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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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Domaine Marc Colin

Several of us here at K&L have been patiently waiting for these 2004 white Burgundies to arrive. Over the last several vintages winemaker Pierre-Yves Colin has been producing what could be some of the best values in Burgundy. A patient and meticulous man who farms as organically as possible but refuses to be hamstrung by dogmatically following any viticulture or winemaking philosophy, Colin wants the wine to speak of the vineyards from which they come. He uses only the wild yeast from each vineyard and keeps lees stirring to a minimum this vintage. If I try to characterize his 2004s, I’d say they are bright with charming fresh citrus and stone fruits and a driving persistence. Here are some wines well worth trying: 2004 St-Aubin, “Les Charmois,” 1er Cru ($29.99) 2004 St-Aubin, “Murgers des Dent de Chien,” 1er Cru ($29.99) The wines from St-Aubin could represent the “best value” in white Burgundy. Not a sexy appellation but these are the best vineyards made by one of the best vintners sold at a reasonable price. Les Charmois is located next to Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Chaumées, 1er Cru and has very Chassagne-like character, more open with a clean and bright pear and floral tone. The palate is fresh with a pleasant creaminess on the mid palate. Murgers des Dent de Chein is located next to Puligny-Montrachet, “La Garenne,” 1er Cru. From a spot higher in elevation, this wine is rich and posses a driving stoniness. 2004 Chassagne-Montrachet, “Les Encégnières” ($39.99) 2004 Puligny-Montrachet, “Le Trézin” ($39.99) The Les Encegnieres is “only a village vineyard located just below Batard-Montrachet, and shares the rich clay loam of the surface soil. Bright and long, this real estate gives this wine a rich and oily mid palate. The Le Trézin is one of the highest vineyards in the AOC, which makes the wine racy and stony. With its lovely floral tone, finely etched character and long finish, this wine is a real charmer. —Kirk Walker

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