Friday, February 26, 2010

Chateau Pierre Bise Anjou Blanc, 2001

One of my favorite white wines is Savennieres--a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley that seems to live forever, developing nuance on top of nuance. I have bottles from the late 1970s and early 1980s that I dip into for special occasions.
Anjou Blanc is another Chenin Blanc wine from the Loire, considerably less expensive than Savennieres or Vouvray...or nearly any other wine on the market. I bought several cases of this 2001 Anjou Blanc for my daughter's wedding in 2005. I thought it had more depth and flavor interest than most white wines available at that time...and it was only about $50 a case! This is my last bottle from that stash, and it's holding up well.

The color is now a deep gold, and the fruit smells and flavors are considerably more pungent than they were in the wine's youth. In fact, I think I detect some botrytis, which is not unusual in Pierre Bise Chenin Blancs. I smell pears, green berries, peach stones, honey and hazelnuts. For a white wine, it's really very tannic and firm on the palate. This Anjou Blanc lacks the prettiness and sweetness of most young Vouvrays and it may never become as profound as a top Savennieres, but it's aged well and has considerable depth and flavor interest. If you see the current vintage of this Pierre Bise wine, it will probably cost you a good bit more than the price I paid in 2004. Don't let that stop you from buying.

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