2010 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume (375ml) (Previously $40)
Unctuous, concentrated and refined, this holds a large core of quince, creamed Anjou pear and white ginger notes in reserve for now, while heather, chamomile, orange blossom and white peach flavors take the lead. When the reserves stretch out and catch up with the floral accents, this will be a pure, precise stunner, with a long life. Best from 2018 through 2035. 150 cases imported. –JM
Still young, this bright and fruity wine shows lively fruits as well as more intense sweetness. The structure is important here, showing a dry edge of botrytis, lychee and mangos. It has extreme freshness, needing several years to reveal its full, magnificent potential. Give it 5–6 years. Screwcap.
From the importer: "The sweet wines of Domaine des Baumard are from vineyards planted along the Layon river, which flows northwest into the Loire. The perfectly exposed vineyards in the appellation Côteaux du Layon allow the Chenin Blanc grape to ripen perfectly in most years, often enriched by the development of botryitis. For the production of sweet wine, Florent Baumard prefers to harvest as late as the vintage weather permits, hoping for plenty of botryitis. The grapes are harvested in successive passes or ‘tries’ through the vineyard, and any unsatisfactory fruit is eliminated. The grapes are pressed quickly using a pneumatic press and the must fermented under temperature control. Aging is done strictly without oak to preserve the elements of fruit and terroir. The magnificent Quarts de Chaume is a fascinating wine, with a compelling intensity and authority of site which informs each vintage. Always long-lived, in great vintages this wine can be almost immortal, improving for decades. There are around 45 hectares of vine in production of Quarts de Chaume, of which Domaine des Baumard owns 6. The vines are planted on about 6 different soil types, including schist, quartz, rhyolite and spilite. Florent recommends serving Quarts de Chaume as an apertif with foie gras, rillette canapes or chicken liver, blue cheeses such as Roquefort and Gorgonzola, and 'white desserts,' such as poached pears or peaches with creme anglaise."