We often make the joke that if a purveyor brings an average wine buyer three wines, he will buy one. If they bring him 10, he will buy one. We are geared a little differently. We don’t believe in token buys. If we taste 20 wines and aren’t thoroughly jazzed with any of them, we buy zero. By the same token, if someone brings in three exceptional wines, we’ll buy all three. That happened on the day we tasted the Haut Baigneux wines. The purveyor also had in tow the Yvonne Saumur Blanc 2015, which thrilled even given the stiff competition.
There has been vineyards around this chateau in Parnay since the Middle-ages and the building itself dates back to the 1500s. It was abandoned when Yvonne and Jean-François Lamunière took over here in 1997 with the intent of revitalizing the estate. Matheiu Vallee took over in 2007 and kept their name on the property as an hommage to the work the Lamunières had done. The property has been organic since 1997 and went biodynamic in 2012.
There are 3 hectares of Chenin Blanc in clay-over-tuffeau (the fine grained local limestone). Perhaps a little more intentional gravitas here, the wine is fermented slowly over four months and malolactic occurs in oak, 30% new, and it is bottled unfiltered. Oak doesn’t always play well with Chenin but it is clearly enlightened and perfectly integrated in this case. There are a few more ‘bass’ notes to the quince and yellow pit fruit flavors, with a little more Chardonnay like feel in the mouth and a salty character that is somewhat Chablis like.