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WTN: 96 Baumard

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Patchen Markell

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WTN: 96 Baumard

by Patchen Markell » Sun May 20, 2018 10:38 am

Domaine des Baumard 1996 Savennières. This wasn't the oldest white wine in our cellar, but it did have the distinction of being the one we'd owned the longest, dating back to a trip to Sam's Wine and Spirits warehouse store on Marcey Street in 2002, early in our Chicago years. I was really happy to find some of this, having recently tasted a Trie Spéciale, and while I was excitedly taking the handful of remaining bottles off the rack and putting them into my cart, I dropped one, which shattered on the concrete floor. An employee ran over to see what had happened. I apologized abjectly and assured him I'd pay for it, relieved that I'd only broken an $18 bottle. He smiled and told me that it was fine, it happens, I didn't need to pay for it -- and then he saw the label, and winced. "That was our last case, too," he added softly.

Medium gold color. All the sharpness of youth has been worn away, but there's still a remarkable sense of freshness to the tree fruit and green vegetable flavors at the very center of this. A little waxy up front, with seemingly endless layers of spice unfolding on the back end. Terrific. A slightly thin midpalate is the only perceptible suggestion that this might not have lasted forever. But then, neither did that last case; and neither did Sam's -- so this was a good bottle to open as we close out those Chicago years.
cheers, Patchen
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by David M. Bueker » Sun May 20, 2018 11:19 am

Back in the ‘90s and early ‘00s Baumard was all the rage. How they have fallen. No longer on the radar at all.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by Paul Winalski » Sun May 20, 2018 3:01 pm

What happened at Baumard? New winemaker? New ownership?

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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by David M. Bueker » Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm

They had some sort of “scandal” around 2005 or so. Completely dropped off the radar after that.

Not to mention bad premox in 2002, just like Huet.
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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by Patchen Markell » Sun May 20, 2018 4:14 pm

I was curious about that too; all I could find was a very, very long thread elsewhere about the use of cryoextraction in production of Quarts de Chaume in 2012, which mainly reminded me of how much happier I am now that I'm not spending quite so much time listening to other people argue on the internet (about wine or anything else). :D

I still see the occasional Baumard on the occasional Chicago restaurant wine list, but that's about it.
cheers, Patchen
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Tim York

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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by Tim York » Sun May 20, 2018 4:46 pm

I too haven't seen Baumard around for some time. Their Savennières Trie Spéciale 1990 is one of my outstanding Loire memories. The domaine does not appear in the 2018 edition of RVF's Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France but it was in the 2015 edition of the Bettane Desseauve Grand Guide, the last time I bought it. I recall that Loire expert blogger Jim Budd went after the estate some years ago for alleged infringement of appellation rules in Quarts de Chaumes IIRC. The last bottle of theirs I owned was a Quarts de Chaume 2000 which was good.
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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by Rahsaan » Sun May 20, 2018 5:23 pm

Count me as another who hasn't seen Baumard in a while. For me, it was partially because they were less available/less discussed but also because as I drank more Savennieres, the Baumard seemed simpler and less interesting in comparison. But, of course I've never been able to delve as deeply as I might like into the Anjou whites because the Vouvray/Montlouis axis occupies so much of my chenin bandwidth.
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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by Patchen Markell » Sun May 20, 2018 5:57 pm

Dug out my old book of TNs. That first Trie Spéciale was from the 2000 vintage, consumed in mid-2002; not sure why Sam's still had the regular 1996 on the shelves at that point, but I'm glad they did.

[Amazing to look back at the first half of this little book and see how fast everything changed for us between 1999 and 2002. Until we moved to Chicago, what we knew best was California -- and not high-end Napa stuff. We drank a little decent Beaujolais, a little Trimbach Gewurz, a surprising amount of Colheita port, and the occasional Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux. We didn't know much about Italy, but we drank a lot more good Rioja than we do now, thanks almost entirely to the education we received at Dali in Cambridge, MA, when I was in grad school. Then, suddenly, the transformative "firsts": the first Geyserville, the first Beaucastel, the first Edmunds St. John, the first Cuvée Frederic Émile, the first Prüm, the first Tempier, the first Dönnhoff, the first Gravner [earlier than I thought!], the first good red Burgundy (a Gros Frère et Soeur)... all in around 2000-2001. Chenin came next, I guess. Nothing like being out of school, gainfully employed, and spending way too much time on the forum....]
cheers, Patchen
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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by wnissen » Fri May 25, 2018 1:54 pm

I was in the same boat. It was a good time, right before prices for the very top wines went absolutely nuts. Now that I'm mid-career and could probably afford to buy a few of those benchmark wines, I just can't bring myself to spend hundreds on a single bottle.
Walter Nissen
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Patchen Markell

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Re: WTN: 96 Baumard

by Patchen Markell » Fri May 25, 2018 4:01 pm

I hear you! My average bottle price has definitely gone up with age and income, but mostly I use the "nuts" prices as provocation to get to know previously unfamiliar grapes and regions....
cheers, Patchen

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