2019 Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de la Hutte
Based in Savennieres, Thibaud Boudignon is one of the new young stars of the Loire Valley. In addition to his prime plots in Savennieres, Thibaud also owns two small vineyards across the river on the south side of the Loire in the Anjou. Thibaud has worked with Philippe Charlopin in Gevrey Chambertin, Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux (amongst others) and also in Australia before settling in the Loire, thereby building up a wealth of experience without having been born into a wine producing family. Working organically in the vineyards he harvests by hand making successive tries throughout each vineyard ending with yields that are much lower than the appellation rules allow. In the winery the grapes are whole bunch pressed with no settling and the juice is 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.
Situated in the commune of La Possonnière, 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. Vinification occurs in 50% oval demi muid, 25% in 320 liter cigars, and 25% in 500 liter barriques. The ageing lasts one year in wood and a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel.
The 2019 Clos de la Hutte is the site that spoke to Boudignon when he arrived in Savennières. Once the site of a monastery, it's not yet a religious experience drinking this, but it's not got far to go: there's a sense of expansion in the mouth, followed by impressive structure, showing its serious intentions and a sense that it's good enough to eat. There's an intriguing white floral note alongside pear, followed up with energetic acidity. Excellent texture and sapidity on the finish, providing length and structure. This wine has it all: delicacy and power, structure and refinement. Unfortunately, frosts in 2019 were not kind so there is very little of it to go around. Drink 2021 - 2035.
Rebecca Gibb MW - Vinous