Domaine des Baumard

France Loire | www.baumard.fr

“Tucked away in the village of Rochefort-sur-Loire, just south of the town of Savennieres is Domaine des Baumard. The property has been in the Baumard family since 1634, but was revitalized by Jean Baumard in the mid-1950s. Now managed by Jean’s son Florent, the Domaine is considered one of the top producers in the Loire Valley and a reference point for Savennieres and the sweet wines of Coteaux du Layon. The estate is farmed according to organic principles. Florent believes in using as little intervention as possible in the vineyard and in the cellar. Yields are low (generally 1.5 -2.5 tons per acre), and the grapes are always hand-harvested and pressed as quickly as possible to preserve freshness and aroma. 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 on Domaine des Baumard, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The tiny Savennières appellation sits just south of the city of Angers on the north bank of the Loire, included within the more general appellation of Côteaux de la Loire. The soils and subsoils of Savennières are unusual and complex in this part of the valley: ancient volcanic flows deposited slate, shale, granite, and calcareous rock. As a result, a prominent mineral character is present in the best of the complex, persistent, highly textural wines made from the Chenin Blanc rooted there. Domaine des Baumard is a Savennières icon, and arguably one of the most important producers of Chenin Blanc in the world.

Robert Parker has a high regard for Jean Baumard and his son Florent. The estate has been in the family since the 17th century: “For decades Jean Baumard’s wines have been benchmarks for Savennières, Côteaux du Layon, and Quarts de Chaume – his wines have every component in place, so technically perfect and so polished they seem to be the product of a scientist. Florent, who is taking over from his recently retired father, has added some soul. There is no doubt in my mind that Florent Baumard is one of the shining lights in France’s winemaking present and future.” – Robert Parker, “The World’s Great Wine Estates”, 2005

Multiple winner of Wine & Spirit’s Loire Winery of the Year and Top 100 Wineries in the World: “In Savennières, the [Baumard] estate is unmatched for consistency of quality.”

“I finally had the pleasure to taste personally with Florent Baumard (for more about whose domaine and methods, consult my report in issue 172) and found him a disarmingly astute critic of his own wines whose confidence I share that the best is yet to come from this vast and already justly renowned estate. I find a freedom from bitter or coarse elements and a clarity of flavors in the more recent wines that is welcome” – Robert Parker on Domaine des Baumard, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, August 2010