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Château d'Epiré's Stunning Savennières is World-Class Chenin Blanc


Stylized image of Chateau d'Epire bottles
When looking at the vineyards of Savennières, it would be a crime to overlook Château d’Epiré, one of the grander and more noble domaines in the entire appellation.

—Chris Kissack, the Wine Doctor

Finding good value in the world's great wine regions can be as simple as looking just beyond the most famous villages or vineyards. This ‘edges of’ strategy is normally talked about in the context of Burgundy (“one village over from Chassagne!”), Châteauneuf-du-Pape (“sandy vineyards next to Rayas’!”), or Bordeaux (“a five minute bike ride from Pétrus!”), but it applies to slightly less famous regions, too.

In fact, in the by-no-means obscure Loire appellation of Savennières — home to Thibaud Boudignon, Nicolas Joly, and some of the greatest Chenin Blanc in the world — the ‘edges’ effect is quite dramatic. Consider Château d’Epiré, whose Cuvée Spéciale comes from a vineyard directly above the legendary Coulée de Serrant, and a mere stone’s throw from Domaine Roche-Aux-Moines.

Epiré, invigorated by a new generation taking over a few years ago, is making world-class Chenin Blanc. Both cuvées here are completely dry and acid-driven, but with those beautiful beeswax and lemon oil notes that typify good, traditional Savennières. But, mercifully, they cost far less than other top examples from the appellation, notably Joly’s Coulée de Serrant and Boudignon’s Clos de la Hutte.

Spéciale is sourced from the vineyard Le Hu-Boyau, which as we noted, overlooks Coulée de Serrant. The cuvée is aged in large-format oak, then blended by importer Kermit Lynch, who long ago insisted that Epiré not filter the wines he imports. It’s drinking beautifully now, but you can age it for up to a decade, or more!

The entry Savennières is also a spectacular value, especially with today’s discounted pricing. Unlike the Spéciale, it’s aged in steel, which highlights the lip-smacking acidity and cool, stony notes. The ‘22 vintage lends a little honeyed depth to the mix. This will make for a heavenly sushi pairing.

Château d'Epiré, Savennières, 2022 $26.99

Château d'Epiré, Savennières Cuvée Spéciale, 2021 $35.99


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.