Château Pierre Bise - Philosopher King of Loire
"Most French regions have a philosopher-king in their midst: a grower who not only tends his vines with great solicitude and vinifies his fruit with skill, but who asks the deep questions which others forget to pose, and who then teases out answers which will, sooner or later, lift the game for all.
Claude Papin performs this role for the central zone of the Loire - and not coincidentally overdelivers in all three of Anjou's wine styles: red wines (from Anjou-Villages), dry whites (a range from different sites in both Savennières and Anjou-Villages) and sweet whites (from Coteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume). The range is large and complex, and Papin goes to extraordinary lengths to give voice to every nuance of which they are capable. Look out, in particular, for his Sur Spilite red Anjou and Coteaux du Layon-Beaulieu Les Rouannières: the volcanic rock on which both are grown is the 'pierre bise' of the domaine name. But whatever the appellation and price point, this magnificent domaine will leave you with an intimate understanding of Anjou's extraordinary intricacy and richness." (Decanter, 2012)