Variety: Chenin Blanc
Country, Region: France, Loire Valley
'The Baumard family own 7 hectares of the Clos du Papillon which itself amounts to about 14.5 hectares, the remaining 7.5 hectares shared out between two other owners. Its name is derived from its shape, which resembles that of a butterfly (or papillon), when viewed from the slope opposite. Underfoot the terroir is principally schist, varying with the slope; there are other igneous and some metamorphic rocks at the top of the slope, especially rhyolite and quartz, whereas towards the bottom the soils take on a more sandy feel. The Baumard vines are in the eastern part of the vineyard, more on schist and sand. The vines are principally Chenin Blanc, although there is also a small 0.8-hectare plot of Chardonnay near the edge of the vineyard. Although it seems plausible that the fruit of these Chardonnay vines were once harvested and vinified with the Chenin Blanc for the Clos du Papillon cuvée (very plausible, in fact), today these grapes are destined for the domaine’s Crémant de Loire.' thewinedoctor.com.
'Florent shares this well-known clos with two other proprietors. As with all his dry wines, the juice is vinified in stainless steel, there being no contact with wood at any time. This shows evident richness compared to the Clos de Saint Yves, with layers of beeswax and fragrant freesia. This translates onto a palate which shows a rather steely reserve, although it frames an expressive core of beeswax, dried pear and lavender, with a little cheesy note to it. It feels tautly composed, showing lovely harmony, and definition, with admirable acid freshness given the vintage. I suspect this will develop well in the cellar; keep yours ten or twenty years – or more – to find out. The alcohol on the label is 14%. although the true figure is lower than this. Under screwcap.' 93 points, Chris Kissack, Wine Doctor, February 2023.
'When this small portion of Anjou Coteaux de la Loire produced only sweet wines, the AOC regulations set a correspondingly low maximum yield. This concentrates the wines on four southeast-facing slopes of volcanic debris that produce the world’s greatest dry Chenin Blanc. Bone-dry to dry wines of great mineral intensity, Savennières can be some of the longest-lived dry white wines in the world. Most critics believe that the single greatest Savennières is Nicolas Joly’s Clos de la Coulée de Serrant and, while I agree that it is one of the greatest wines of the Loire, I think that Baumard’s Clos du Papillon (not to be confused with Clos du Papillon from other growers) consistently displays greater elegance and finesse.' Tom Stephenson, The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia, 2011.
'Florent Baumard is one of the world’s best winemakers, and you probably don’t know him. That’s because he produces Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, an all-too-often overlooked region. Baumard produces a range of dry and sweet wines, topped by his Quarts de Chaume. And perhaps the best part of Baumard’s new wines is that they are now all under screw cap. Bravo to Florent Baumard for making this decision based on quality, not marketing.' James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2007