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2022 Chinon “Les Granges”

Bernard Baudry
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Les Granges is the kind of Chinon you don’t need to think twice about, the type of bottle that somehow empties in the blink of an eye. Put a slight chill on it, pop the cork, and inhale its lively perfume: the floral fragrance and bright, juicy fruit—picture fresh-squeezed berries—are simply irresistible. On the palate, you’ll find a nimble frame and plush, silky tannins that make it dangerously gulpable. It has also been known to convert those who generally shy away from the Cabernet Franc grape, so please do be kind and share.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Chinon
Country: France
Region: Loire
Producer: Bernard Baudry
Winemaker: Matthieu & Bernard Baudry
Vineyard: Planted between 1985 and 1988, 9 ha
Soil: Gravel, Sand
Aging: April Club Gourmand ~ Aged in cement and wood cuves for respectively nine and twelve months
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 12.5%

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About The Region

Loire

map of Loire

The defining feature of the Loire Valley, not surprisingly, is the Loire River. As the longest river in France, spanning more than 600 miles, this river connects seemingly disparate wine regions. Why else would Sancerre, with its Kimmeridgian limestone terroir be connected to Muscadet, an appellation that is 250 miles away?

Secondary in relevance to the historical, climatic, environmental, and cultural importance of the river are the wines and châteaux of the Jardin de la France. The kings and nobility of France built many hundreds of châteaux in the Loire but wine preceded the arrival of the noblesse and has since out-lived them as well.

Diversity abounds in the Loire. The aforementioned Kimmderidgian limestone of Sancerre is also found in Chablis. Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur boast the presence of tuffeau, a type of limestone unique to the Loire that has a yellowish tinge and a chalky texture. Savennières has schist, while Muscadet has volcanic, granite, and serpentinite based soils. In addition to geologic diversity, many, grape varieties are grown there too: Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne are most prevalent, but (to name a few) Pinot Gris, Grolleau, Pinot Noir, Pineau d’Aunis, and Folle Blanche are also planted. These myriad of viticultural influences leads to the high quality production of every type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert.

Like the Rhône and Provence, some of Kermit’s first imports came from the Loire, most notably the wines of Charles Joguet and Château d’Epiré—two producers who are featured in Kermit’s book Adventures on the Wine Route and with whom we still work today.

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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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