My wine buying habits can be quite irrational. In my latest example I passed up a few wonderfully extracted 2005 Bourgueils and Chinons just to take home a 2006 Bernard Baudry “Les Granges”. This wine is simply an entry level Chinon from a not so fabulous vintage. They say that anyone can make good wine in a great year. It’s those poor years that reveal the most skilled winemakers, and coming from an area that has clear vintage variations myself, I’m interested in what Chinon reds are like in average to poor years.
“Les Granges” is made from young vines (in France this apparently means only 25 year old vines) in mostly sand and gravel soils. Fermented in stainless steel, this wine is meant for early consumption.
I often find myself describing cabernet franc as rustic and this wine surely fits that term. Dark red in color with aromas of blackberry, black cherry and pepper with undertones of barnyard animals, it revealed mouth filling fruit and a chalky tannic mouth-feel. I really dug the finish. The tannins didn’t finish with sweet fruit flavor, rather more along the lines of earthy loam and chalk.
Overall this wine was definitely rustic. In the second bottle I had I picked up much more of that barnyard aroma which can probably be attributed to some level of brett, but it still wasn’t offensive. For a wine with no oak aging it showed a great deal of complexity and texture, and I’d buy it again.