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Savennières 2012, Domaine des Baumard ($31.00, 12202021)
100% Chenin Blanc from vines averaging 35 years old. Manually harvested in several passes. The whole clusters are direct-pressed in a pneumatic press. Lengthy fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Nine months’ maturation on the fine lees also in stainless steel tanks. Screwcapped. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Vintrinsec.
Ash and lemon at first, then pear, honey and “something pencil erasery.” Medium-bodied and satin-textured. The sweet fruit is overtoned with oyster liqueur, dusted with minerals and carried on a stream of bright acidity. A touch of quinine colours the bitterish finish. Pleasant if a little short on oomph and dazzle; Guiberteau’s similarly priced 2013 Saumur “Clos de Guichaux” ($29.65, 11461099) delivers more bang for the buck. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Savennières 2013, Clos de Saint-Yves, Domaine des Baumard ($33.75, 12797272)
100% Chenin Blanc from vines averaging 35 years old. Harvesting and vinification are identical to the estate bottling. Screwcapped. Reducing sugar: 5.6 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Vintrinsec.
Seashells, quince and citrus but quite subtle, even closed. With time, lime, linden, beeswax, “stewed fruit” and “tulip” scents appear. In the mouth, it’s richer and more dimensional than its flight mate, albeit somewhat inscrutable. The lightly honeyed fruit is pure and minerally, the acidity fluent. Swirling and chewing reveal an incipient layered depth. The long finish again sounds a bitter/quinine note. Savennières have a reputation for being closed and even rebarbative in their youth, so this is a bit more typical of the appellation though still without the expected austerity or need to age for a decade. Approachable now, probably better in five years. Setting questions of typicity aside, it’s a lovely bottle of Chenin. (Buy again? Yes.)

MWG March 31st tasting: flight 3 of 6

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Written by carswell

May 4, 2016 at 14:47

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