Chateau d'Epire

I am an avid fan of the bone dry, steely wines from Savennieres and we have had the great pleasure of working with the wonderfully pure Savennieres of Chateau d’Epire, for many years and the wines have always been firm favourites. The vineyards of the aristocratic Chateau d'Epire amount to 11 ha of vines, with 9 planted with the Chenin Blanc, grown on three separate parcels. 4.5 hectares of 'Le Parc' which surround the Chateau, 2.5 hectares of 'La Croix Picout' overlooking the Loire and the vineyard 'Le Hu-Boyau' which is situated just above 'Coulee de Serrant'. The wonderful Chateau has been in the Bizard family since the 17th Century and is managed today by Paul Bizard, who took over from his father Luc in 2018. Paul is keen to retain the estate’s traditional approach and sustainable methods, but has re-named a number of the wines produced, to give a truer recognition of their origin. The ‘Le Parc’, formerly simply known as Savennieres, is a Cuvee produced from the 4.5 ha vineyards of ‘Le Parc’, which surround the Chateau.

The vineyards are worked traditionally and meticulously. Luc places great importance on cultivating the soils and does not believe in changing the way the vineyards are managed to 'follow a trend'. Grass is grown between the rows and strict, manual pruning, helps restrict yields.

The harvest here is also by hand with a number of tri, usually three. This excludes any further selection for any late picked berries in those vintages which permit the making of a Moelleux Cuvee. Ordinarily, there are now three cuvees produced, the Chateau d'Epire 'Classic', the Cuvee speciale and the Le Hu-Boyau. We have always found the Cuvee Speciale to be a huge step up from the basic Epire, offering much greater gras and complexity. This Cuvee is actually a selection of the best vats, however, it invariably comes from the part of the vineyard which lies adjacent to the Coulee de Serrant. this is the highest part of the vineyard, in a great exposition, with significant sun and wind.

Once the vats have been selected the winse are blended and transferred into double barrique for the elevage. The barrels are always several years old to avoid making the wine too oaky. This is a sensational, traditional style of Savennieres. It possesses majestic purity with superb weight, concentration and complexity. The length is breathtaking.
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