Florent Baumard, Domaine Baumard  (1968)  
The Baumard family have been located in and around Rochefort-sur-Loire since 1634, moving to their current location at Le Logis de la Giraudière, a 17th century hostelry, in 1959. In the period between the Great War and 1955, the year that Jean Baumard arrived at the domaine at the age of 24, the family primarily existed as nurserymen, supplying grafted material to counter the effect of phylloxera that had ravaged the region at the end of the 1800s. In addition to his dealings as a pepiniériste, Jean’s father, Charles, also owned the local café in Rochefort, and it was his need for wine to serve to his customers that initiated the fledgling wine business.

Apart from running the domaine from day to day, Jean was also the professor of viticulture and oenology at the agricultural college in Angers until 1970, moving onto become the President of the Federation Viticole d’Anjou between 1971 and 1976. Most famously, he was the first grower from the Layon to invest in Savennières, buying 10 hectares of vines in Le Clos du Papillon and a parcel known as Le Clos Saint Yves in 1968. Jean was joined by his son, Florent in 1987, before eventually retiring to the Côte d’Azur in 1993. Florent was at one stage at a boarding school in Plymouth (which accounts for his excellent English) and also worked a stage in the Entre-deux-Mers before returning to join the family business.

Wine Overview:  
Florent Baumard produces two regular cuvées of Savennières, Le Clos du Papillon and Le Clos Saint Yves, plus the occasional release of a third, ‘Trie Spéciale’ (in 1989, 1990, 1995 1997, 2000, 2003 and potentially the 2007 vintage). Le Clos Saint Yves is also sold under the ‘Domaine des Baumards’ label. This is designed for earlier drinking and has been 100% under Stelvin since the 2005 vintage. All three wines are raised in stainless steel and bottled within a year. Florent has made some trials with oak but feel it has nothing to offer. With regards to malolactic fermentation, Jean Baumard was one of the first in the appellation to experiment with this, which partly explains why their wines have something of a house style, although it is not systematic. In addition to the above, there are also the controversial releases of Vin de Table ‘Vert de l’Or’ from Verdelho (made in either sec or moëlleux, depending on the harvest conditions) from vines grown in Le Clos Saint Yves.  

The Wines:  
There can be no disputing that Baumard has been one of the leading growers in Savennières over the past forty years. In many ways both Jean and, more recently, Florent have offered a consistent level of quality when at times others appeared to have lost their way. And like it or not, the Baumard wines have a distinctive house style which some argue are atypical of the appellation. Regardless of age and vintage, the wines always seem to display some reductive elements, expressed in tasting notes as either ‘flint’ or ‘gun smoke’, yet this tends to add complexity to the resulting wines, rather than being a detrimental observation. Whilst appearing riper, the wines paradoxically can deliver herbal aromas and flavours. I often find myself writing asparagus in my own notes, and they sometimes remind me of Alsatian wines as much as of Savennières. These are individual but consistent wines that are attractive in their youth but equally capable of going the distance.  

SAVENNIÈRES

2007 'Clos du Papillon'
Very pale. Green hints and the typical, reductive style of Baumard. Very fresh on entry with a green asparagus expression. Linear and tight with a phenolic edge running through the wine. Approachable now but this has more to give. This will age for many years. The schist-mineral profile shines through. Very authentic. Very Baumard. (02/11)

2005 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Pale. Straw appearance. Clean but closed on the nose. Backward. Well textured entry with good richness. Very clean, with flavours of greengage and quince. Good length with a hint of bitterness on the finish. Not very expressive as yet, but shows its class. Very promising. Needs time. Under Stelvin. (02/08)

2005 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Pale straw. Very clean, but also very youthful and primary. Excellent structure to the palate. Exotic, but correct with very good weight and shows its potential. This is very young and really needs time. Under Stelvin. (02/08)

2003 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Bright. Pale appearance. Faint geranium on the nose. Richer style to the palate with the impression of residual sugar (although it is less than 2g/l). Broad and quite flat and lacking some acidity. Mature and drinking now. Unlikely to evolve further, but should be expected to last another 3 – 5 years. Under Stelvin. (02/08)

2003 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Very pale appearance. Broad, meat paste – liver paté nose. Broad on the palate. Rich, concentrated and very dense. Lacks acidity. A different expression of Savennières, but quite typical of the Baumard house style. Drinking now, but could be expected to age further. Under Stelvin. (02/08)

2003 ‘Trie Spéciale’  
Harvested with 15% botrytis. Polished. Straw/yellow. Curious nose of white flowers and rice pudding. Very good concentration and weight on entry, but balanced by clever use of carbon dioxide and some phenolics to replace any lack in acidity. The wine is pretty dry (4 g/l residual sugar). Still youthful and fresh. Good length. Not a ‘classic’ example of this occasional release. Drinking now, but this will go the distance. (04/09)  

2002 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Very pale. Green hints. Still primary in appearance and no sign of any evolution. Typical Baumard nose: asparagus and green, herbal hints, but without the usual evidence of reduction. Fine and linear on entry with more vegetal and herbal notes. Restrained and very youthful. Barely evolved. Intense. Builds well with very good acid balance. Powerful with a long finish. This is still very immature and has the potential to evolve over a couple of decades or more. (04/09)

‘Lot 2001’ Vert de L’Or Blanc Sec Vin de Table.  
From Verdehlo, therefore forbidden to be sold as Savennières and demoted to lowly Vin de Table status where no vintage, variety or origin is permitted. Florent’s ‘lot number’ is something of a give away though. Mid-depth. Straw/green. Very open and floral nose. Waxy nose with white flowers, showing signs of maturity. This displays a Chenin-like flavour profile, but the acidity is noticeably lower. Faint bitterness to the finish. Drinking now, but should age further. (02/08)

2001 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Polished. Yellow/gold with green hints. Rich, mature nose and fairly typical of the vintage. Mature, greengage fruit. Linear and mineral on entry with good structure and length. Slightly phenolic to the finish. Old fashioned and authentic, but equally doesn’t exhibit the same characteristics as many of the other grower’s wines in this vintage.  Drinking now. Should age but unlikely to improve. (02/08)

2001 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Broad but quiet nose. This has closed up. Good palate weight and richness although not very expressive. Firm acidity matched by a rich texture. Full bodied and a long finish and characteristic bitter twist. Still quite youthful. Approachable now, but will age further although in some ways it appears more advanced than the Clos St Yves. (02/08)  

2000 ‘Clos du Papillon’ 
Mid-depth with some distinct green flecks. Smoky, open and attractive nose showing some signs of evolution, but also great freshness and purity. There is also the typical Baumard flavour profile, with some flint-reduction, backed up with some wet wool. On the palate, there is a firm, focused acidity on the entry and a strong sense of minerality. Good palate weight and richness and an impression of residual sugar, although I suspect the wine is actually dry. This is a very good effort and although distinctly approachable now, it could be expected to age for a further decade at least. (09/08)

1999 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Bright. Mid-full with yellow/green hints. Clean but advanced; distinct white flowers to the nose. The palate is better; much fresher. Mid weight with some white flowers. Builds well, although the alcohol shows a little on the finish along with a hint of bitterness. Just falls a little short. Drinking now and should hold, but is unlikely to improve. (04/08)  

1997 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Pale-straw with green hints. Lovely, intense and complex nose: tea-leaves, coffee, mocha, but also a restrained green spectrum of aromas too: asparagus, white truffle and smoke. Mid weight on entry with good texture. Delicate, but shows the richness and concentration behind. Flavours of paté de foie. Builds well to a second tier. Powerful to the finish. Typical, Baumard: pithy, with a stony, mineral finish. Approachable now, but this is still youthful and has more to give. (04/09)

1997 ‘Trie Spéciale’  
Mid-pale. Youthful green appearance. Light and delicate nose with a hint of reduction. There is no obvious ripeness on the nose. Broad and rich on entry with more obvious signs of residual sugar, but not overly sweet. A little hot on the finish. Drinking now. This could evolve a little more. (04/08)

1996 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Bright. Mid-depth straw. Immediate and open with a nose of coconut and the characteristic reductive notes of Baumard’s style. The flinty, reductive aromas just helps add complexity overall. The nose is smoky and also gives the impression of oak (of which there is none). Broad on entry with very good flesh. Well textured and complex. There are some green, herbal hints, but there is ripeness combined with a juicy, fresh acidity. Persistent, with a twist of Chenin-pithiness to the finish. Drinking well now, but will continue to age and evolve. (04/08)  

1995 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Bright. Mid-depth yellow-gold. Mature nose and, unusually for Baumard, looking a little bit tired. Its a bit flat on the nose and showing some signs of premature oxidation. Ripe, with some toffee-like aromas. Mid-full entry. Broad and round. Well textured and mature, but not as tired on the palate as the nose suggests. Builds well to a powerful finish. Intense; it shows the heat of the vintage. Taut and still youthful, this will evolve further. The nose and palate are contradictory. (04/09)

1995 ‘Trie Spéciale’  
Polished. Pale straw-yellow. Light, but rich on the nose. Delicate, but shows intensity and power behind. There is some advanced oxidation too, with the ripeness appearing to advance the evolution. Well textured entry. Builds well, but a little hot and clumsy on the finish. This might still come into balance with time. Awkward currently. (04/09)

1994 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Full, yellow-gold appearance. Ripe and shows a touch alcoholic on the nose. Asparagus and apricots. Touch of honeycomb. Broad, deep and complex behind. A hint of pétillance to the palate. Flavour reminiscent of Alsatian Tokay-Pinot Gris – more savoury, foie gras, even. This is very much a Baumard wine. Open, ready and a touch alcoholic and phenolic on the finish. Drinking, but should go the distance. (08/99)  

1992 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Mid-pale. Yellow-straw. Typical Baumard at this age in its evolution. Attractive nose. There is a surprising ripeness here backed with a green edge. Characteristic paté de foie like nose with some green asparagus. More Pinot Gris-like. Honourary Alsace. Very light and delicate on entry. Mature, but gives the impression this can evolve further. Ripe, rich and well textured. Crisp, fresh acidity to the finish. Almost Alsace Riesling like in structure and intensity. Evolved and a bit pithy on the finish. Mature, but no rush to drink. (04/09)

1991 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Mid-pale. Yellow-green. Delicate, light and complex. Lifted. More Pinot-Gris like on the nose. Restrained and quite shallow, but not without interest. Faint mineral with a green edge. There is a hint of white mushroom (cork taint?). Lighter on the palate than the 1992. Mature, but very gentle. Hints of green, with a lovely acid balance. Very good structure and focus. Pithy finish, true to the appellation. Persistant. Mature; it will hold further, but could start to dry out soon. (04/09)

1990 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Polished. Mid-depth yellow/straw. Faintly reductive with aromas of coconut and mineral notes behind. Lush on entry. Rich and concentrated. Very well textured and balanced by firm mineral acidity. Persistent and powerful with the alcohol showing a little on the finish. Pithy finish. This is drinking well now, but will hold and even may develop further. (04/08)

1990 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Very pale with green hints. Typical of the Baumard style, this is tight, reductive and unevolved on the nose, with a faintly lactic element behind (even though there is no malo-lactic fermentation). Delicate and elegant with excellent focus. The wine builds well and has good grip. Very long and pithy finish. This is still drinking well and will hold. (04/10)

1990 ‘Trie Spéciale’ Domaine des Baumard  
Polished. Mid depth, yellow-green appearance. Quiet and delicate on the nose. Faintly floral. It's very restrained and shows no real sign of its age. The palate is much more open and serious with very good structure. It builds well and has good grip. Excellent focus. Mineral and pithy to the finish. This is still holding up well and still evolving. Very good. (04/10)

1989 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Polished. Deep yellow/green. Broad, rich and complex gunflint/reductive nose. The tertiary notes are greater than the primary fruits. Solid and powerful, this is almost more akin to Alsatian Tokay-Pinot Gris than Chenin. Concentrated, but lacks a bit of acidity. Well textured the (15%) alcohol shows a little on the finish. Pithy, grapefruit edge. Drinking now, but could evolve further. (04/08)

1984 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Deepening yellow straw. Faint reduction on the nose, but with a good, ripe texture. Attractive smoky, coconut flavours to the palate, this is still very fresh with lively, juicy acidity. This is still youthful with excellent balance. Flattering. Drink or will hold a few more years. (06/04)

1983 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Mid depth yellow, This is faintly reduced, but also advanced. Some aromas of white flowers and not very expressive. Juicy but hollow. Light, short and drying out on the finish. Needs drinking up quickly. (06/04)  

1982 ‘Clos Saint Yves’/‘Domaine des Baumard’  
Polished. Luminous appearance. Mid-depth yellow-straw with flecks of green. Lovely, delicate nose. The palate is still very fresh with a thread of acidity running through the wine. Flavours of baked apple and clove. Great balance. This is drinking now, but will hold further. No rush to drink. Excellent. (02/10)

1982 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Mid depth. Retains some green hints. Very reduced, but has a strong gorse bush and coconut nose. Mineral and smoky – the reduction helping to offer a sense of complexity. No rush to drink and may even evolve. (06/04)

1981 ‘Clos du Papillon’  
Bright, with some green hints. Very floral, with lots of white flower aromas. This is quite refined, but starts showing its age quickly on the nose. The palate is very fresh with firm acidity. Tight and mineral. Good length, but just a bit simple with the acidity carrying the finish. Drink or hold. (06/04)  

COTEAUX DU LAYON

1990 Quarts de Chaume, Domaine des Baumard  
Polished. Mid-depth straw-yellow. Tight and somewhat unevolved. Delicate with good focus and balance. Gentle and nicely textured. This is still in its adolescence and will continue to age further. (04/10)

1989 Coteaux du Layon ‘Clos Ste Catherine’ Domaine des Baumard
Luminous appearance. Mid-depth with flashes of yellow-green. Typical of Baumard, this is still pale and unevolved. Despite the complex appearance, the nose is a little monotone, with herbal hints and a simple sweetness. The palate shows some barley sugar, but also the same herbal and green expression, often associated with the Baumard style. The acid balance is good and the finish appears quite dry. There is no rush to drink this up, although it is unlikely to improve further. (10/09)

1989 Coteaux du Layon ‘Cuvée Payon’ Domaine des Baumard
Polished. This is still quite pale for its age. Mid-depth. Yellow, with green hints. True Baumard. There is some faint reduction on the nose and a green/herbal character, typical of the house style. Very good focus on entry with proper structure and length. This still has more to offer and shouldn’t tire at any point soon. Sturdy, with good length. Restrained and not obviously sweet. (10/09)

1989 Quarts de Chaume, Domaine des Baumard
Polished. Mid-full orange, but with flashes of green. The nose is lovely, with hints of toffee and caramel. It is both delicate and refined. The palate shows more desiccation than botrytis, with hints of barley sugar and more toffee apple. This is very clean, taut and mineral, with some flintiness or reduction, which only adds to the overall complexity. This is still youthful with a think thread of acidity running through the wine. Good balance and texture. This will continue to age and develop. (10/09)

Florent Baumard  
Domaine de Baumard  
Rochefort-sur-Loire  
T: +33 2 41 78 70 03  
T: +33 2 41 78 83 82  

florent@baumard.fr

www.baumard.fr

 

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