Bernard Baudry

Bernard Baudry is one of the stars of Chinon. A graduate of the Lycée de Beaune, Baudry created his 30-hectare estate from family-owned parcels and additionally purchased land. He quickly rose to prominence in the ’80s for his intense and textured Chinon. Today he is considered one of the great pioneers of Chinon’s modern era. Son Matthieu joined his father in 2000 and continues to find new ways to progress his family’s wine to new heights of silky, perfumed elegance and depth. Sure, the father’s wines and choice of vineyards lit the torch—yet the son’s progressive, outward-looking philosophy in the vineyard and cellar has taken things to a new level.

These are complex, seductively textured wines that nonetheless retain the refreshing, spicy, crunchy nuances and powdery tannins that speak so loudly of Chinon. From low-yielding, organically managed vines grown on poor limestone slopes, Cabernet Franc can capture subtle shifts in terroir in an almost Burgundian manner. Baudry is arguably the leading Chinon producer in this respect, in that he makes so many fine, terroir-specific wines. Despite the current challenges posed by the changing climate, thanks to intense, artisanal farming here, this grower’s vines are revelling in sunny benevolence. “I don’t have to drop as much fruit these days,” opines Baudry, “We’ve almost forgotten about those Cabernet Franc green pepper flavours. The textbooks might need to be updated.”