Château Pierre-Bise, 2011 Update

In previous years I have on occasion not tasted Claude Papin’s most recent releases at the Salon des Vins de Loire, safe in the knowledge that I would be visiting him later in the year. As a result I missed out on a chance to get to grips with the full range of wines from the latest vintage, and in 2011 I was keen not to repeat that mistake. And so very shortly after my arrival in Angers this year I sat down with Claude, together with his wife Joëlle (pictured below) together with their sons Rene and Christophe, to taste through a host of wines from the 2009 vintage, and one solitary representative of 2010.

Claude Papin, Pierre Bise

Claude determined the order of tasting, and so we kicked off with his three offerings from Savennières, two of which – the Clos de Coulaine and Clos le Grand Beaupréau – I have tasted before in this vintage, at the domaine and with Claude in London last year. Both showed very consistently, although they fell into the shadow cast by the previously untasted 2009 Roche-aux-Moines cuvée, which showed a fine and more polished composition than the first two wines. Things started to get even more interesting with his Haut de la Garde cuvée though; for those surprised that this ‘mere’ Anjou cuvée should be poured after the trio of Savennières, a quick taste was all that was required to see that this was the correct order for these wines; they are rich, grippy and minerally, more than a match for the first three wines.

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