Château Pierre-Bise, 2013 Update

Astute readers may have noticed before my summer break, when I disappeared off to the subtropical island of Madeira for three weeks (what a coincidence – a destination that just happens to be rich in vinous treasures!) I published a report on a dinner at La Table de la Bergerie, featuring the wines of three top Anjou vignerons, Claude Papin, Vincent Ogereau and Yves Guégniard. The dinner followed an afternoon of tasting with the trio, in each case looking at a comprehensive selection of their latest releases. Having already added my notes from the dinner, I continue here by moving back to look at the wines of Claude Papin.

Claude Papin, Château Pierre-Bise

Claude needs no real introduction; like François Chidaine of Montlouis or the late Didier Dagueneau of Pouilly-Fumé, he is a character who seems to transcend local inconveniences such as regulation and appellation to become bigger than the sphere within which they work. His wines are often masterpieces although, as over the years I have come to taste more widely and often much earlier than I used to, I have also discovered that they can be very challenging beasts in their youth. This year’s array of new bottlings, featuring wines largely from the 2011 and 2010 vintages (with just a couple of exceptions), included some that were bristling with reductive angularity, wines with real attitude which will need a year or two – at the very least – to settle down in bottle.

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