TN: 2016 Baudry - Chinon "Le Clos Guillot" (France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon)

2016 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Clos Guillot - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon (12/2/2020)
– decanted 15 min. before initial taste –
– tasted non-blind over 3 hours –

NOSE: complex; savory; medium+ expressiveness; stony; burnt candle.

BODY: medium-light bodied; garnet-violet color of medium to medium-deep depth.

TASTE: savory; plum/stony/garrigue mix; med+ to high acidity; very fine, gentle, tannins; slight TCA note occasionally appeared, but nothing else suggested TCA, and the wine was fairly expressive, so hard to explain what was going on there; juicy; plum & dark red berries — loganberry and boysenberry; very light, old, oak. Really nice wine. Drinking well now, and I’d guess it ages well, too.

50, 5, 12, 17, 9 = (93 pts.)

They do age well. Thanks for the note.

Haven’t had that many Clos Guillot, but from what I read, it’s the most ‘clean’ Baudry out there-is that a fair description?

I can’t really say, Mike, as I tend to buy only the Guillot and Croix Boissee bottlings. That said, I’ve had bottles of each of those that had some level of brett; it’s a bit of a crapshoot.

“Clean” feels kind of pejorative as a descriptor. I would describe Guillot as the higher toned, less tannic, “prettier” of the bottlings–sort of the Pinot Noir of the group.

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Really? Why?

I use it to denote a wine that doesn’t have brett. Yes, sometimes I just say, “No brett.” But I never use “clean” in a pejorative manner — do others?

Sorry–I meant the reverse–saying a wine is the most clean of a winery’s wines implies that the other wines are not clean. I don’t think there’s any more or less brett in one Baudry vineyard bottling vs another.

Cool. And I suppose I should have been able to figure that out, John, as further review of my TN shows I didn’t even use the term “clean”; that clearly came from Mike’s post. … but my comments remain, as I do frequently use that term in the manner I described!

Ha, I’ve always called it the “merlot” of the group, for similar reasons. More fleshy and approachable, generally, that Croix Boissee and Grezeaux. Always cracks me up to see the “clean versus unclean” references regarding Baudry. If you are a Loire Valley Cab Franc person, and grew up drinking the likes of old Joguet, Raffault, Lenoir, Breton, et al, you might conclude Baudry is the least bretty of the bunch. I have never had a bottle of Baudry that I would say had pronounced brett in it.

At the risk of re-opening a wound, I think that there are some folks out there that have trouble telling a pyrazine from a band-aid. Brian clearly is not one of them, as it’s clear that he has one of the better brett-meters around. But I think that Guillot is a vineyard that tends to have less of the Chinon pyrazine component, in comparison with say Grezeaux. So it comes across as being a “cleaner” wine, when in fact it’s not a clean-ness issue, just a vineyard difference, and an issue for those that can’t really tell Chinon Cab Franc character from Brett.

Pyrazine and band-aid are nothing alike. I think there is a reduction element that Cab Franc can have that smells similar to brett. The thing is is that always fades. Brett doesn’t.

Some bottlings of Baudry definitely have a component that is brett-like and doesn’t fade. That equals brett to me. I haven’t encountered it with the Clos Guillot bottling. Brian has called out brett on Baudry previously and rightly so. Baudry reached some level of geek royalty some years ago so anytime anyone calls out a flaw the orthodoxy runs to the rescue.

Brett is NOT necessarily a huge flaw to me. When it dominates a wine it is. If it’s just another note among many I’m totes down with it. I’ve had mixed experiences with the Grezeaux. There are plenty of producers in that price range that I’d personally rather have as I’ve never felt it was exceptional in the category and have honestly always scratched my head at the extra credit it seems to get. My experience with the Les Granges was pretty terrible and would never buy that again without tasting. I have Clos Guillot and find it good value though not exceptional. I have some Croix Boissee I’m looking forward to trying when it sounds like they are mature.

I’m not sure why Guillot would have any more or less brett than any of the other Baudry bottlings. That’s why I wonder if the differences that folks experience are not brett related. I don’t see any reason why it should be a “cleaner” bottling.


I haven’t had enough baudry to call it bretty or not (though the dozen or so bottles I’ve had of it through the years were essentially brett-free, unlike say Olga Raffault), but in general a vineyard doesn’t impart brett. Can a wine’s components better mask a low level of brett?

Backing away from “clean” or “brett” specificity, I think it could be a factor that the Guillot is simply more fleshy, ripe and approachable than Grezeauz and Croix Boissee. At least that is my perception of Guillot in most years. I’ve bought it every year since the 07 vintage, though generally prefer the other two cuvees, if we are splitting hairs. Guillot did slay it in 15. I’ve not yet tried the 17, but sounds like snitched winner.