Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

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Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #1  Postby Chris Blum » March 2nd 2013, 2:05pm

Florent Baumard has issued a strongly worded press release in response to Jim Budd.

http://www.baumard.fr/Docs/1-WhatCanISay.pdf
Although we have been appalled by these unjust and defamatory attacks, we have remained quiet safe in the knowledge that we alone know what we have recorded during this recent harvest. Cold pressing allowed us to use the best of a crop battered by the weather, with grapes whose maturity levels were extremely heterogeneous, even by Loire standards.

http://www.baumard.fr/Docs/2-SourGrapes.pdf
Mr Budd’s ill-informed and intemperate critiscims of our business clumsily disguise the true motive of his attack: "It is high time for Baumard to waive their appeals against the Grand Cru Quarts de Chaume".


In case you have not been following the "case of the unripe grapes." Here is the linky...
http://jimsloire.blogspot.com/2013/02/b ... racle.html
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"The Packers f'n suck" -- Todd French
Peter Tryba need a kidney...

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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #2  Postby Roberto Rogness » March 2nd 2013, 3:25pm

Wow....that may be the geekiest bit of wine writing I have ever seen. Fascinating but straight outta geekville!
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #3  Postby Michael Powers » March 2nd 2013, 4:02pm

I think that Jim makes a pretty strong case.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #4  Postby W. Leonard » March 2nd 2013, 4:10pm

http://www.baumard.fr/Docs/2-SourGrapes.pdf
Cold pressing is not a miracle, nor is it a "sham". It has had scientific accreditationsince 1987 and is used by the world’s greatest chateaux and wine makers, including those of Sauternes and Barsac.


Would be nice to have an example...

Also, just because a winery wines awards and accolades I shouldn't be skeptical of their practices?
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #5  Postby Pierre-Yves » March 2nd 2013, 4:41pm

Cryo-extraction or cryo-selection as the Baumard calls it is authorized by the AOC till 2019.
You can debate about it, but if someone disagrees with it has more to do with AOC regulations than the Baumard domaine.

However, the main point remains : what was the potential alcohol % from the tries, given that mother nature made it very hard to produce any high sugar grapes.
Since this is a regulatory point, I am still wondering how and who ensures that. They must have some kind of trace/files to ensures that, and if so I think it would have clarified the debate if Baumard exhibited those potential alcohol numbers.
And since I think the mustometer uses grape juice, which moult did they use ? they used a special one made before cryo selection or used the one after, in which case I believe would comply the regulations.

A lot of suppositions here....

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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #6  Postby Chris Blum » March 2nd 2013, 5:36pm

In fact Florent regards it simply as an additional tri, no different to workers passing through the vineyard, selecting ripe or botrytised fruit, leaving unripe or non-botrytised fruit on the vine. In cooling the fruit he looks for less ripe, less sugar-rich grapes to freeze first, and when this is achieved he presses the fruit, thereby extracting juice from the ripe and richer grapes, whereas those less ripe berries which have frozen solid contribute nothing.


From chris kissack's write up of Baumard on thewinedoctor.com
"Well, wine only turns into alcohol if you let it sit" -- Lucille Bluth
"The Packers f'n suck" -- Todd French
Peter Tryba need a kidney...
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #7  Postby Michael Powers » March 2nd 2013, 5:51pm

Chris, the question I have after reading that is, how do you still get a huge yield with that system if they come in that underripe? Jim says the yield is close to max allowed and much higher per hectare than anyone else saw. Pressing only the ripe grapes in a very low potential year, if I understand this method, should result in an extremely small yield, right?

In any case, calling it an extra tri seems disingenuous.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #8  Postby Chris Blum » March 2nd 2013, 8:55pm

Totally agree, Michael.
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"The Packers f'n suck" -- Todd French
Peter Tryba need a kidney...
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #9  Postby Lewis Dawson » March 3rd 2013, 12:57am

Jim Budd is on Baumard like Klapp is on Parker. He is on a mission, and I wonder how that colors his judgement and objectivity. Still, I am an old school traditionalist and do not approve of cryo-extraction. I regret that the appellation rules permit it, and glad it is being removed, albeit slowly.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #10  Postby Jamie Goode » March 4th 2013, 4:44pm

The proof is in the wines, isn't it?
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #11  Postby teddemop » March 4th 2013, 4:53pm

Jamie Goode wrote:The proof is in the wines, isn't it?

And the wine is fantastic!
Well, I had one of their Cremants last week that I didn't care much for (and I should post a TN - lazy me).

The entire thing is fascinating, but that's from a wine geek perspective of course!
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #12  Postby Jim Brennan » March 4th 2013, 5:15pm

Jamie Goode wrote:The proof is in the wines, isn't it?


I'm good with that. But I also want "truth in advertising", as the saying goes.

If there's truth in what Jim Budd is alleging, then I'd argue that Florent should drop the AOC, and be very clear that he harvested grapes which don't meet the AOC standards (overcropped and underripe), detail how he achieved his spectacular results (cryoetraction and/or other methods), be very clear about how many bottles of Baumard Quarts de Chaume were produced (which will show up on shelves here in the US for approximately the same price as bottles of Huet Moelleux 1er Trie, just by way of comparison), and let the chips fall where they may.

Lew Dawson, I don't think your analogy to Bill is accurate. To me, it seems that Jim Budd has a reasonable and demonstrated record of investigative wine journalism, and I similarly believe that he's largely been accurate. Although I guess if his mission is to uncover hypocrisy, then perhaps he and Bill do share some qualities.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #13  Postby Thierry Jutel » March 4th 2013, 6:12pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but the issue seems to be about how much Baumard declared after picking (close to the maximum allowed), and what ultimately ends up in the wine after cryo-extraction or cryo-selection which I assumed would be different. Baumard argues that the extra step of selection ensures that only the ripened grapes are used, and therefore this would reduce the yield. However, this is not what they have to declare at picking. Of course this is hardly a traditional approach, getting all the grapes in the winery and then selecting from there.
I have mixed feelings about this for sure, but then the Baumard have been doing things differently for a long time. When you drive around the area, you cannot miss the Baumard vineyards and their very tall vines. And then you have the use of screwcaps. One cannot underestimate the extent to which the Baumard stand out in the AOC for all these practices. I have a lot of respect for that.
All of this of course is happening a stone-throw away from Nicolas Joly on one side and Chateau Pierre Bise on the other (a producer for which I have the highest regard). Who said there is no diversity in the rather small area!
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #14  Postby Z. A c s a n » March 4th 2013, 6:50pm

Pierre-Yves wrote:Cryo-extraction or cryo-selection as the Baumard calls it is authorized by the AOC till 2019.
You can debate about it, but if someone disagrees with it has more to do with AOC regulations than the Baumard domaine.

However, the main point remains : what was the potential alcohol % from the tries, given that mother nature made it very hard to produce any high sugar grapes.
Since this is a regulatory point, I am still wondering how and who ensures that. They must have some kind of trace/files to ensures that, and if so I think it would have clarified the debate if Baumard exhibited those potential alcohol numbers.
And since I think the mustometer uses grape juice, which moult did they use ? they used a special one made before cryo selection or used the one after, in which case I believe would comply the regulations.

A lot of suppositions here....


I'm just a guy who has enjoys Baumard wines on an occasional basis [my bias], but I have to say, having read the Jim Budd blog entry and the two response letters from Baumard, my take away is that Budd's obsession strikes me as sort of creepy and replete with stalker-like behavior. Maybe I've missed something here, but shouldn't we be happy if Baumard has sufficient technology at hand to turn what would be an otherwise lost crop in to perfectly good QdC? I know this may fly in the face of a purist's ideal, but if we borrow the chef anology forwarded by Baumard, can we not think of this as a net positive; like what can be done in a French kitchen with a sous vide machine at the Chefs disposal?

I know enough about the science of winemaking to be dangerous, but some searching from those who really do know about such matters point to cryoextraction, or more specifically, supraextraction, as being valid methods of producing better wine. In the Handbook of Enology Volume 1: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications (2nd ed.), which discusses the process in Bordeaux as used in Sauternes, and they mention: "By pressing at this temperature [0 degrees C], a selected juice is obtained which only represents a part of the juice volume. The potential alcohol content of this juice, however, is higher." More interestingly (to me), they add: "The selction of the most sugar-rich and thus ripest by cryoextraction is the primary cause of improved wine quality."

In a book by Ronald Jackson, titled Wine Science: Principles and Applications, the author talk about supraextration. He says: "An alternative to crushing is supraextraction. It involves cooling the grapes to -4 degrees C, then followed by warming to about 10 degrees C before pressing. Freezing causes both grape-cell rupture and skin splitting. These facilitate the escape of juice during pressing. Although increasing the extraction of sugar and phenolics, supraextraction reduces total acidity and raise the pH.

At any rate, it seems like Baumard is simply leveraging technology to produce wines when others can't. I don't see the problem in that, but understand why others might get their knickers in a twist about it. I not sure why mutiple passes through the vineyard is a problem (if I'm understanding that it is), when the Germans commonly do so to produce better wine. I'm also not sure if the 'truth in labeling' argument holds, if Sauternes is produced by utilizing cryoextraction and there is no disclosure that accompanies such practices.

After reading all of this, I'm left feeling Jim Budd is conducting what amounts to a witch hunt against Baumard. Maybe he feels justified in saving the wine world here, or maybe he is just looking to make his journalistics bones at the expense of Baumard? I can't claim to know his motives. Either way, it remains such a geeky endeavour that few outside pages like this, a few assorted wine geek blogs, or those that are local to what is being discussed, will take more a passing interest in such an undertaking.
Either way, it sounds like Z e e
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #15  Postby Bill Moore » March 4th 2013, 7:53pm

Z. A c s a n wrote:
Pierre-Yves wrote:Cryo-extraction or cryo-selection as the Baumard calls it is authorized by the AOC till 2019.
You can debate about it, but if someone disagrees with it has more to do with AOC regulations than the Baumard domaine.

However, the main point remains : what was the potential alcohol % from the tries, given that mother nature made it very hard to produce any high sugar grapes.
Since this is a regulatory point, I am still wondering how and who ensures that. They must have some kind of trace/files to ensures that, and if so I think it would have clarified the debate if Baumard exhibited those potential alcohol numbers.
And since I think the mustometer uses grape juice, which moult did they use ? they used a special one made before cryo selection or used the one after, in which case I believe would comply the regulations.

A lot of suppositions here....


I'm just a guy who has enjoys Baumard wines on an occasional basis [my bias], but I have to say, having read the Jim Budd blog entry and the two response letters from Baumard, my take away is that Budd's obsession strikes me as sort of creepy and replete with stalker-like behavior. Maybe I've missed something here, but shouldn't we be happy if Baumard has sufficient technology at hand to turn what would be an otherwise lost crop in to perfectly good QdC? I know this may fly in the face of a purist's ideal, but if we borrow the chef anology forwarded by Baumard, can we not think of this as a net positive; like what can be done in a French kitchen with a sous vide machine at the Chefs disposal?

I know enough about the science of winemaking to be dangerous, but some searching from those who really do know about such matters point to cryoextraction, or more specifically, supraextraction, as being valid methods of producing better wine. In the Handbook of Enology Volume 1: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications (2nd ed.), which discusses the process in Bordeaux as used in Sauternes, and they mention: "By pressing at this temperature [0 degrees C], a selected juice is obtained which only represents a part of the juice volume. The potential alcohol content of this juice, however, is higher." More interestingly (to me), they add: "The selction of the most sugar-rich and thus ripest by cryoextraction is the primary cause of improved wine quality."

In a book by Ronald Jackson, titled Wine Science: Principles and Applications, the author talk about supraextration. He says: "An alternative to crushing is supraextraction. It involves cooling the grapes to -4 degrees C, then followed by warming to about 10 degrees C before pressing. Freezing causes both grape-cell rupture and skin splitting. These facilitate the escape of juice during pressing. Although increasing the extraction of sugar and phenolics, supraextraction reduces total acidity and raise the pH.

At any rate, it seems like Baumard is simply leveraging technology to produce wines when others can't. I don't see the problem in that, but understand why others might get their knickers in a twist about it. I not sure why mutiple passes through the vineyard is a problem (if I'm understanding that it is), when the Germans commonly do so to produce better wine. I'm also not sure if the 'truth in labeling' argument holds, if Sauternes is produced by utilizing cryoextraction and there is no disclosure that accompanies such practices.

After reading all of this, I'm left feeling Jim Budd is conducting what amounts to a witch hunt against Baumard. Maybe he feels justified in saving the wine world here, or maybe he is just looking to make his journalistics bones at the expense of Baumard? I can't claim to know his motives. Either way, it remains such a geeky endeavour that few outside pages like this, a few assorted wine geek blogs, or those that are local to what is being discussed, will take more a passing interest in such an undertaking.

Huge +1 to this post.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #16  Postby Michael Powers » March 4th 2013, 8:06pm

I don't see where it says that others "can't" make the wine this way, just that they don't. I also don't know if one says ...sauternes is made by utilizing cryo..." When all we see is reference that some Sauternes may use the method. My main issue is that it seems a way to sell a lot of inferior wine as GC. I guess it's their brand dilution, so whatever. I think it feels off to me.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #17  Postby Lewis Dawson » March 4th 2013, 8:27pm

Z. A c s a n wrote:... Budd's obsession strikes me as sort of creepy and replete with stalker-like behavior....

Exactly.

Jim Brennan, this is why I referred to Bill Klapp. However, I am willing to concede Jim Budd has a greater degree of credibility.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #18  Postby Z. A c s a n » March 4th 2013, 9:03pm

Michael Powers wrote:I don't see where it says that others "can't" make the wine this way, just that they don't. I also don't know if one says ...sauternes is made by utilizing cryo..." When all we see is reference that some Sauternes may use the method. My main issue is that it seems a way to sell a lot of inferior wine as GC. I guess it's their brand dilution, so whatever. I think it feels off to me.


They can't, if they haven't made the investment in the technology. I do wonder how many producers would choose to use the equipment, were it given to them for free. Hardcore traditionalists might have little interest, but I have to believe some protests are born out 'can't afford' more than a purist's idealism.

The reference on Sauturnes posted above came from Faculty of Enology Victor Segalen University of Bordeaux II, Talence, France. An October 2012 Decanter article mentioned: "Olivier Castéja at Chateau Doisy Védrines has reported using cryo-extraction to concentrate sugars, and is confident that he will get attractive flavours, and a reasonable quantity..." While I don't know how many producers use cryoextraction, clearly it is 'some' and not 'none'.

As for knowing if the Baumard wine in question is inferior wine posing as GC, I'll defer judgment until I read some reviews or get a chance to taste the wine for myself.
Either way, it sounds like Z e e
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #19  Postby Pierre-Yves » March 4th 2013, 9:14pm

Z. A c s a n wrote:
Pierre-Yves wrote:Cryo-extraction or cryo-selection as the Baumard calls it is authorized by the AOC till 2019.
You can debate about it, but if someone disagrees with it has more to do with AOC regulations than the Baumard domaine.

However, the main point remains : what was the potential alcohol % from the tries, given that mother nature made it very hard to produce any high sugar grapes.
Since this is a regulatory point, I am still wondering how and who ensures that. They must have some kind of trace/files to ensures that, and if so I think it would have clarified the debate if Baumard exhibited those potential alcohol numbers.
And since I think the mustometer uses grape juice, which moult did they use ? they used a special one made before cryo selection or used the one after, in which case I believe would comply the regulations.

A lot of suppositions here....


I'm just a guy who has enjoys Baumard wines on an occasional basis [my bias], but I have to say, having read the Jim Budd blog entry and the two response letters from Baumard, my take away is that Budd's obsession strikes me as sort of creepy and replete with stalker-like behavior. Maybe I've missed something here, but shouldn't we be happy if Baumard has sufficient technology at hand to turn what would be an otherwise lost crop in to perfectly good QdC? I know this may fly in the face of a purist's ideal, but if we borrow the chef anology forwarded by Baumard, can we not think of this as a net positive; like what can be done in a French kitchen with a sous vide machine at the Chefs disposal?

I know enough about the science of winemaking to be dangerous, but some searching from those who really do know about such matters point to cryoextraction, or more specifically, supraextraction, as being valid methods of producing better wine. In the Handbook of Enology Volume 1: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications (2nd ed.), which discusses the process in Bordeaux as used in Sauternes, and they mention: "By pressing at this temperature [0 degrees C], a selected juice is obtained which only represents a part of the juice volume. The potential alcohol content of this juice, however, is higher." More interestingly (to me), they add: "The selction of the most sugar-rich and thus ripest by cryoextraction is the primary cause of improved wine quality."

In a book by Ronald Jackson, titled Wine Science: Principles and Applications, the author talk about supraextration. He says: "An alternative to crushing is supraextraction. It involves cooling the grapes to -4 degrees C, then followed by warming to about 10 degrees C before pressing. Freezing causes both grape-cell rupture and skin splitting. These facilitate the escape of juice during pressing. Although increasing the extraction of sugar and phenolics, supraextraction reduces total acidity and raise the pH.

At any rate, it seems like Baumard is simply leveraging technology to produce wines when others can't. I don't see the problem in that, but understand why others might get their knickers in a twist about it. I not sure why mutiple passes through the vineyard is a problem (if I'm understanding that it is), when the Germans commonly do so to produce better wine. I'm also not sure if the 'truth in labeling' argument holds, if Sauternes is produced by utilizing cryoextraction and there is no disclosure that accompanies such practices.

After reading all of this, I'm left feeling Jim Budd is conducting what amounts to a witch hunt against Baumard. Maybe he feels justified in saving the wine world here, or maybe he is just looking to make his journalistics bones at the expense of Baumard? I can't claim to know his motives. Either way, it remains such a geeky endeavour that few outside pages like this, a few assorted wine geek blogs, or those that are local to what is being discussed, will take more a passing interest in such an undertaking.


I don't think 2012 was a perfectly good crop, since most of winemakers there could not make any QdC.

I am not really talking about cry extraxtion here. Even Jim Budd doesn't seem to like it, it is allowed by the AOC , so you can use it or not, you should not be blamed for it, and indeed should be seen as winemaking technique. Traditionalists don't like it, modernist do, this is just a church matter.
Now, if they don't follow the potential degree of alcohol of the grapes coming into the winery they should not call it AOC QdC. I would be fine by it and I am sure their wine will still be very good. Business wise, it might be a different story.

Sometimes the AOC administration seems to follow strange patterns, filing suit agains O. Cousinhttp://www.alicefeiring.com/blog/2011/10/olivier-cousin-enemy-of-the-loire-not.html but letting this one go.

By the way doing multiple tries is part of coteaux du layon and I believe late harvest wines.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #20  Postby Pierre-Yves » March 4th 2013, 9:16pm

Z. A c s a n wrote:
Michael Powers wrote:I don't see where it says that others "can't" make the wine this way, just that they don't. I also don't know if one says ...sauternes is made by utilizing cryo..." When all we see is reference that some Sauternes may use the method. My main issue is that it seems a way to sell a lot of inferior wine as GC. I guess it's their brand dilution, so whatever. I think it feels off to me.


They can't, if they haven't made the investment in the technology. I do wonder how many producers would choose to use the equipment, were it given to them for free. Hardcore traditionalists might have little interest, but I have to believe some protests are born out 'can't afford' more than a purist's idealism.

The reference on Sauturnes posted above came from Faculty of Enology Victor Segalen University of Bordeaux II, Talence, France. An October 2012 Decanter article mentioned: "Olivier Castéja at Chateau Doisy Védrines has reported using cryo-extraction to concentrate sugars, and is confident that he will get attractive flavours, and a reasonable quantity..." While I don't know how many producers use cryoextraction, clearly it is 'some' and not 'none'.

As for knowing if the Baumard wine in question is inferior wine posing as GC, I'll defer judgment until I read some reviews or get a chance to taste the wine for myself.


Agree they won't be able to make the investment especially since it will not be authorized in 7 years.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #21  Postby Z. A c s a n » March 4th 2013, 10:04pm

Pierre-Yves wrote:
Z. A c s a n wrote:
Michael Powers wrote:I don't see where it says that others "can't" make the wine this way, just that they don't. I also don't know if one says ...sauternes is made by utilizing cryo..." When all we see is reference that some Sauternes may use the method. My main issue is that it seems a way to sell a lot of inferior wine as GC. I guess it's their brand dilution, so whatever. I think it feels off to me.


They can't, if they haven't made the investment in the technology. I do wonder how many producers would choose to use the equipment, were it given to them for free. Hardcore traditionalists might have little interest, but I have to believe some protests are born out 'can't afford' more than a purist's idealism.

The reference on Sauturnes posted above came from Faculty of Enology Victor Segalen University of Bordeaux II, Talence, France. An October 2012 Decanter article mentioned: "Olivier Castéja at Chateau Doisy Védrines has reported using cryo-extraction to concentrate sugars, and is confident that he will get attractive flavours, and a reasonable quantity..." While I don't know how many producers use cryoextraction, clearly it is 'some' and not 'none'.

As for knowing if the Baumard wine in question is inferior wine posing as GC, I'll defer judgment until I read some reviews or get a chance to taste the wine for myself.


Agree they won't be able to make the investment especially since it will not be authorized in 7 years.


Point taken, but isn't Baumard still seeking to have the decree annulled in the French Supreme Court, or has that appeal been denied?

http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/529729/fury-and-charges-of-egotism-as-loire-s-baumard-challenges-grand-cru
Either way, it sounds like Z e e
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #22  Postby Nick Ryan » March 4th 2013, 10:11pm

Looks to me like the Baumards have been making themselves extremely unpopular with their neighbors for a long time and are now reaping the rewards of their karma...? At least that's my impression, reading up on this with no prior knowledge of these wines or producers. If Budd's allegations are true they are committing straight-up fraud, seems like he's doing a public service here.
Last edited by Nick Ryan on March 4th 2013, 10:13pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #23  Postby jcoley3 » March 4th 2013, 10:12pm

Jamie Goode wrote:The proof is in the wines, isn't it?


Nope. Proof can only be found in dogma, theory and pe-conceived notions about what should be done and what should not be done. Very French.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #24  Postby Jim Brennan » March 4th 2013, 11:57pm

I'm not sure anyone wants to be caught in the unenviable position of choosing between often indefensible INAO rules or the apparently deceptive practices by the Baumards...
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #25  Postby Alex Rychlewski » March 5th 2013, 12:52am

There is nothing objectionable in using cyroextraction in my opinion.
Even the great Château d'Yquem has used it on occasion.

Lafite, Léoville Las Cases and others used reverse osmosis.
So what?
The world changes...

My comments have nothing to do with Beamard's yields, the ripeness of the grapes or what the AOC laws say.

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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #26  Postby Jim Brennan » March 5th 2013, 6:09am

There is nothing objectionable to blending syrah into Bordeaux, but you can't call it Bordeaux anymore.

Cryoextraction is legal in QdC, but you can't call it QdC when you harvest insufficiently ripe grapes. Baumard vin du table wouldn't taste different, would it?
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #27  Postby Alex Rychlewski » March 5th 2013, 8:19am

Jim,

I may agree with your 2nd statement, but do not think the comparison you make in your first one is appropriate.

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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #28  Postby Jim Brennan » March 5th 2013, 8:34am

Be more forward thinking Alex. It's about what's in the glass!
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #29  Postby Doug Schulman » March 5th 2013, 8:37am

Alex Rychlewski wrote:There is nothing objectionable in using cyroextraction in my opinion.
Even the great Château d'Yquem has used it on occasion.

Lafite, Léoville Las Cases and others used reverse osmosis.

Maybe that says more about the high end Bordeaux wine industry than it does about the appropriateness of those techniques. [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #30  Postby Doug Schulman » March 5th 2013, 8:54am

Jim's coverage of this issue does seem a bit obsessive, and it makes me wonder if he has some hidden agenda.

That said, it would surprise me if the average ripeness of those vineyards measured up to the minimum ripeness required for QdC, 18.5% potential alcohol. The Baumard letters mention that the pictures are no proof, which is true, but they also don't explicitly state that they had achieved the necessary level of ripeness naturally. Whatever his motives are, I do think Budd might be on to something.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #31  Postby Doug Schulman » March 5th 2013, 8:57am

To be clear, I'm fine with using the techniques that are allowed, even if I might not be fond of them, but I also think meeting the legal requirement for minimum ripeness at harvest is extremely important. Comparing wines made from grapes frozen inside to wines made from heavily botrytized grapes or grapes frozen on the vines shows the huge difference in quality between the two methods, and requiring a high level of ripeness at harvest is a way to ensure a certain level of quality.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #32  Postby Alex Rychlewski » March 5th 2013, 9:10am

Jim,

You wrote « Be more forward thinking Alex. It's about what's in the glass”
But I *am* forward thinking! Seems to me that people who refuse modern techniques on questionable grounds are rather the reverse.

Doug,
You wrote: “Maybe that says more about the high end Bordeaux wine industry than it does about the appropriateness of those techniques”
There are so many châteaux with so many different ways… Anyone would be hard put to generalize!
Things are done in California that would land people in prison here. One needs to tread carefully before finding someone else’s techniques reprehensible!

Cryoextraction removes water. Period. Ditto for reverse osmosis.
I think if people objecting to this had the slightest inkling of how most of the food they ate was prepared, they would become far less critical!

Once again, I’m defending a modern, quality-oriented winemaking process. I am *not* defending Baumard on any other front (yields, sugar levels, or anything else).

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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #33  Postby Z. A c s a n » March 5th 2013, 10:05am

Doug Schulman wrote:To be clear, I'm fine with using the techniques that are allowed, even if I might not be fond of them, but I also think meeting the legal requirement for minimum ripeness at harvest is extremely important. Comparing wines made from grapes frozen inside to wines made from heavily botrytized grapes or grapes frozen on the vines shows the huge difference in quality between the two methods, and requiring a high level of ripeness at harvest is a way to ensure a certain level of quality.


If the end goal is to "ensure a certain level of quality", then wouldn't the critics/market response eventually confirm whether the wines are less than excellent? I think the winery is hugely aware of their 'standard-bearer' status for the entire region and would likely not do something to compromise the quality of the end product and risk diminishing their long-standing reputation for excellence - like bottling a QdC that isn't worthy of that designation.

What is being argued here, is the method by which they create their product. While Mr. Budd may feel he has Baumard cornered and is seizing an opportunity to right some grave injustice, this is quickly becoming a blur of village politics to most of the rest of the world. The area is not especially large in size and the number of producers relatively few, so it's understandable that the objections seem mostly grounded in partisan bickering to control whatever vested interest the complaining party is protecting. None of which can be good publicity for the entire region, which is probably better served gaining notice for the quality of their wines than their ability to point fingers at each others.

My objection here, is that this appears (at least to me), to be little more than a smear campaign orchestrated to unseat Baumard as the standard-bearer for the region. Having just read a NY Times article from a year ago that presents a far more balanced assesment (though no doubt, far less detailed) than I have read from any of Mr. Budd's blogs regarding Baumard, I came away with a very different frame of reference.

If a crime has been commited, then call the authorities charged with enforcing the rules. Didn't the INAO declassify some 5,000+ cases of Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais for being atypical of the appelation? Unless I somehow missed it, no one, including Mr. Budd, has produced laboratory documents that supports their speculation with regard to Baumard's yields and ripeness levels. Some may think a bit of armchair weather analysis and a few selected photos suffices to conduct a trial in the press, but doing so absent tangible evidence seems a reckless approach to journalism.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #34  Postby Jim Brennan » March 5th 2013, 6:22pm

Z. A c s a n wrote:If a crime has been commited, then call the authorities charged with enforcing the rules. Didn't the INAO declassify some 5,000+ cases of Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais for being atypical of the appelation? Unless I somehow missed it, no one, including Mr. Budd, has produced laboratory documents that supports their speculation with regard to Baumard's yields and ripeness levels. Some may think a bit of armchair weather analysis and a few selected photos suffices to conduct a trial in the press, but doing so absent tangible evidence seems a reckless approach to journalism.


Aside from the pictures, which of course can't convey the general levels of ripeness, what do you think the likelihood is that Baumard alone in the region has achieved such large yields and sufficient ripeness levels?

While i'm not an INAO fan, and certainly agree that AOC politics are often ugly and have lots of negative results, I also think there's some merit in the concept that historical / regional practices also are a component of terroir, and that there's a reasonable case to outlaw some practices. Having said that, it cryo-extraction is not yet illegal in QdC, so the issue is whether Baumard transgressed with regard to yields and ripeness. Given levels elsewhere in the region, it seems like there's a reasonable case to be made that he has done just that.

It seems like Baumard should simply create his own proprietary vin du table blend, using whatever techniques he desires. But then of course, he'd have to accept losing the AOC designation. It seems like he has a choice to make. Frankly it seems he should have established enough of a brand to take this path, and the current hullabaloo would be a great way to get the most marketing impact by making a big announcement.
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Re: Baumard "hits back" vs Jim Budd

Post #35  Postby Z. A c s a n » March 5th 2013, 10:33pm

Jim Brennan wrote:Aside from the pictures, which of course can't convey the general levels of ripeness, what do you think the likelihood is that Baumard alone in the region has achieved such large yields and sufficient ripeness levels?


Photos viewed on non-calibrated monitors from image files posted on the Internet are problematic in terms of rendering color accurately. Using internet photos to render a judgment based on divining ripeness levels isn't really the best means of supporting this claim of wrong doing. While I don't honestly believe Mr. Budd would stoop to manipulating the photos themselves, there are certain inherent limitations and any number of variables [which is a whole 'nuther can of worms], such that it essentially negates the value of the presented photos for purposes of making such a critical assesment.

Even the rainfall evidence presented by Mr. Budd is suspect. The stats were drawn from a weather station in Beaucouzé, just under 20 kilometers north of the vineyards. Budd minimizes the problem by assuring it "would not be significantly different". Hmm. Across the river and further south and at a different elevation, but it matters not to Mr. Budd. I know that microclimates can be vastly different from much closer proximities than that. While I don't know enough about the area to hazzard an opinion on local microclimates, I defintely would have taken the time to further research such important and relevant information, before publishing a blog entry that basically calls someone a liar on an global platform.

Mr. Budd makes comparisons of yields based on the two French Customs declaration for QdC in 2012. I have no idea how comparable the two different producers are in any given year, so that information, absent a frame of reference, makes it hard to draw any conclusions based soley on the numbers quoted. I did read something on Chris Kissack's blog (winedoctor) about the unique-to-Baumard vineyard spacing and trellising system and wondered if that would be relevant here?

From that blog:

"The Baumard approach to viticulture is a notable one, and it does make it easy to spot the Baumard vines in any given appellation. They are trained in a fashion Baumard describe as vignes hautes et larges (sometimes abbreviated to VHL); the larges refers to the distance between the vines, a remarkable 3 metres between the rows and 0.8 metres between each vine, whereas the hautes refers to the high trellising system employed, taking the vines to a height of more than 2 metres, the object being to obtain a large surface area of foliage. During the vegetative period they see limited leaf-thinning along their base, but otherwise their is little intervention at this time, not even topping-off of the upper shoots as they reach for the sky above. Between the rows, the soil is alternatively ploughed and grassed over, a methodology the Baumards have been following for well over 30 years."

While i'm not an INAO fan, and certainly agree that AOC politics are often ugly and have lots of negative results, I also think there's some merit in the concept that historical / regional practices also are a component of terroir, and that there's a reasonable case to outlaw some practices. Having said that, it cryo-extraction is not yet illegal in QdC, so the issue is whether Baumard transgressed with regard to yields and ripeness. Given levels elsewhere in the region, it seems like there's a reasonable case to be made that he has done just that.


The whole Jean-Paul Brun declassification ordeal was nothing less than a nightmare for the winemaker. I read some of the details in a couple of Joe Dressner rants about the burnt rubber smell Brun's wines were said to posses, yet never seemed to materialize in the declassified wines that were shipped. A very sordid tales of village politics of the worst kind. At any rate, I do understand why the levels may appear as the smoking gun to some, but I have yet to see what other vignerons results have been, other than the Château de Variere numbers used by Budd. I did read (on winedoctor) that "Pithon-Paillé’s fruit in Quarts de Chaume will be declassified into Anjou Blanc." Given that the Mr. Budd seems to want to postion the story like a French version of Brunellopoli (in terms of importance), I'm sure more data will be forthcoming.

It seems like Baumard should simply create his own proprietary vin du table blend, using whatever techniques he desires. But then of course, he'd have to accept losing the AOC designation. It seems like he has a choice to make. Frankly it seems he should have established enough of a brand to take this path, and the current hullabaloo would be a great way to get the most marketing impact by making a big announcement.


Baumard could borrow a page from Argiano with their nose-thumbing Non Confunditur, but losing the AOC designation would create a significant financial loss, which would likely be plenty of motivation for not doing so. Whether Baumard has crossed the ethical/legal line is for more involved parties to decide, but if there are going to be alleogation of wrong doing leveled at the producer, Mr. Budd should at least make an effort to present such claims based on real facts and not extrapolated from data that is stretched to fit an authors presumptions and undisclosed agenda.
Either way, it sounds like Z e e

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