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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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Tuesday
Jan242006

2004 Girardin Whites

2004 is an excellent vintage for white Burgundy. The more I taste, the better I like it. This month the 2004 Vincent Girardin wines have arrived. Vincent is a 5th generation grower in Santenay but has also established a thriving negociant business, known for his excellent whites. The 2004 Girardin St-Aubin Murgers “Dent de Chien,” 1er Cru ($29.99) is from the vineyard next to Puligny-Montrachet “Champ Gain,” 1er Cru and has minerality, focus and length. The 2004 Girardin Meursault “Les Tillets” ($36.99) comes from one of my favorite village vineyards in Meursault, which shows a pretty citric note and classic Meursault richness. The 2004 Girardin Puligny-Montrachet “Les Enseignères” ($46.99) is from the vineyard directly below Bâtard and shares the topsoil of that Grand Cru, so it is very rich and concentrated. The 2004 Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Truffieres,” 1er Cru ($49.99) has lime notes and a bright quality that is very appealing. The 2004 Girardin Puligny-Montrachet “Les Pucelles,” 1er Cru ($79.99) is always a favorite, located next to Bâtard and Bienvenues-Bâtard, but selling for much less. Similarly well situated is the next vineyard up the hill, which makes the 2004 Girardin Puligny-Montrachet “Les Caillerets,” 1er Cru ($81.99) alongside Montrachet itself, and generally acknowledged as the best of the Puligny 1er Crus. We also have tiny quantities of the 2004 Girardin Corton-Charlemagne ($83.99), 2004 Girardin Chevalier-Montrachet ($179.95) and 2004 Girardin Montrachet ($330.00). Á Santé. —Keith Wollenberg

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