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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Thursday
Oct132005

Italian Wine for the Year's most American Holiday

2004 Palladino Gavi del Commune di Gavi ($17.99) Okay, the grape is cortese, and this wine is from Serralunga D’Alba. One of this producer’s most popular wines. Low temperature fermentation in stainless steel and then aged for 18 months in Slovenian oak. Beautifully balanced you will find peaches, pear and minerality and a chalky finish. Will work as an aperitif or with light fish dishes and fresh cheeses. 2002 Savese Picchieri “Le Petrose” Primitivo del Taranto IGT ($15.99) Primitivo and zinfandel share the same DNA, as one Puglian put it, “They are like twins separated at birth.” This wine’s bouquet has plum and currant and the palate brings plum jam, blackberries and raspberries notes with under tones of hay and oriental spice. This full-bodied wine will show best with red meats, game and stews. Poggiarellino is one of those small boutique wineries in the town of Montalcino. Small production, HUGH values. 2003 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino ($13.99) Baby Brunello at its best! This rosso is aromatic, balanced with the terroir of Montalcino. Bright fruit jumps out on the palate, raspberries and black cherries rounded off with touches of leather, spice and a cherry stone bitterness on the finish. Try with aged Pecorino or a Tri-tip steak. Yum! 2000 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino ($29.99) Yes, that’s right, $29.99 for a Brunello! Needs a couple of hours of decanting, and this baby is good to go. On this full-bodied wine you will find plum, chocolate and cherries dancing with smooth and silky tannins. This Brunello will age well for another four to five years, but no need to wait. Prefect accompaniment to hearty pork dishes or the classic accompaniment: wild boar! Salute! —Mike Parres

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