Domaine des Baumard

Quarts de Chaume 2014

Quarts de Chaume

Domaine des Baumard’s Quarts de Chaume is renowned the world over as the greatest example of this small, 110 acre vineyard (of which Baumard owns 15) acknowledged as the “Grand Cru” of the Loire Valley.  The sweet wines from this subregion of what is known as the Coteaux de Layon are from vineyards planted along the Layon river. The perfectly exposed vineyards allow the Chenin Blanc grape to ripen perfectly in most years, often enriched by the development of botryitis. Always long-lived, in great vintages this wine can be almost immortal, improving for decades.

 

Vineyard

The vines are planted on about 6 different soil types, including schist, quartz, rhyolite and spilite. Florent Baumard prefers to harvest as late as the vintage weather permits, hoping for plenty of botryitis.  The grapes are harvested in successive passes or ‘tries’ through the vineyard, and any unsatisfactory fruit is eliminated.Florent employs a viticultural technique known as “vignes hautes et larges” that is unique in the region – he uses high training wires (over 6 feet) in order to maintain a large surface area of foliage and avoid the need for topping off the shoots. Rows in the vineyard are alternately ploughed and grassed, helping to maintain the soil’s microscopic fauna and avoid soil compression from tractors and other heavy machinery. The harvest is manual, and the fruit is transported in small plastic cages to minimize damage.

Baumard adheres to several core principles in managing their vineyard, including:
– alternating cover crop among rows
– trellising high to capture sunlight and ensure ripeness
– respecting natural balances and treatments
– controlled treatments
– waste management

Winemaking

Pressings are gentle and fractional, meaning that Florent Baumard collects the pressed juice at ascending intervals of pressure and ferments the lots separately. The wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures on their lees; no wood is used in the winemaking or aging process, which Florent believes allows him to achieve a purer expression of site. The wine then spends 9 months on the lees in tank before being bottled.

Tasting Note

The various shades of gold Quarts de Chaume displays throughout the course of its life are fascinating, telling, and always changing. Aromas are intensely floral, with ripe citrus, pear and other orchard fruits mingling with minerality. On the palate these same notes come through in an opulent, irresistable density that nevertheless finishes lifted and fresh.
Florent recommends serving Quarts de Chaume as an apertif with foie gras, rillette canapes or chicken liver, blue cheeses such as Roquefort and Gorgonzola, and ‘white desserts,’ such as poached pears or peaches with creme anglaise.

Color

White

Grape Varieties

Chenin Blanc

Appellation

Quarts de Chaume

Farming

Sustainable. Refrains from using herbicides. Grasses over alternate vineyard rows.

Alcohol

11.5%

Suggested Retail Price

$100

Reviews

"energized by a bright mirabelle plum note"

Wine Spectator -

"Unctuous, with a gorgeously creamy feel that lets pear, peach, green melon and fig flavors drape beautifully, energized by a bright mirabelle plum note that develops steadily through the finish, giving this length and cut. Should age wonderfully. Best from 2020 through 2035. 80 cases imported."
 

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Savennières

Domaine des Baumard produces some of the finest examples of Savennières, and Jean Baumard and now his son, Florent, are universally regarded as the finest winemakers in the appellation. Their wines are among the most unique and rewarding in the world: dry whites of intense concentration, perfume, and longevity.

Savennières Clos du Papillon

If Savennières produces some of the most compelling dry white wines in the world, the Clos du Papillon plot within Savennières , so named for its butterfly shape, concentrates and magnifies all the characteristics of this small, distinct appellation. Baumard is the largest owner of this vineyard, with the best holdings, and the wines display a captivating combination of ripe orchard fruit, floral, and mineral notes, within a structure able to age decades.