Thibaud Boudignon Loire Valley, France.
Thibaud Boudignon is one of the new young stars of the Loire Valley based in Savennieres. He also owns two small vineyards across the river on the south side of the Loire in the Anjou. Having worked with Philippe Charlopin in Gevrey Chambertin and also in Australia he is (since 2007) the winemaker for Chateau Soucherie in Coteau du Layon making a range of dry and sweet wines for that large prestigious property. With just 3.8 hectares of vines he has gradually bought and planted several prime parcels in the small Savennieres appellation including a parcel which borders Baumard's Clos St Yves vineyard (not far from the famous La Roche-aux-Moines vineyard).
Working organically in the vineyards he harvests by hand making successive tries throughout each vineyard ending with yields that are much lower than the AOC rules. He vinifies with natural yeasts and ages the wines in a mixture of barrels ranging from 300-600 litres. There are hogsheads, cigares, puncheons and small 600 litre foudres from the highly regarded Austrian cooper, Stockinger. Ultimately though, new oak influence is not a part of the style. This results in wines of striking purity, depth and intensity, with each wine clearly reflecting its particular terroir. They are wines with terrific freshness and structure that have the capacity to age well for many years. Availability is very limited and the wines sell out quickly each year.
All the white wines are 100% Chenin Blanc.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS
2017 Rosé de Loire
Substantially Cabernet Franc, with some Grolleau and a little Gamay, from 38 year-old vines, grown on shallow soils of grey schist, rhyolite and sand. Cool-fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts for 2-3 weeks, followed by maturation in tank for 4 to 6 months before bottling. Malolactic conversion is inhibited to produce a fresh, vibrant, yet textural rosé, with good length and intriguing mineral complexity.
2017 Anjou Blanc
From 37 year-old vines, planted at 8000 vines/ha on shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite. Fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts for 2-3 weeks, followed by maturation in 300l and 750l barrels (30% new) for 15-18 months.
2017 Anjou Blanc à François(e)…
From a parcel of 37 year-old vines in St-Lambert-du-Lattay, planted at 8000 vines/ha on shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite. Native yeast fermented in wood including some 300l cigares, used to build lees complexity. Maturation in these and 700l demi-muids (30% new) for 15–18 months. Named in honour of his mother Françoise, who passed away when Thibaud was 17, and his father François.
DUE LATE 2019
2018 Savennières La Vigne Cendrée
This is the smallest parcel of the domaine, 0.5 hectares, in the commune of Savennières. On a small hillside where the environment is calm and one hears only the birds. "La Vigne Cendrée", in spite of its small surface is an exceptional mosaic of terroir : purple schist, granite and clay silt. Because of the clay and the southern exposition, this wine is naturally richer. Half is aged in 226 liter burgundy barrels and half in foudre, with no new wood, for 12 months, this wine is very "Burgundian". "La Vigne Cendrée" offers a combination of generosity and mineral tension under a noble reduction. The most powerful soil with a higher percentage of clay leads to a mouth which is bigger tasted from foudre, but more refined in barrel.
2018 Savennières Le Clos de Frémine
Located behind the wall of "Clos de la Hutte", this parcel of 1.5 hectares is in the commune of La Poissnnière. Exposed to the landscape, the "Clos de Fremine" is a soil of schist sandstone to gritty sandstone. The "Clos de Frémine" is aged in demi muids of 500L and 600L to preserve the finesse of the terroir. This is the most delicate and aromatic expression of Chenin from the domaine. Very feminine in its texture and in the nose, it offers a seductive, mouth watering palate sensation. This sandy, schisty, gravelly soil expresses itself more on finesse. A nose of mandarine, a mouth with a fine mineral bitterness on a background of fresh grapes, citrus, combining elegance and strength, just a slight touch of richness to dress the mineral signature.
2018 Savennières Clos de la Hutte
Situated in the commune of La Pososnniere, the Clos de la Hutte is an ancient religious site of 7 hectares, of which 2.6 are planted with vines. At the heart of this ancient monastery are vines produced from a massal selection of Chenin Blanc coming from the best domaines of the Loire. 5 different varieties of Chenin were planted together so as to best express the intensity and singularity of this special place. 50% vinified in oval demi muid, 25% in 320 liter cigars, and 25% in 500 liter. The ageing last one year in wood and a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel. The Clos de la Hutte seduces with its aromatic finesse and the intense minerality in the mouth. A great terroir with the mother rock close to the surface, it combines the qualities of the other parcels : great aromatic precision and obvious minerality, perfect balance between mineral and richness, nothing austere with a complex nose of gun-flint, the citrus notes, a mouth that is sharp and precise, an aerien and salty finish.
2016 Savennières Les Fougerais SOLD OUT
From the lieu-dit of Les Fougerais in the heart of Savennières, near La Roche aux Moines and La Coulée de Serrant; 46 year-old vines planted at 8000 vines/ha on shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite. Native yeast fermented in wood including some 300 litre cigares, used to build lees complexity. Maturation in these and 600 litre demi-muids (30% new) for 15–18 months.
2016 Savennières Clos de la Hutte SOLD OUT
From the lieu-dit of Clos de la Hutte in the hamlet of La Possonnière, this is a newly replanted vineyard growing on solid schist, with not more than 30cm of sandy topsoil above the bedrock. Native yeast fermented in wood including some 300 litre cigares, used to build lees complexity. Maturation in these and 600 litre demi-muids (30% new) for 15–18 months.