Thibaud Boudignon: Anjou, Loire Valley
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 prime 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 rangin from 350—700 litres (there is very little new oak used and the goal is never to have oak showing in the wines). This results in wines of striking purity with terrific depth and intensity with each wine showing clearly the soil origins of each parcel of grapes. These are wines that give great pleasure now and also have the capacity to age well.
All wines 100% Chenin blanc vinified with natural yeast and aged in mostly large format barrels (some Austrian Stockinger)
Crystalline dry Chenin Blanc of great intensity,tension, and precision
2014 Anjou blanc “Cuvee Domaine”
“From old vines in the commune of St Lambert du Lattay, on soils rich in clay. Élevage in 30% new oak; Thibaud tends to give the new oak to this wine, and only use it for the upper-class cuvées in subsequent years. A beautiful, minerally matchstick character to the nose. A very defined and pure sense to the palate, quite polished, yes there are some notes of liquorice oak here from the new wood, but also a refined sense of minerally fruit, with white stone, and a little yellow plum note in the background. Nice acidity. An impressive entry-level wine. 16.5/20.” winedoctor.com Sept 2016
2014 Anjous “á Francoise”
Made from 35 yo vines planted on schist. This wine is a selection from the ’heart’ or middle portion of the pressings from vines at the top of his vineyard. “The fruit here also comes from St Lambert du Lattay, the focus here being those vines with the best position and aspect, but there is also a selection in the cellars. Thibaud takes only the best part of the juice, and ferments it in barrels, with no racking. The nose seems pure and smoky, with minerally notes, especially gunpowder. A fresh and defined palate, very tense in style, a profound minerally depth, with some light liquorice tones presumably oak-derived, also some white stone fruit. But it is the pointed mineral frame, reinforced by the acidity, that is the most striking feature of the palate. It culminates with a long, grippy finish. This is top notch. 17.5/20” winedoctor.com Sept 2016
2014 Savennieres “Les Fougerais”
From 45 yo vines planted on deep sand over a base of grey schist and Ryholite (volcanic soil).
“The vines are planted on soils of sand and schist. Thibaud feels the sandy soils imbue a feminine character to the wine, but that the schist gives it some real power. I get a smoky and flinty nose, quite perfumed, fresh and bright. The palate has a very gentle character, albeit with lots of grip underneath, and appealing notes of white stone fruit, peaches and peach skins, with a bright character, lots of freshness and lots of minerally energy into the finish. I like the wines rich acid definition in combination with the fruit, a defining feature of the 2014 vintage I think. 17.5/20” winedoctor.com Sept 2016
“Made by one of the rising stars of Savennieres, this wine reveals Boudignon’s Burgundian experience, showing subtle oak, crunchy acidity and notes of fennel, lemon zest and baking spices. 94 points” Tim Atkin MW Gourmet Traveller Wine April/May 2015