Only a handful of producers we work with have been with Kermit since the 1970s, and Epiré is one of those chosen few. Through thick and thin, changing fashions and tastes, both Kermit and the estate had the foresight to keep on keepin’ on. I can’t imagine what it was like to try to sell a rustic, bone-dry Chenin Blanc back in the day when Chardonnay was King in full regalia of buttery oak. Seems to me, though, that wine drinkers today seek and enjoy character and flair.
The Bizard family has cultivated Chenin, known locally as Pineau de la Loire, for six generations, creating timeless wines from this schist and sandstone terroir adjacent to the Loire. Savennières produces a fascinating expression of Pineau, with lively acidity and pronounced minerality in youth before developing a striking range of aromas with age. This bottling from Epiré is a lovely young Savennières to enjoy now, with notes of fresh exotic fruit and a round mouthfeel leading to a stony, mouthwatering finish—a whole lotta wine for the price.
Chateau d'EpireView all from Chateau d'Epire
One of the oldest and most celebrated domaines in Savennières, Chateau d'Épiré is rich in history, not only for its fabulous architectural rendition of the Petit Trianon of Versailles, but most especially for its exquisite wines. Savennières is situated just southwest of Angers, on the north bank of the Loire River. Vines have been cultivated there since the time of the Romans. The Plantagenet dynasty allowed for the first exports of the wine to be sent to Great Britian in the 11th century. The domaine itself has been in the Bizard family continuously since the 17th century. The most recent owners and caretakers of the land are Monsieur and Madame Luc Bizard. They own eleven hectares, nine of which are entirely dedicated to the cultivation of Pineau de la Loire, known today as Chenin Blanc. The château is exquisite, but the pièce de résistance is their winery, formerly a Romanesque chapel, which is from the 12th century. Truly a blessed wine!