A Visit to Château Pierre-Bise, 2010

Having recently written up my meeting with Claude and Joëlle Papin (as well as Yves Guégniard and Vincent Ogereau) in London at the lunch and tasting to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of RSJ, Nigel Wilkinson’s Loire-focused restaurant, it seems only proper that I now look back to my other tasting of Claude’s wines this year, when I visited Château Pierre-Bise in July.

I readily confess that if I ever find myself anywhere near Château Pierre-Bise it is very difficult for me to not pay a visit; whereas Domaine Huet holds my personal award for most-visited-domaine in all the Touraine appellations, in Anjou that crown is most certainly worn by King Claude. And with good reason. He is a thoughtful winemaker, usually brimming over with philosophies on terroir-expression, the soils and stones with which he works, and the interplay between these and that other great influence on the white wines of Anjou, botrytis. And this dedication comes through into the glass, the wines themselves often vibrant, pure, rich and exciting.

Château Pierre-Bise

Although the wines tasted here were of high quality across the board, one or two are perhaps worthy of extra comment. My favourite from among the dry wines presented was the 2008 Savennières Roche-aux-Moines, a wine which displayed the fine definition of the terroir, linear and bitter in style, challenging and precise. It is a wine that should be destined for the cellar, although I have to confess I have already consumed a couple of bottles from those that I purchased.

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