The Bizard family have cultivated Chenin Blanc at Château d'Epiré in Savennières since 1882 and today the current patron Paul Bizard tends 11 hectares of vines in 5 distinct plots. With diverse soils of shale, sandstone, schist and mica, he has an enviably broad palette of fruit to work with in his distinctive cellar housed in a former Roman church. The principal wine (in terms of volume produced) is a characterful, dry white bottled as 'Le Parc' with a pine tree illustration on the label. With a bouquet of wild flowers and herbs and a complex palate of orchard fruit underscored by mineral notes and fresh acidity, it makes a terrific apéritif or partner to shellfish. Also worthy of attention is Paul's single vineyard bottling called 'Hu Boyou' (located just above Coulée de Serrant) that is raised in used oak barrels and has (at least) a decade's ageing potential. With appealing stone fruit scents and a complex palate of quince and pear with a long, off-dry finish, it merits decanting and pairs well with fish and poultry. In favourable vintages Paul also produces a botrytised moelleux bottling called 'Comtesse de Las Cases'. Made from late-picked, hand-harvested fruit, it has appealing honeysuckle scents and a gently-honeyed, dried fruit palate with nutty nuances and a long finish, it pairs well with hard cheeses or fruit-based puddings.
One of the most revered estates in Savennières is the 'Coulée de Serrant', which is farmed on a biodynamic basis by the Joly family. Typically, the finished wine has aromas of russet apples, fennel and mushrooms and a palate of melon and citrus fruit that opens up with exposure to air. It drinks well from release and can be cellared for a decade or longer.