BAUMARD COTEAUX DU LAYON CARTE D’OR
One of the Loire’s most lauded producers, Florent Baumard has courted controversy by pursuing his own ideas and challenging the status quo. He was one of the first to consider and then introduce screwcaps. He recognises that each vintage is unique, believing it should be made with minimal intervention to allow the wine made to reflect its vintage and celebrate its individuality. His Savennières from the famous vineyards of Clos St Yves and Clos du Papillon are rich yet with a balance and elegance that are unrivalled. His top Cuvée of ‘Trie Speciale’ is only made in very exceptional vintages.
The Baumard approach to viticulture is a notable one, and it does make it easy to spot the Baumard vines in any given appellation. They are trained in a fashion Baumard describe as vignes hautes et larges (sometimes abbreviated to VHL); the larges refers to the distance between the vines, a remarkable 3 metres between the rows and 0.8 metres between each vine, whereas the hautes refers to the high trellising system employed, taking the vines to a height of more than 2 metres, the object being to obtain a large surface area of foliage. During the vegetative period they see limited leaf-thinning along their base, but otherwise there is little intervention at this time, not even topping-off of the upper shoots as they reach for the sky above. Between the rows, the soil is alternatively ploughed and grassed over, a methodology the Baumards have been following for well over 40 years. The harvest is manual, and the fruit transported in small plastic cages to minimise damage.
Winemaking techniques employed include fractional pneumatic pressing of whole grape bunches and fermentation at low, controlled temperatures followed by 9 months in stainless steel tanks on its fine lees.
A very attractive honeyed nose, with lifted yellow fruits and more golden tropical elements such as mango, guava and pineapple. It has a particularly tropical character and a very fresh feel on the palate, with steely minerality and a zippy background acidity giving invigorating tartness to keep the wine luscious and buoyant. The rounded, approachable finish has good length.
The perfect match for rich starters like foie gras or sweetbreads and will see you through to dessert or cheese.