In a nutshell: A half bottle and sublime example of a well known Loire dessert wine from of the top producers.
The lowdown: Coteaux du Layon is an appellation in the Anjou area of the Loire Valley famous for its sweet wines made from Chenin Blanc. This cuvée from Domaine Baumard is described as moelleux which is one step down from the sweetest of all. It's an elegantly honeyed and balanced wine with a racy crispness that keeps it gloriously sweet yet fresh and light in the mouth. A touch of invigorating tartness leads nicely on to the rounded, lengthy finish.
When to drink: A real pleasure to drink it's a great partner for rich starters like foie gras and it works just as well at the end of the meal with desserts and cheeses.
One of the Loire's most lauded producers, Florent Baumard, based in Rochefort-sur-Loire, just across the river from Angers, has courted controversy by pursuing his own ideas and challenging the status quo.
In a deeply traditional region, his early adoption of screwcaps and different vine trellising systems marked him out as the enfant terrible of Savennières. His mantra now encompasses a belief in the individuality of each vintage, believing it should be made with minimal intervention to allow the wine to reflect its vintage and unique character. His Savennières from the famous vineyards of Clos St Yves and Clos du Papillon are rich, yet with a balance and elegance that are unrivalled. His top cuvée of 'Trie Speciale' is only made in very exceptional vintages when grape quality is optimal. It is a wine full of paradox, honeyed and yet dry, rounded and yet firm. The rich fruit, tremendous weight and concentration ensure that it is a thoroughly memorable experience.
Florent Baumard is certainly not afraid to make a statement, with his wines as much as his opinions on the INAO (Institut National de ''Origine et de la Qualité). His Savennières from the famous vineyards of Clos St Yves and Clos du Papillon are rich yet with a balance and elegance that are unrivalled. His top Cuvée of 'Trie Speciale' is only made in very exceptional vintages.
Baumard also produces impressive sweet wines. His Côteaux du Layon offers incredible value while his Quarts de Chaume is the kind of nectar that leaves a lasting memory.