Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 21 February 2013

My ‘inquisitorial’ questions to Jean Baumard

Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume: 9.10.12@15.03.39 Terraces 

Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume: 9.10.12@14.57.45 Terraces view across Layon through the foliage

Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume: 9.10.12@15.11.46 Terraces – view over vignes larges to southside of the Layon.

 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume: 9.10.12@15.13.59 Terraces

Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume: 9.10.12@14.56.08 Terraces

1er tri: 15/16th October 2012
2er et dernier tri: 25th October 2012

Occasionally a kissed frog will turn into a princess but not very often...

I put the following three questions (below) to Jean Baumard on 14th February 2013. They were dismissed as 'inquisitorial'.

'Permit me to ask you a few questions about the 2012 please?

a) At the time of picking what was the average potential alcohol of the grapes from the 1er tri picked 15th or 16th October?

b) At the time of picking what was the average potential alcohol of the grapes from the 2eme tri picked around 25th October?

c) What percentage of your total Quarts de Chaume harvest did the 1er tri represent?

Obviously M Baumard is under no obligation to answer my questions, although I have over the past 24 years asked similar questions about potential alcohols, yields etc. of many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of producers not just of Loire producers but around the globe. All have been happy to answer. 

However, Jean and Florent Baumard surely have a duty to assure their distributors, agents and potential customers that in 2012 they have satisfied the ripeness requirements as laid down in the 2011 Cahier des Charges for the Quarts de Chaume. Was the required minimum of 298 grams of sugar per litre achieved on the vine or was it augmented by cryoselection/cryoextraction?

I have been accused on several occasions of claiming that cryoselection/ cryoextraction/cryoextraction sélective is now banned per se in the Quarts de Chaume. I have been very careful not to say this as the 22nd November 2011 Décret for Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru permits the lowering of the temperature of the grapes to below -5˚C until and including the 2019 harvest. This practice will be banned from 2020, although lowering the temperature of the grapes to just above -5˚C will still be permitted. 

However, the grapes for Quarts de Chaume have to have reached the required ripeness levels on the vine before the use of any process that lowers the temperature is permitted if it is to be declared as Quarts de Chaume. The décret's cahier des charges requires that a record is kept of the maturity of the grapes when picked as well as the number of tris (pickings). This can be subject to an inspection in the vineyard by the INAO.

Previous posts on Domaine des Baumard's 2012 Quarts de Chaume here, here and here. 



Fabien Lainé said...

Thanks for sharing ! Great post once again Jim ! as I say in situations like this one a "No Voice" or "No Answer" often means more than a bad or not accurate answer ! It maybe provides more truth about their job !

Jim Budd said...

Thanks Fabien. As you say it speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim:

How do we know these are Baumard vines?

You say that we can tell by the "vignes large" but these photos are just of grapes and not the whole vine.

I agree that you can distinctly tell the baumard vines because of their training methods. This is obvious. Although I cannot tell that these vines are Baumard vines.

I think we can accurately tell and I agree wholeheartedly that the baumard vines stand out and this is a good way to prove their are from the baumard vineyards. But these pictures could be from anywhere.

How are we supposed to know?

I have followed you for a long time but I think its becoming harder and harder to discuss what happened retrospectively and 3 pictures are hard to convince people beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jim Budd said...

Anon. Thank you for your comment.

A fair question, so I have added two more photos along with their timings that show where these were taken plus links to previous posts on the 2012 Quarts de Chaume that demonstrate location. Please note the white house on road between Saint- Aubin-de-Luigné and Saint-Lambert that can be seen on several of the photos.

You could argue that the camera timings could be manipulated but this would be very difficult as these photos are part of a set of 220 photos taken on 9th October 2012. They range from the Coteaux de l'Aubance, through Savennières to FL's new winery above Rochefort, the Quarts de Chaume and ending with some vines on the road from Mozé-sur-Louet to Brissac.

The orginal frame numbers show that the first pic was taken at 9.04.31 and the last at 17.19.56.

As you say the Baumard vignes larges are distinctive.

Anonymous said...

They are distinctive. But you still have failed to provide a photo of the vignes larges with the photos of the questionable grapes. These photos are still inconclusive in my opinion.

I do enjoy the discourse being opened with the baumards, but do you have any photos with the vignes larges clearly visible with the grapes?

Jim Budd said...

Anon: please see further selection of photos here: