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Christopher Piper Wines
1 Silver Street, Ottery St Mary EX11 1DB, Devon

Tel: (01404) 814139
Fax: (01404) 812100

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Closed Bank Holiday Monday Mon-Fri 0900-1300,1400-1730 Sat 0900-1300,1430-1630

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Loire Valley

White Wines

Domaine de Closel, SAVENNIERES

Domaine du Closel stands near the church on the Place du Mail, in Savennières, a typical old Angevin village situated on the banks of the Loire, 15 kilometers south-west of Angers. The vineyard spreads like a fan across the hills overlooking the village and the valley.
When Madame de Jessey inherited this beautiful estate from her aunt in 1961, the domaine had seven hectares which has grown to 18 today (16 under vine and 2 awaiting planting). It has been managed by women since the Marquis de Las Cases bequeathed it to his daughter, Marque, who married Monsieur Bernard du Closel (who was mayor of Savennières for an amazing 40 years from 1916 until 1956). Madame du Closel, childless, gave the Domaine to her niece Michèle Bazin de Jessey in 1961.

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Chteau du Clray (Sauvion et Fils), VALLET

We have been buying our Muscadets from the Sauvion family for over twenty years and this determined family business, under the direction of Jean-Ernest Sauvion has maintained a standard and quality that is second to none. They have successfully fought through a very difficult period for this region and kept their heads above water by relying on their quality and understanding their markets. Now that Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine, Sur Lie has firmly re-established itself on the international market as a serious wine, their lives are a great deal easier. The Sauvion du Cléray Sur Lie 2003 is an 'assemblage' of vats made from younger vines at Château du Cléray and from wines sourced from the classical 'gabbros' terroir in and around the commune of Vallet. The wine has a typical lemon and white blossom bouquet and an open, balanced and zesty fruitiness. The Sauvion's flagship wine is from their home at Château du Cléray (also in Vallet), coming from vineyards planted over thirty years' ago on stony, chalky soil, resulting in a Sur Lie with exceptional richness and fruit combined with a complexity and intensity that can only come with restricted yields. There is nothing better than these wines with seafood.

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Domaine des Maurires, ST. LAMBERT-DE-LATTAY

Fernand Moron's lovely selection of first division Côteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume epitomises the Chenin Blanc in its sweet form, with massively concentrated ripe peaches and cream fruit flavours combined with the tell-tale tart, balancing acidity. We still have stocks of the fabulous Cuvée de Centénaire 1990 and have bought some more 1997's - an equally important vintage where the St. Lambert (an old-vine assemblage) offers some amazing value. The Rive Gauche 1997 is unbelievably complex with a lime marmalade fresh fruitiness and a stimulating finish. The 1995 Quarts de Chaume is probably one of the finest of this outstanding vintage. The Morons make a surprisingly interesting Anjou Rosé, a wine that is deliciously fresh, but leaning towards the off-dry and with a clean strawberry fruit which is perfectly balanced.

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Domaine le Peu de la Moriette, VOUVRAY

Jean-Claude Pichot, and his son, Christophe, have been supplying us with Vouvrays since the early 1980's and our original belief that this is one of the finest estates in the central Loire is now widely accepted. For tax purposes, the domaine has been split up between father and son, with Christophe using the name of Domaine du Côteau de la Biche, although all the wines are the same, appearing on different labels at different times of the year! The Pichots' run of recent vintages has produced a wonderful collection of dry, demi-sec and sweet wines. This is the longest established estate in Vouvray (est. 1739) and their current reputation has been built on their obsessively low yields and rigorous triages during the harvest - the 1995 Vouvray Moelleux "Collection" is the result of a third 'tri' right at the end of the harvest, for example. Robert Parker recently wrote that "these wines represent uncommonly natural expressions of both Chenin Blanc and terroir". These are totally authentic products of great class, character and individuality.

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Domaine Georges Chavet, MENETOU-SALON

Situated in the lieu-dit of les Brangers, this family-run estate was very much bicultural until recently but increased international competition has forced Philippe and Marie-Lise Chavet to uproot their apple and pear orchards and concentrate on growing fine Sauvignon grapes for their highly acclaimed Menetou-Salon. Most of the production is sold to leading restaurants and a loyal band of private customers throughout France but we have managed to get our hands on a bigger allocation of their brilliant 2002 which has a pervasive and mouth-filling, zesty-fresh and gooseberry-tinged fruit.

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Domaine Serge Laporte, CHAVIGNOL, SANCERRE

Situated in the village of Chavignol, about 2km from Sancerre, this 10 hectare domaine is made up of numerous small parcels scattered throughout the Chavignol commune, long regarded as the top 'cru' of Sancerre. The different 'cuvées' come together to give a wine of great complexity and elegance, reflecting the "terres blanches" (chalky) and "caillotes" (limestone-pebbly) soil-types found in Chavignol which are so ideal for the Sauvignon Blanc. Serge and Elisabeth Laporte have now been joined by their son Guillaume who has spent the last three years studying oenology at Tours. His input into the making of this excellent 2003 is clearly apparent and this is undoubtedly the finest vintage the Laportes have made to date. Sadly, their production in 2003 was tiny and has had to be rationed. Serge and Elisabeth created their Cuvée des Mages following their very successful 1998 vintage. It is a classical selection of two very fine parcels, one on the Mont Damnés, with its "caillotes" (limestone-pebbly) soil and the other from a small parcel of 45 year-old vines on the Verdigny side of Chavignol where the soils are more "terres blanches" (chalky). The combination of soil types and age of the vines ensures a 'special cuvée' with fantastic complexity, great purity of fruit and near-perfect balance. The Cuvée des Mages is only made in very good years - there was no 2001 made. Mages is, in fact, an acronym for Marylise, Alexandre, Guillaume, Elisabeth and Serge the whole Laporte family! (There was no 2003 Cuvée des Mages made due to the very small harvest.)

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Domaine Masson-Blondelet, POUILLY-SUR-LOIRE

Jean-Michel Masson is passionate about Pouilly-Fumé and this motivation is reflected in the sheer quality of his wines. The Villa Paulus is from vines grown on two types of soil (Marne and Calcaire), giving the wine a terrific balance and depth but with that smokey richness that only Pouilly-Fumé can achieve. The Tradition Cullus is a 'Vieille Vignes' selection, a third of which is vinified and aged in new oak, the remainder being tank-fermented and aged. The grapes are sourced from 1.50 hectares of 40-75 year-old vines situated on a mix of Marne clay and Silex-flint. The resulting wine has amazing depth, structure and complexity, with overtones of acacia, honey, nuts and a very rich fruitiness. From a couple of parcels of vines in the hamlet of Thauvenay (a zone that is ideal for Pinot Noir situated on the other side of the river in Sancerre) comes an exciting Sancerre Rouge with a succulence, depth of cherry-fruit, ripe intensity and balance that is rare to find. For the first time, we have persuaded Jean-Michel to let us have some of his Sancerre Blanc from the Thauvenay vineyard. It is distinctly rich and zesty with more weight than the Laporte version due to the very different terroir at Thauvenay. It has plenty of minerality and clean, gooseberry fruit and fine length.

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Chteau de Villeneuve - SOUZAY-CHAMPIGNY

From 15 hectares of Cabernet Franc planted on chalk up the hill just south of the river, upstream from Saumur and 5 hectares of Chenin Blanc, Jean-Pierre Che Chevallier is making some of the most exciting reds and whites to be found in the Saumur region. Chevallier believes in making wines with great concentration (but, at the same time, not over-extracting them and therefore, making them hard)and, although we have always bought the so-called "ordinary" cuvées from Château de Villeneuve, these wines (both red and white) are beautifully ripe and deep. The Saumur-Champigny is tank fermented for 25 days and sees no oak whilst the Saumur Blanc is 30% barrel-fermented. Neither of the wines sees any filtration or fining.

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Loire Valley - continued

Domaine Jean Baumard - ROCHEFORT-SUR-LOIRE

Domaine des Baumard is tucked away in the village of Rochefort sur Loire, which lies at the northern end of the Côteaux du Layon appellation, just a little way north of Quarts de Chaume. It's not too difficult to find, situated on the rue Saint Croix, just to the left of the huge church which dominates this small village. Through a large gateway, and along the immaculately gravelled drive, you find the old Logis de la Giraudière, acquired by the family in 1959. Here you will find the extensive cellars (see below) and a fine tasting room, which features a superb 18th Century wall painting, partly preserved, demonstrating the blue hues typical in old works from this era (other, richer, colours fade with time). The domaine was established in 1634, and at that time Florent Baumard's ancestors were busy cultivating the vine. This was interrupted, however, by the arrival of Phylloxera, and when France began to recover from that disaster the family turned their attention to nursery work - raising vines for sale - rather than viticulture. It was Jean Baumard, a graduate of both Dijon and Bordeaux Universities, who took control in 1955, that steered the family business back towards viticulture. He was responsible for the purchase of plots in Quarts de Chaume in 1957 and Savennières in 1968; these are stalwarts of the Baumard portfolio. Jean Baumard pulled the domaine from obscurity to the forefront of Loire winemaking and it is no wonder that he received much respect during his life, and that he was held in such high regard by many. His impact was enormous. But time marches on, and in the early 1990's his son, Florent Baumard, took control. There has been no blip in quality; this domaine continues, under Florent Baumard's control, to turn out fabulous wines. Florent Baumard is a delight to meet. Not only because he is happy to give his time to you, and talk you through his wines, but also because he speaks with such a delightfully crisp precision which makes it easy for any student of French to follow his thread.

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Domaine de la Presle - OISLY

Domaine de la Presle is owned and run by the youthful Frédéric and Ann-Sofie Meurguey-Penet. The estate has been in their family since 1885. After studying oenology in Beaune Frédéric and Ann-Sofie gained valuable experience working abroad with 5 months at Coldstream Hills in Australia and 3 months in South Africa at Rhebokskloof Estate. Domaine de la Presle is planted over 38 hectares with 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Gamay and the remainder in a mixture of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Pineau d'Aunis and Chardonnay.

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Domaine Jacques Sall - QUINCY

With 5 hectares of vines on silex soils Jacques Sallé is committed to producing densely flavoured Sauvignons. To ensure this he keeps his yields deliberately low and uses a long, slow and cool fermentations to extract maximum complexity in the aromas. Quincy, along with Reuilly and Menetou-Salon, is always over-shadowed by the more famous vineyards of Sancerre and Pouilly yet, in the right hands, it can produce wines of tremendous vigour and complexity

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Red Wines

Domaine de la Chapelle, CRAVANT-LES-COTEAUX

We discovered Philippe Pichard on this year's buying trip to the Loire valley and were mesmerised by a simply fantastic collection of cuvées. Philippe is the sort of vigneron that we like to 'discover' - someone who is very much on the way up and whose wines have not been subject to investigation by 'well-known' US journalists. Most of important, though, is the effect that such a man's enthusiasm can have on our buying team. The star in the Pichard collection is his Vieille Vigne Chinon made from Cabernet Franc grapes from vines between 35 and 50 years old, grown on clay and flint soils in the commune of Cravant-les-Côteaux, situated about 8km. from Chinon. The grapes are 100% destalked and fermentation lasts for over 20 days, followed by nine months ageing in two to five year-old oak barrels. This is a very deep-coloured, sweetly ripe wine with an amazing purity of fruit.

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Domaine du Bourg, ST. NICOLAS-DE-BOURGEUIL

Having been tipped off by Fred Ferguson (our in-office Loire scout!) that Jean-Paul Mabileau made very good St. Nicolas-de-Bourgeuil, our extensive tastings in the region this summer confirmed that he was indeed, top of the tree in his commune. Mabileau's les Graviers cuvée comes from meagre, gravely soils situated to the north of the village and the 2001 is very deep-coloured with a succulent blackberry fruitiness and a very approachable tannic structure that ensures plenty of life. This is a very exciting find.

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Chteau de Villeneuve, SOUZAY-CHAMPIGNY

From 15 hectares of Cabernet Franc planted on chalk up the hill just south of the river, upstream from Saumur and 5 hectares of Chenin Blanc, Jean-Pierre Che Chevallier is making some of the most exciting reds and whites to be found in the Saumur region. Chevallier believes in making wines with great concentration (but, at the same time, not over-extracting them and therefore, making them hard)and, although we have always bought the so-called "ordinary" cuvées from Château de Villeneuve, these wines (both red and white) are beautifully ripe and deep. The Saumur-Champigny is tank fermented for 25 days and sees no oak whilst the Saumur Blanc is 30% barrel-fermented. Neither of the wines sees any filtration or fining.

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Domaine Yannick Amirault - BOURGEUIL

Yannick Amirault is widely regarded as one of Bourgeuil's top producers. His wines express the inherent fruitiness of Loire Cabernet Franc without any over exposure to wood. His wines generally have soft tannins and great extract. The Les Quartiers vineyard has some very old vines producing low yields and remarkable complexity and dimension.

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Domaine Pierre et Alain Dezat, MAIMBURY

Pierre Dezat (André's brother) has been the exclusive supplier of Sancerre to the Troisgros brothers (3 star Michelin restaurant in Roanne) since Jean Troisgros discovered him some 30 years ago. Together with his son Alain, Pierre produces wine in the same superb Dezat style and perhaps produces the finest Sancerre Rosé. He bottles later than most growers do as most most of his land is "terre blanche"; the wines take longer to come round.

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"Inspiring Indie"

Great review by Drinks Magazine,
..."stocking off-the-wall wines & spirits, including over 20 different rums !
See Below for More Details
Wine Review
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Champagne Gremillet
Champagne Gremillet
Extremely elegant wines that have undergone a surprisingly long bottle-ageing process that gives them a roundness not often found at this level.


Champagne Gremillet
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2014 CPW
Christopher Piper Wines Ltd. will not sell to anyone under the UK legal drinking age of 18 years. To purchase products on the site you must be eighteen years of age or more.
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Registered Company 1509601 Christopher Piper Wines Ltd, 1 Silver Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1DB. All rights reserved. You must be 18 or over to order.