Adult Summer is here, and it is one of our favorite times of year here in our little corner of Michigan. We still have some beautiful warm sunny days that feel like the height of Summer but then we also get those cool breezes and see the colors start to pop in trees here and there. The beaches are quiet, there’s less of a wait at our favorite spots and there’s more time to sit outside with friends enjoying a great glass of wine. We decided to share French reds that are good for slowly phasing into Autumn. These are three wildly different wines. If you decide you aren’t quite ready for the shift in seasons yet, just tuck these away as they are exquisitely made and will age gracefully, like us 😉
P. & E. Mullins
2019 Domaine Baudry Chinon
When I went back into our old wine club notes I was shocked to see I hadn’t featured this before. Domaine Baudry was founded by Bernard Baudry after inheriting a few hectares in the early 1980s. This newfound land inspired him to go to the Lycée de Beaune and study viticulture and viniculture. With this he began to recognize the incredible terroir of the Chinon appellation and began producing beautiful and textured representations of it. Bernards’ son Matthieu has been making wine with his father since 2000. Matthieu is slowly taking the helm as a vignerons never really retires so Bernard is very much still involved. This 100% Cabernet Franc is certified organic and comes from blend of older and younger vines, terroir of sand, limestone and gravel. It’s macerated and aged in cement vats for almost two years before bottling. In the glass this wine is an inky rusty opaque deep red. The nose is super savory and Earthy reminiscent of a wet forest floor and mushrooms. The palate has notes of black pepper, ground cherries and dark cherry skins with gentle gripping tannins. It’s dry with a tart finish that tingles and lingers on the tip of your tongue. Allow this some time to open up. There are nuances of aromas and taste that will continue to show themselves. Fun little side note, if you ever find yourself in Chinon, try to have lunch at the estate, Bernards wife Henriette is known for making the best pâté in the Loire.
2019 Mas des Chimères Vin de Payes des Terrasses de Larzac “Nuit Graves”
Guilhem Dardé started in the wine business as a grower. He spent over 20 years, tending to his family wines with care and then bringing the fruits of his labor to the local coop, only to be blended with grapes from all his neighbors’ and sold as bulk wine. He wanted to know what his he was growing and wanted it to stand alone, so he invested in his own winemaking equipment and in 1993 he produced his very first vintage. There was no going back from there and were all so fortunate for it. To this day, the vineyards are tended organically and harvested by hand. Each varietal is vinified separated and aged in barriques (big old oak barrels from 400-600 Liters each). The “Nuit Graves” is a blend of 45% Syrah, 38% Grenache and 17% Mourvèdre. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered and you will notice that in your glass. It is a deep dark purply red, and sediment is common so be sure to pour slowly when you reach the end of the bottle. Aromas of ripe blackberries with a little hint of vanilla are oh so pretty. The palate is rich and intense reminiscent of a Middle Eastern dinner full of bright spices. A little tobacco finishes on the long dry finish.
2021 Charmes Morgan
Winemaker Quentin Harel started making his own wine in 2012. The Domaine de Buis Rond estate had been in his family since 1768 and he did his best from a young age to try something different; he studied microbiology and brewed his own beer. The pull of the vines couldn’t keep him away. In following the style of care of the land and the vines like his parents did before him, Quentin worked the vineyard organically. He wanted to showcase the beautiful of the terroir and fruit on their own, so his style was very light handed; whole cluster fermentation with indigenous yeasts and aged in neutral oak. The wine bottled unfiltered and with low sulphur additions. This 100% Gamay is a clear ruby with a blueish hue in the glass. Like smushed blueberries. The nose is light with cassis and violets following dusty gravel. The palate is bright and juicy. Light in weight with good acidity. It is pretty and make an entrance. Sadly this is the last vintage of Quentin Harel’s wine. He tragically passed away at the young age of 44 in a hiking accident this Summer. Only 4000 cases produced. nn