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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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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


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Back from Down Under!

In January, Clyde, Elisabeth and I spent a week and a half in South Australia. With the exception of a day trip to the Clare Valley, we divided our time between the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. The trip offered a view of everyone from the “big boys” (Penfolds, Rosemount, Jacob’s Creek) to the smaller producers (Hewitson, Torbreck, Longwood), and quality was very high across the board. For me, it was a chance to revisit 2003, taste many of the 2004s coming on to the market, and barrel sample the much anticipated 2005 vintage. Tasting the warmer 2003 vintage confirmed what I thought from my visit in 2004, which was that the wines generally were more even and balanced in the cooler region of McLaren Vale. The 2004s showed well in the Barossa as well as McLaren Vale with the cooler vintage offering wines of good balance and a more streamlined structure. Whether it was the cool 2004s and the somewhat cool, long, even season of 2005, or a maturing of winemaking styles, the trend seemed to be showing better balance of wood and control of alcohol levels. The 2005 vintage showed what I’d been hearing from various Australian winemakers since last year. These guys experienced a perfect, long, even growing season with very good balancing acidity and fine mid-palate richness. This was certainly true of all the white wines I tasted and that are now starting to come in. The reds out of barrel were superb, and we were able to get a preview from Thorn-Clarke, Elderton, Craneford, Ross Estate, Tait, Kaesler, Hewitson and Clarendon. So, to sum it up, the 2004 and 2005 vintages will give fans of Australian wine much to look forward to whether it’s wines for current consumption or for the cellar. Here are two classic Barossa Valley Shiraz to try: 2004 Torbreck Woodcutters Red Shiraz ($17.99) and the 2004 Hewitson Ned & Henry’s Shiraz ($17.99) David Powell from Torbreck and Dean Hewitson are both making superb wines. You owe it to yourself to try these great examples of the vintage and varietal. The Woodcutter is from 10- to 15-year-old vines that are cropped at about 2.5 tons to the acre and sees larger neutral barrels. There are notes of tar, black olive, meats and blackberry with a juicy, long finish. Parker gave this 91 points. Ned & Henry’s has 9% mourvèdre added and shows ripe silky boysenberry and blackberry fruits with meats and spice. Dean uses all French barriques, very few of which are new. The wine has superb balance and length. Cheers! —Jimmy C

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