Château Pierre-Bise Chaume 1er Cru des Coteaux du Layon 2003

Curiously, I believe this appellation no longer “exists,” having been redefined out of existence by the INAO. Of course on anything but a technical level that is a ridiculousness; wines from this area now go by the “Chaume” label, pure and simple. At least, I think so…

This is a sweet wine made from the Chenin Blanc grape. Yes, I’m still tasting Loire Chenins. I’m kind of addicted to them at this stage, and happily so, as there’s nothing remotely like them from a local perspective. This one shows a rich golden hue, suggesting some development or at least a degree of lusciousness. The nose is forthright and inviting, with notes of pineapple, passionfruit and enough edgy flint to keep things from becoming too easy. Some complexity, with honeyed notes contributing to the overall profile.

On the palate, an explosive continuation of tropical fruit is most noticeable, but the mouthfeel and associated structure is what gets me. There’s a nice interplay between fine acidity and considerable viscosity that helps the wine to appear both fresh and rich at the same time. The flavour profile turns to citrussy sourness on the after palate, before a long, herb-tinged finish.

Nice wine. Unlike some dry Chenin-based wines, this one tends towards opulence rather than intellectuality, without sacrificing character and a measure of complexity too.

Château Pierre-Bise
Price: $NA (500mL)
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: September 2008