Chidaine does not yet have the name recognition of more established Chenin Blanc producers such as Domaine Huet, but his insistence on toiling his vineyards by hand and his minimal-intervention, low sulfur biodynamic farming methods have garnered him high praise among the wine writing cognoscenti in a reasonably short period of time.
Chidaine’s wines are consistently well-made, which is to say that if some biodynamic/natural Loire producers simply churn out wild, rustic wines that are entirely hit or miss, he is a master of maturity, restraint, design and composition. His Chenins are reflective of terroir — indeed, this 2010 is unmistakably from Vouvray (as it should be) — but they also tend to be more than the sum of their parts, which speaks to Chidaine’s ability as a vigneron.
The 2010 ‘Clos Baudoin’ bottling possesses rare potential. A sip reveals all the characteristics of a good white wine; there’s no way even an uninitiated drinker could miss the balance of fruit, acidity and age-worthy structure. At present there are notes of floral honeysuckle, dried grass, green pear, baked Granny Smith, lemon rind and raisin. My guess is that if you asked Chidaine, noble rot was present on at least some of the grapes harvested.
There is also significant — if currently untapped — depth to this wine, and so my inclination would be to cellar it for another few years. It’s tasty now, but could be even better!
MSRP: $31.99 (April 2012)
Wine Lines Rating: 91