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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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Live for Tomorrow, Drink Organic!

It is January once again, a time when many folks (myself included) resolve to be better people by making and sticking to a series of New Year’s resolutions. My resolutions this year are modest and I believe completely do-able. In no particular order of importance they are as follows. I will resolve to stretch daily, read the Sunday New York times on a weekly basis, and consume more organically produced food and wine. All of this I believe will make for a more happy, healthy, spiritual and productive me. I will let you know how it goes. On the vinous front, here are a few southern French gems that will help me stick to my resolutions. Did I mention that they are also delicious? 2004 Provence Domaine de l’Attilon (Marselan) Rouge ORGANIC ($8.99) Marselan, a cross between cabernet sauvignon and grenache, is a new grape variety being developed in the Aude and Bouches du Rhone areas of southern France. Vinified for the first time in 2002, Marselan has quickly become a darling of many French wine professionals and consumers. Domaine de l’Attilon’s organic version of this new cepage is bursting with bright, crunchy black currant and cherry fruit balanced by violet floramatics and a vibrant acidity. This deliciously user friendly red is a wine you can feel good about on all levels, as it delivers delicious enjoyment at a fantastic price! 2004 Domaine Beau Thorey VdT “Patus” (Pic St. Loup) ORGANIC ($8.99) Domaine Beau Thorey is a biodynamically run enterprise located in the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation of Pic Saint Loup. Vigneron Christophe Beau describes Beau Thorey as a “human scale winery” of 10 acres, which is just large enough for he and his team to manage and and work though manual viticulture and vinification. The vines here are comprised of grenache and syrah, along with more esoteric varitetals like carignan, aramon, carignan blanc, oeillade, cinsault and alicante. Beau Thorey’s Patus is composed of 100% grenache from the 2004 vintage. This juicy red is bright and chock full of crunchy cherry, hibiscus flower and red beet. Chill this lovely red much like you would a beaujolais and enjoy with grilled tuna or grilled steak sandwiches. —Mulan Chan

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