Baumard

Florent Baumard is one of the world’s best winemakers, and you probably don’t know him. That’s because he produces Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, an all-too-often overlooked region. Baumard produces a range of dry and sweet wines, topped by his Quarts de Chaume. And perhaps the best part of Baumard’s new wines is that they are now all under screw cap. Bravo to Florent Baumard for making this decision based on quality, not marketing. WINE SPECTATOR

When this small portion of Anjou Coteaux de la Loire produced only sweet wines, the AOC regulations set a correspondingly low maximum yield. This concentrates the wines on four southeast-facing slopes of volcanic debris that produce the world’s greatest dry Chenin Blanc. Bone-dry to dry wines of great mineral intensity, Savennières can be some of the longest-lived dry white wines in the world. Most critics believe that the single greatest Savennières is Nicolas Joly’s Clos de la Coulée de Serrant and, while I agree that it is one of the greatest wines of the Loire, I think that Baumard’s Clos du Papillon (not to be confused with Clos du Papillon from other growers) consistently displays greater elegance and finesse. TOM STEPHENSON, Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia

Starting with the 2005 vintage, Baumard began bottling 100% of their production (excepting only Cremant) with Stelvin closures, becoming one of the pioneers of this technology in France. Florent Baumard is a brilliant winemaker. If he had been born a Californian, Burgundian or Bordelais, wealthy vineyard owners would be standing in line to employ his services as a consultant…a young, handsome, ever-smiling sort, Baumard quietly fashions some of the world’s most complex dry and sweet wines in the sleepy village of Rochefort-sur-Loire. PIERRE ROVANI, Wine Advocate