To all Best Winers,
Oh, the goosebumps.
Like, real goosebumps. Not like those goosebumps on those ghost-hunting reality shows. We’re talking real-deal goosebumps.
Oh, and the hair on the back of your neck. That part where the hair stands up on the back of your neck. Sheesh, I love that.
Great wine can do that to you. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve had those great wine ‘hair-raising’ experiences.
And if you haven’t, it’s about time.
Thibaud Boudignon gave me one of the few true hair-raising, goosebump-ly wine drinking experiences I’ve had this year. Good lord, this guy is great.
First, let me preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of Chenin Blanc. Much to the chagrin of my Chard-swilling counterparts in the wine biz, I think top Chenin Blanc takes its place just behind Riesling when it comes to that deadly double-threat of transparency of terroir and food-friendliness.
Simply put, rock star Chenin Blanc tastes like where it comes from and can go with just anything. Ask your local sommelier, they’ll tell you.
Speaking of rock stars, Thibaud Boudignon is one of them. I’d call this the equivalent of discovering a great band before they break it huge. This cat is a genius.
Thibaud’s ‘day job’ is winemaking for Chateau Soucherie, one of the most acclaimed estates in the Anjou and Coteaux du Layon appellations of the Loire Valley. Prior to landing in the Loire, Thibaud did winemaking stints in Australia, Bordeaux (Chateau Olivier) and Burgundy (with Philippe Charlopin), sharpening his skills to tackle this grape and this area, both of which require a deft hand.
The style of wine he produces literally simultaneously invigorates and satiates the senses. I am talking about the Full Chenin Monty. He works organically in the vineyards, owning a scant 5 acres, including a brilliant parcel of Chenin adjacent to Nicolas Joly’s famed Coulee de Serrant.
He works simply in the winery, letting the grapes do their thing, using a variety of barrels for aging, including some ‘bling’ bigger barrels from Austria and an array of older casks.
His wines work their way into your very pores. Enthralling, rich, seductive, exotic, focused, riveting, perfumed, generous, saline, balanced, all these descriptors come into play. Tropical fruits, stones, wax, honey, minerals all vie for your attention. The wine is dry, but comes across as deeply fruited, golden in color, but racy despite the head-spinning level of concentration.
Wow, I get Goosebumps again just writing this. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion we’ll be looking back on this write-up in a couple years and thinking, “Remember when we could get cases of Boudignon?” He’s that good. The wine is that good. It’s like discovering Coche or Raveneau again for the first time, which, thanks to Al Gore’s Inter-web, one doesn’t get the chance to do very often any more.
Check out Kyle's video review here, then do yourself a favor and buy some. Drink it, love it, coax it, age it. Do anything with it that you would do with any white or red wine in your cellar. Be charmed, be amazed, be happy…
Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon, Proprietors, BestWinesOnline.com