On the first day in the Loire I hit the ground running, going straight fromt the plane to Tours and out into Chinon. Laurent and I visited Domaine Rouet first and then Bernard Baudry.
Here's a picture of Laurent's awesome old Renault. What could be more authentic to tear around touring wineries in! Pulling up in this gave us way more credibility than a Mercedes or BMW.
Here I am in the cellar with Jean Francois Rouet. He's a sixth generation wine maker who farms biodynamically on about 22 acres next to the Vienne river. Chinon has a wide range of soils ranging from sand and sedimentary soil down near the river to gravel and then tuffe rock and clay rising up to the plateau. His 2010 Chinon was made from a blend of sandy and sedimentary vineyards and was very balanced, linear, and approachable. Then we tasted a 09 vintage Chinon that had come from a more gravel dominated vineyard. It was bigger, denser, had more tannin, and seemed like it needed more time to mellow out. So of course we tried the 2005 vintage of the same wine. The 2005 was a bit less tannic and aggressive, it had indeed mellowed out, but it was still tight seeming and had some spicy earthy qualities. The 2005 Rouet Chinon still seemed young. So we opened a 1989 Domaine Rouet Chinon that had been made by his mother. The 1989, also from the gravel dominated part of their vineyard was gorgeous but still powerful. The 89 Chinon still had dark, dense black cherry fruit and didn't taste old at all, but it was more integrated, the tannins were perfectly balanced, and it was showing more of a mocha flavor on the finish as opposed to the spicier qualities of the younger wines.
We took that home.