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

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Domaine des Baumard: prospects for a more credible 2013 Quarts de Chaume?

Florent Baumard: 'grapes in the Quarts de Chaume are looking very nice'

On the terraces: the smaller vignes larges

 Vines on parcel that slopes down to the terraces
Bunch from this parcel

I haven't always agreed with Florent Baumard but on this occasion I do think that the Domaine des Baumard's vines are looking considerably more promising this year than they were last year as well as the last two years prior to 2012. This is good to see. 

The start of harvest here is likely to be at least another 10 to 15 days off, although if the more promising forecast for the next week is right after this week's rather unsettled weather the grapes and the noble rot could develop rapidly as rot is already present across the vineyard . According to Météo France it is due to be fine up to next Saturday (12th) with the possibility of showers on Sunday (13th) and Monday (14th). Thankfully no sign (fingers crossed) so far of the deluge of October 2012 when over 200mm of rain fell.  
On Thursday (3rd October) morning after an excellent dinner on Wednesday night at La Table de la Bergerie (will be posting on this) and a overnight stay at the welcoming Logis de la Contrèche both in Champs sur Layon, I spent a couple of hours in the Quarts de Chaume.  

During the two hours I spent in the Quarts de Chaume I looked at vines around the little hamlet of Chaume, then towards Echardière and Suronde before moving down to the entrance to Bellerive. Next I dropped down to the southern tip of the appellation where the track meets the small road that runs along the Layon, which was formerly the railway line. I then headed back up through the small hamlet of Chaume and across to the western part of the appellation to look at the vines at the top of the Baumard terraces as the vines above on the more sloping ground.

At the moment the most promising Baumard Quarts de Chaume vines are those above the terrasses on the more gently sloping ground as well as the vines just below the rows of very tall and green vignes larges at the western end of the terraces. There are obvious signs of a green harvest, especially on the vines of the gently sloping ground. The yield is clearly lower with fewer bunches and often better spaced out than previously. There are still vines with quite a generous yield but if vines have been used to producing a lot of grapes it will take a while to get them into balance to produce a naturally lower yield.  

Given favourable weather and a careful selection Florent may well be able to make Quarts de Chaume this year without needing the assistance of cryoselection.   

Vines and grapes on flatter ground above the terraces:   

Green harvest

Bunches on two vines with green harvest bunches on ground

Upper terraces: 

 On the terraces just below the very green vignes larges

 Bunches on the vignes larges@top of terraces 

Lower terraces close to the River Layon: 

Link to photos of the 2012 crop. Taken on 9th October 2012.

(I will be posting photos of grapes from other 
growers' vines in the Quarts de Chaume.)  

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