Château Pierre-Bise, 2018 Update

It was in 1959 that the Papin family first made their mark in Anjou, when Pierre Papin purchased Château Pierre-Bise and the few parcels of vines that came with it. Pierre was joined by his son Claude in 1974, and the domaine’s reputation – and that of Claude himself – began to grow. As indeed did his vineyard holdings, particularly when he took over a variety of plots from his father-in-law, in doing so gaining new footholds in Rochefort-sur-Loire, Chaume and Quarts de Chaume. In the 1990s he added the vines of the Clos de Coulaine, in Savennières, to his portfolio. As a consequence, by the time his sons Christophe and René joined him in his work, in 1997 and 2001 respectively, the domaine had grown to 50 hectares.

Château Pierre-Bise

The trio have this worked together on the domaine for more than fifteen years, although for much of that time Claude remained the face and the figurehead of the estate, with Christophe and René remaining very much in the shadows. With Claude now taking a backseat though, this is certainly changing. Last year I tasted the domaine’s most recent releases with René, who tends to look after the winemaking while Christophe spends more time in the vineyards, while Claude was nowhere to be seen. And this was not a one-off. Earlier this year I tasted the domaine’s forthcoming releases and once again René was my guide.

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