It’s always a pleasure to taste Pithon-Paille’s wines and we caught up with Jo and Isabelle at the recent Salon des Vins de Loire. In layman’s terms that is 600L of wine for each 2.47 acres of vines planted which equates to 800 bottles. It’s staggeringly low and was the result of frost damage in April followed by very hot, dry conditions in July and August leading to grapes that were of good quality but containing a teensy amount of juice.

2016 will be memorable for most of us for one reason or another (don’t mention Brexit) but for growers in the Loire it really was one of extremes.  Jo and Isabelle were on top form however at the Salon and we tasted through the current range.  We like all the wines from Pithon-Paille and our favourites differ from one tasting to another depending upon the vintage or stage of maturity of the wine.  On this occasion we thought that Bonnes Blanches, Anjou Blanc 2015 was tasting fantastic. With beautiful open, floral notes and hints of stone fruit on the palate it was lovely and fresh on the palate with great length and a touch of grip on the finish. It comes from a schistous terroir with a northerly exposure and always has an enticing freshness.

The Chinon Dessus-Narçay 2015 was also tasting delicious (this is from the négoce side of the business). Beautiful ripe Cab Franc on the nose with dark plums and forest fruits, it has lovely structure and weight and while the tannins are present, they don’t dominate the wine.  It clearly has the capacity to age but is tasting fabulous now. The vines are planted on a limestone bedrock with clay and flint.