|Quarts de Chaume
Notes of spiced apple and pear with some lovely honey and chamomile touches. The palate is ripe and concentrated with a creamy honeyed richness, but then you get that balancing bright Chenin acidity to lift the finish. Drinking range: 2019 - 2025 L&S (Apr 2020)
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Disctinctly orange-coloured in the glass, with an intense and beguiling bouquet. There's a definite savoury element to the fore: lanolin, hay and a touch of smoke. The palate is enticing, fiery, with ginger and candied orange peel dripping from the glass. The flavours evolve as they float across the tongue - now dried orange, now almond, now panettone. It's rich and thick in the mouth and reminds me of apricot jam or marmalade. The acidity could be a little higher to sweet away this sweetness, but it feels in balance. Drinking range: 2021 - 2029 Rating: 94 Decanter Magazine (May 2021)
Château de Pierre Bise
Claude Papin has been joined running this famed estate by his son Rene and the team seem to be seamlessly continuing the great work at the Château de Pierre Bise that has rightfully built their great reputation. They like to focus on getting the ripest and most botrytised grapes possible by harvesting non-stop for two months, fri the sweet wines only taking the rot-affected grapes on each of several passes down each row of vines. For the dry wines they are looking for fully mature polyphenols and thin mature skins to add complexity and a pure intensity. The Labour intensive process continue and also in the winery, in prolonging the fermentations for as long as possible to achieve the greatest purity and freshness of expression in the wines. (If you ask Claude he will explain that it is all to do with the correct polymerisation of the polyphenols). In doing this he completely avoids the wet-sheep smell that dogs many Chenin wines in the Loire, and produces a range of wines from different terroirs which are among the great sweet wines of the world at some of the lowest prices for this style.
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