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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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Monday
Nov142005

Bargains and more for the Holidays!

2000 Grand Enclos du Cerons Blanc (.375ml) ($14.99) Cerons is an area just to the north of Sauternes and Barsac known for producing value-priced sweet wines. This 100% semillon is aged in oak barrels to add extra richness to the lively, tropical botrytised fruit. Zesty and complex with citrus, honey and orange, this is great with foie gras, cheese or fruit-based desserts. 2004 La Peyrere du Tertre, Clairet ($12.99) This rustic and hearty rosé is a wine of terrior, showing flavors of earth, juicy raspberry, stony minerality and rose petal. Made from a blend of 80% merlot and 20% cabernet sauvignon aged in oak for three months, this can definitely stand up to rich food yet has enough fruit to sip by the glass. Just 300 cases produced each year. 2000 Ch Laforge, St-Emilion ($19.99) This ridiculously low-priced offering from the glorious 2000 vintage starts out with sweet, seductive aromas of dark fruit, oak and roasting coffee. The rich palate shows flavors of sweet currants, ripe plums, mocha, minerals, toast and chocolate, which are long and mouth coating. Round, gentle and almost too easy to drink. 2000 La Cardonne, Médoc ($14.99) According to the Wine Spectator: “Lovely aromas of crushed berries, chocolate and smoke follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a clean finish. Well-done. Best after 2005.” 2001 Ch Margaux, Margaux ($164.99) The most elegant wine of the First Growths in 2001. This blend of 82% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot, 7% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc is seamless and complex. 93 points Parker and 92 points Spectator. —Steve Bearden

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