Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Domaine 2017

  • Le Domaine draws its personality from the Baudry family's diverse collection of Chinon terroirs.
  • he Cabernet Franc grapes come from older vines (around 35 years old on average)
  • 2017 is a ripe, pure and deeply-etched example
  • 1 or more bottles
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Editors notes

Le Domaine draws its personality from the Baudry family's diverse collection of Chinon terroirs. The Cabernet Franc grapes come from older vines (around 35 years old on average), planted on both the alluvial, gravel soils near the river, as well as the hillside, clay and limestone plots (about 20% of the blend). The former terroir provides the succulent fruit while the limestone soils bring the architecture, freshness, drive and tannins. Harvesting is by hand and fermentation is in traditional cement vats. The wine is then matured for ten months in large old casks. The Baudrys are justly proud of this blended cuvée, and they consistently deliver outstanding quality and value under this label.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Herbal
    • Tomato Bush
  • Palate
    • Black Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Loire Valley

The Loire Valley wine region lies between the center and the northwest of France, along the Loire river. It is home to some of France's most well-known wines, notably, Sancerre, Muscadet, Vouvray and Pouilly-Fume.

The majority of output from Loire production is white wine, from grape varieties such as Sauvignon blanc, Chenin Blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes. There are in total 87 appellations in Loire, stretching from the Atlantic coast and heading inland near the city of Orléans. The region is commonly divided in to three subregions. The upper Loire is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc and includes the areas of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Middle Loire is mostly under Chenin Blanc (and some Cabernet Franc) and includes villages of Touraine, Saumur, Chinon and Vouvray. Lastly in the lower Loire, to the west the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety thrives in the Muscadet region and is the most widely planted grape in the Loire.

Producers to seek out and try include: Henri Bourgeois, Mark Bredif, Domaine Bernard Fleuriet, Vincent Pinard, Eric Bordelet and Gerard Boulay.


The historic region of Chinon is home to some of the Loire Valley’s most celebrated Cabernet Franc wines. Unlike the rest of the Loire Valley, Chinon’s combined 19 communes (located on both sides of the Vienne River) produce predominately red wines, focusing almost exclusively on Cabernet Franc (with a small production of Rosé and Chenin Blanc also present).

Chinon is planted to more than 2,300 hectares of vines and has three main soil types: alluvial silt terraces made up of gravel and sand along the banks of the Vienne; Turonian chalk outcrops also along the river; and flinty Senonian clay and sand outcrops. The sand and gravel soils on the river’s flood plains produce light, elegant wines for early drinking while the clay and tuffeau limestone soil of the hillsides produce fuller-bodied wines meant for long aging.

About the brand Domaine Bernard Baudry

The iconic Chinon producer Bernard Baudry produces some of Loire's most pure and expressive Cabernet Franc wines, with each cuvee named after the terroir that gives them their unique character. Les Granges is a lighter bodied wine made for earlier drinking from grapes that are grown on gravel and sand, which makes for a lip smackingly bright and lively wine. Le Domaine is a blend of parcels of older vines (around 35 years old) planted mostly on the alluvial gravel near the river (that brings an earthy, inky edge) as well as some vines grown on the limestone/flint slopes above the river. La Croix Boisee, from a single site with clay/limestone soils, is solidly built; rich, full and suave. Finally, Clos Guillot is another single vineyard situated on a steep, south-east facing slope in Chinon. The soils here are a mixture of clay, chalk and yellow limestone and the wine is the most powerful, profound and long lived.

For anyone who may not be aware of Cabernet Franc‘s wily charms or who believes that this grape incapable of producing fabulous wines, these bottlings are the perfect retort. These are some of the most pure and sumptuous Loire reds, and those who prefer what’s in the bottle to what’s on the label will find so much to love in these wines.

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