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Sep 12, 2007 12:18 PM

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.