From: Loire Valley, France
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Tasting Notes: The 2019 Pierre Bise Le Haut de la Garde Anjou Blanc reveals a rich, ripe fruit profile, with notes of honeyed stone fruit, quince, and a hint of wool. Accents of mandarin zest and white flowers add a refreshing lift to the aromas, while the palate is full and rich, finishing with a vibrant lift and phenolic texture. This wine is perfect for the cooler months (or transitions into spring), making it a must-have for your fall and winter celebrations.
Pairing: This versatile wine pairs wonderfully with a wide range of dishes, making it an excellent choice for your Thanksgiving dinner. Other delightful pairings include soft and stinky cheeses, mushroom and cream dishes, and seasonal fall and winter vegetables. For a touch of luxury, serve this Anjou Blanc with creamy lobster tails (or check out the Lobster Roll recipe below) or lemon butter cod to truly elevate your dining experience.
Maine Coast Lobster Rolls
By The New York Times
About Château Pierre Bise: Claude and Joelle Papin-Chevalier started Château Pierre Bise thirty years ago. Claude Papin (a former President of the Technical Institute of the Vine and of Wine) and his wife are the most polemic defenders of the Anjou terroir, being perhaps unsurprisingly very good friends with Marcel Deiss from Alsace. They control over 32 hectares of vines, producing a vast array of single-parcel whites, reds, and sweet wines. However, it is his sweet wines for which he is most famous, and in particular those from the Côteaux du Layon.
Philosophy. At the core of the Papin philosophy for sweet wines lies three concepts: terroir, polyphenols, and botrytis. It is his belief that a wine will only truly become a “vin de terroir” rather than a “vin de cepage” through the interplay of these three aspects; ie. in order for a wine to be able to express its terroir, it must be allowed to retain its polyphenols, which requires a rapid rate of infection by botrytis, thus, in his opinion, avoiding the cleavage of the polyphenol molecules.
Methodology. The South-West orientation of the vines in the Coteaux du Layon, combined with the natural morning mists that come off the Layon leads to a natural onset of botrytis. Papin harvests continually over two months, taking only the grapes that are at their peak of botrytisation on each of several passes that he makes for each row of vines. He then naturally ferments as slowly as possible, without the addition of sugar, in order to keep as much purity of expression as he can. This gives wines that have a great balance of sweetness and acidity without any of the bad Chenin odours that can be seen in other less carefully cared for wines.