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Thibaud Boudignon Savennières Clos de la Hutte 2020

Thibaud Boudignon Savennières Clos de la Hutte 2020

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Variety: Chenin Blanc
Country, Region: France, Loire
Appellation: Savennières

Situated in the commune of La Possonniere, the Clos de la Hutte is an ancient religious site of 7 hectares, of which 2.6 are planted with vines. At the heart of this ancient monastery are vines produced from a massal selection of Chenin Blanc coming from the best domaines of the Loire. 5 different varieties of Chenin were planted together so as to best express the intensity and singularity of this special place. There is also a small part of this vineyard planted ungrafted on its own root-stock so in coming years there will a Franc de Pied version of Clos de la Hutte.
50% vinified in oval demi muid, 25% in 320 liter cigars, and 25% in 500 liter. The ageing lasts one year in wood and a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel. The Clos de la Hutte seduces with its aromatic finesse and the intense minerality in the mouth. A great terroir with the solid schist mother rock close to the surface, it combines the qualities of the other parcels : great aromatic precision and obvious minerality, perfect balance between mineral and richness, nothing austere with a complex nose of gun-flint, the citrus notes, a mouth that is sharp and precise, an aerien and salty finish.

This has seen out at élevage in oak for 18 months, followed by another 8 months in bottle, before they were released for sale. This was, for Thibaud, the first vintage when he was also to focus exclusively on his own winery without thinking about his work at Clos de Soucherie. This is rich in aromatic and waxy peach, with layers of crushed flint minerals, primrose and verbena. The palate is just divine, textured and savoury, infused with lightly bitter peach skin, pear, orange pith, aniseed and fennel, all cut with brilliant mineral and acid veins. Intense yet focused, with balanced minerality. Exceptional quality, depth and focus here. A truly stunning example of Savennières. Fabulous, so long too, with a tingling sense of conviction, eager to please and yet cerebral. It brims with cellar potential. The alcohol on the label is 12.5%. 96 points, Chris Kissack,, November 2023

The 2020 Clos de la Hutte is a wine that makes your shoulders drop such is its tranquility and sense of comfort in your mouth. It blooms in the mouth and does so without any sense of heaviness. The finish, scented with flowers and nectarines, is long, fragrant and textural. I hate using the word minerality as it means so many different things to people, but in my opinion, this has it in spades. It is incredible that the vines were only planted in 2011 on the schistous site on the grounds of a former monastery. Aged in larger format barrels, there’s no sense of oakiness, allowing the purity of this wine to shine bright. 96 points, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous Media, June 2022

Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of wet stone, tree blossoms, lemon pith, and grapefruit. In the mouth, incredibly silky flavors of lemon pith, lemon oil, unripe pear, acacia blossom, and quince have a cistern-like minerality with deep stony depths. Incredible acidity, great length. One of the best mouthfuls of Chenin Blanc I have had in a long time. This wine ages in 30% new oak of various sizes for 18 months before spending another year in the bottle before release. 12.5% alcohol. Score: between 9.5 and 10. Vinography, Alder Yarrow, August 2022

Thibaud Boudignon

'The three wines of Boudignon were the best dry chenins that I tasted at the Salon of Angers, we are at the level of 1er Cru and Grand Cru Burgundy.' Michel Bettane

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, Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux (amongst others) and also in Australia he has been (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 a total of just 7 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 famous La Roche-aux-Moines vineyard). He has also planted another vineyard, Le Clos de Fremine, just south of Savennieres near the village of La Possonnière with sandy soil and across the road is his main vineyard Clos de la Hutte beside which he has built a remarkable small and modern winery which is regulated by thermal energy which is submerged below the ground around the winery. Given the small size of the winery it is clear that he intends to concentrate on small quantities of chenin blanc which are already pushing the boundaries of what has been accepted as possible with this variety.

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. During the growing season he employs one person per hectare to manage the vines. In the winery the grapes are whole bunch pressed with no settling and the juice kept cold before starting a long slow fermentation. He vinifies with natural yeasts and ages the wines on lees with minimal SO2 in a mixture of barrels ranging from 300-600 litres. There are hogsheads, cigares, puncheons and small 600 litre foudres from the highly regarded Austrian cooper, Stockinger. Ultimately though, new oak influence is not a part of the style. This results in wines of striking purity, depth and intensity, with each wine clearly reflecting its particular terroir. They are really profound wines with terrific freshness and structure that have the capacity to age well for many years.

All the white wines are 100% Chenin Blanc. Availability is very limited and the wines sell out quickly each year.

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