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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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It’s Februar “Y”…

Château d’Yquem has delivered its Bordeaux Superiore, rarely produced and only the 23rd vintage since its first introduction in 1959. 2000 Château d’Yquem “Y” ($139.99) is a dry white wine showing delicate aromas of gardenia and jasmine, which mingle with clover, honey and light brioche. The fruit of the nose is carried to the palate, with a pleasant stony finish. This wine offers a perfect long finish. I would recommend this wine with any customary sauternes paring (foie gras) but strongly suggest lobster thermidor. On a sweeter note, the 2002 Le Dauphin de Guiraud, Sauternes (375ml) ($13.99) has a more exotic nose offering a refreshing honey and citrus finish. The bright, crisp and clean flavor makes this wine a great everyday sauterne that will be light enough to drink with any fruity dessert. Another great everyday drinker is the 1998 Reserve St. Julien, St-Julien ($14.99), from the great Saint-Emilion wine maker Hubert de Bouard (Angelus). A deep rich purple color and plenty of fruit to the nose, medium bodied with good structure. Will improve with some cellaring over the next 2-3 years. The 2002 Pagodes de Cos, St-Estèphe ($22.99) offers good value for the cellar. With plenty of sweet concentrated black fruit and cassis on the nose leading to a meaty more delicate finish. This wine should be drunk over the next 10 years. Last but not least, the 2000 Feytit Clinet, Pomerol ($34.99), is a merlot-based wine offering a black cherry and dark earthy nose. With tannins still very present, I would keep this wine in my cellar for another couple of years before opening. It will drink well for the next five years after that. —Alexandre Brisoux

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