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Fresh as a spring garden and as delicate as a blossom in the afternoon breeze, Baumard's Carte Turquoise Crémant de Loire captures the essence of sparkling wine from France's fabled Loire Valley. As a fine Crémant de Loire and a proper Baumard Chenin Blanc, the Carte Turquoise exhibits a persistent, tiny bead; at the same time, it radiates from the glass a golden glow as if kissed by the summer sun. More importantly, this méthode traditionnelle Chenin Blanc offers delicate, sophisticated aromatics and plenty of soft, elegant flavors to beguile all the senses. Apple and cherry blossoms, fresh baked bread, and the fecundity of spring all come to fore in this wine. A myriad of flavors gently caress the mid plate and finish obligingly clean and perfectly dry. If there were enough of the balanced, lovely, supremely elegant Carte Turquoise to go around, it would be a staple at weddings and parties. No acid reflux or toxic burn from this sparkling wine. So, to begin the festivities, we suggest putting a good chill on this huggable sparkler (about 38° F). However, we prefer that it warm slowly in the glass to reveal its subtle charms and the great Anjou terroir from whence it comes. Salut!
Much of the beauty of Loire Valley crémant is its gentleness and versatility, and Baumard's Carte Turquoise Crémant de Loire excels on both counts. Consequently, it pairs well with a wide array of hors d'oeuvres and canapés, and it can even hold its own with smoked salmon, replete with capers and onions. It provides an excellent complement to fish, especially lightly grilled or sautéed perch and trout. In addition, it serves as a charming aperitif. Ordinarily, we prefer to consume Champagne and sparkling wines, the Baumard Carte Turquoise included, at the beginning of the evening's festivities. However, for those among us who still insist upon saving the bubbly for after dinner, fear not. Carte Turquoise has a natural affinity for fruit and cheese. Together, they make for a splendid way to finish a meal. Port Salut and other cow's milk cheeses shine with this elegant sparkling wine. Moreover, the gentleness of this wine makes it easy to consume after a substantial meal. Salut!
Domaine des Baumard lies tucked away in the tiny village of Rochefort-sur-Loire, just south of Savennières, in the very heart of the ancient Duchy of Anjou. This property is an impeccably run estate that has been fashioning outstanding Loire Valley wines since 1634. The historical Baumards are viticulturists who specialize in two grape varietals, the great but now nearly forgotten Chenin Blanc variety, and Cabernet Franc, the Loire Valley's premier red grape. Under the recent guardianship of Jean and Florent Baumard, Domaine des Baumard has soared to new heights, even as many of Baumard's neighbors have struggled to maintain their marginal vineyards.
Although Domaine des Baumard has played a key role in producing great Loire Valley wines for centuries, much of the modern-day lore can be attributed to Jean Baumard, Florent's father, who resurrected this family property in the 1950s and 1960s after decades of decline due to phyloxerra, economic depression, and the ever-shifting tastes of the wine-drinking public. For decades, the Baumards, like many of their neighbors, were forced to concentrate their efforts on their nursery business and the cultivation of vines rather than winemaking. That is, until the 1950s, when Jean began acquiring several of the greatest vineyards in Côteaux-du-Layon and Quarts de Chaume and refocused the family's effort into the crafting of the greatest of all Loire Valley wines.
Presently, Domaine des Baumard has one of the most extensive portfolios of Anjou wines, including outstanding dry Savennières offerings, sweet treasures from Côteaux-du-Layon and Quarts de Chaume, a beautiful, highly perfumed Cabernet Franc, and at least three of the Loire Valley's most enjoyable sparkling wines, which includes Carte Turquoise. There are also a number of limited productions from single vineyards. All of Baumard's wines are hand harvested, and each of the estate's wines is made in small, individual lots.
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