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AOC Quarts de Chaume

I was browsing a catalog when I came across this unfamiliar appellation in Loire. A quick google search turned up few helpful pages. Even the wiki page in French had relatively little to say other than that QdC is wholly contained within the Coteaux du Layon made entirely from chenin, producing high quality botrytised wines.

I'd appreciate any information regarding the appellation in general. What can I expect from this wine? Is it a closer to an off-dry vouvray or should I expect something to a Sauternes? It sounds like a good pairing with blue cheese?

And the specific wine in question is the '03 Domaine des Baumard. I've only had their Savennières.

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  1. you can expect a honeyed fruit cocktail. hope you got a good deal? wine library has the 05's(better reviewed than the 03's) for $55...

    1. From a good year, Quarts de Chaume can be comparable to a Sauternes. Different flavors since it's chenin blanc rather than sauvignon blanc-semillon. If you've got a place to cellar it, it's probably best to lay it down for ten years.

      The Loire may make the most underappreciated dessert wines in the world.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        ^^^
        "The Loire may make the most underappreciated dessert wines in the world."

        "may" = "does"

        :-)

      2. I adore Coteaux du Layon and haven't had the chance to try many QdC, but from that limited experience the basic facts are similar: the typical aroma/flavour profile isn't very Sauternes-like. Think peaches, honey, apples, sometimes lanolin -- like some heavier, richer Vouvrays (including some dry ones).

        QdC is always very sweet, i.e. liquoreux, but should have a solid acidic backbone and be extremely ageworthy.

        According to the dozen or so notes on the Baumard on Cellartracker, it is a fine, well balanced wine, and drinking well now. I don't know if it's a bit flabby because of the hot vintage, but if it is the upside is that you don't have to lay it down for a lifetime to enjoy it to the fullest.

        If you like Vouvray, Savennières, and Sauternes, odds are you'll like this stuff too. Personally, I'd make it dessert on its own.

        1. FWIW, the '03 Baumard (750) was on clearance for $46. The '05 (350) was $32. I'll probably try a bottle of the '03 and cellar another.

          Thanks for the help.

          And Robert, I agree. Great value relative to their counterparts.

          1. I don't know if I've had the '03, but Baumard Quarts de Chaume is consistentl one of my favorite sweet wines of the WORLD. For example, we had the 1995 against a 1990 d'Yquem at a tasting a couple of years ago, almost everyone (20 of us) at the table preferred the Baumard.

            The wines tend not to be AS sweet as a Sauternes, but they are deffinitely moelleux.

            4 Replies
            1. re: whiner

              >>> The wines tend not to be AS sweet as a Sauternes, but they are deffinitely moelleux. <<<

              And often with better acidity!

                1. re: zin1953

                  Actually they are often just a sweet as Sauternes but the higher acidity balances the sweetness better.

                  Baumard's 02 and 05 are stunning.

                  If you can find some 89s they were pretty spectacular and just beginning to approach what should be a very long prime.

                2. re: whiner

                  Gotta totally agree with whiner on this one. Baumard, in my mind, does some really special things with Chenin Blanc that can be mindblowing in some cases. If you liked the quarts du chaumes, check out their Coteaux du Layon"Clos St. Catherine". Seriously kickass. The interesting thing about the 03, incidentally, is that the really hot vintage will probably have affected the QdC less than the table wines. Look for 02 and 05, though, if you can find it. And I agree that the 95 is off the charts, although perhaps more difficult to find retail.

                3. I had a glass of this recently at Cyrus in Sonoma (same vintage, same producer) with a cheese course and it was really spectacular. Don't even really remember the cheese, but the wine had that really nice wet stone quality you find in a lot of Loire wines to keep the sweetness from getting too heavy.

                  1. Thanks for the tips. I'm a little surprised by the nearly unanimous opinion that it's nothing less than fabulous. I'll get myself a bottle or two along with the '05 and the Coteaux du Layon Catherine. Goodness I cant wait.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mengathon

                      btw, jj buckley just sent out this email:

                      Two of the most famous appellations of Anjou in regards to sweet wines are Quarts de Chaume and Coteaux du Layon. Baumard produces sweet Chenin Blanc from both of these sites, with their 2005 Quarts de Chaume receiving 98 points from the Wine Spectator. It is hard to believe that this wine costs only $60, a rare find in the wine world. Their 2004 Coteaux du Layon Clos de Ste Catherine garnered 93 points from Robert Parker and is only $38, making these wines some of the greatest values you can find. If you want to experience some of the most spectacular white wine in the world at an unbelievable price, Domaine des Baumard will not disappoint.

                      2004 Domaine des Baumard Coteaux du Layon Clos de Ste Catherine Chenin Blanc 750ml - $37.99
                      Wine Advocate, Jan 2007, 93 points: "From a sandy site near Rochefort and showing every sign of rigorous botrytis selection, the Baumard 2004 Coteaux du Layon Clos de Sainte Catherine displays a gorgeous bouquet of gardenia, quince jelly, orange, and pineapple. Succulent and rich yet wafting and dynamic in its palate interchange of mineral, floral, zesty and pungently herbal, and richly fruited elements, this finishes with a levitating, (magic-)carpet-like impression of quince, candied orange rind, quinine, flowers and minerals. Here is the satisfaction of a caper perfectly executed by a fine dusting of botrytis, but where you'll dust in vain afterward to pick up any finger prints! You can feel confident enjoying this anytime over the next 15 years."
                      Wine Spectator, May 2006, 93 points: "Great purity and drive, with clean-cut quince, fig and mineral notes that run from the start through the lengthy, fresh finish. Beautiful. Drink now through 2012. 580 cases made. –JM"

                      2005 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume Chenin Blanc 750ml - $59.99
                      Wine Spectator, May 2007, 98 points: "A jaw dropper, with orange blossom, persimmon, fig and quince flavors that remain remarkably bright and light thanks to riveting acidity and a superfine, minerally finish. Pure and perfectly balanced, this refuses to break down in the mouth. The best since the monster 1995. Drink now through 2032. 1,200 cases made. –JM"

                        1. re: whiner

                          you know me all too well... ;-)