (Clos de St Catherine), and their magnificent Quarts de Chaume, a small vineyard which carries its own AOC. These wines are all capable of lasting and improving for 3-4 decades; they are among the finest white wines of the world.
Florent Baumard has become something of a specialist in Crémant de Loire, producing no less than four cuvées of exceptional, hand-crafted sparkling wines from Chenin, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc. Finally, Baumard also produces a small amount of Cabernet based Anjou Rouge, Logis de La Giraudière, whose friendly bramble fruit character makes it a delightful match for Bistro cuisine.
The estate is run according to organic principles, but is not certified organic. Florent Baumard believes in using a little intervention as possible in the vineyard and the cellar. With the 2005 vintage Baumard began bottling 100% of their production (excepting only Crémant) with Stelvin closures, becoming one of the pioneers of this technology in France.
“If there ever was God in a glass, this is it.” Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator