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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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Thursday
Feb162006

Two in One

This month I will be talking about two of my favorite producers from two of my favorite wine producing countries, Germany and Austria. Schlossgut Diel has been producing some of the Nahe’s finest wines for quite sometime now. The 2004 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermännchen Spätlese ($39.99) is a rich style of spätlese balanced out by a fantastic splash of red spices and tropical fruits with a cleansing acidity that lingers on the finish, most likely due to the slate, quartzite and gravel vineyard site. The 2004 Schlossgut Diel Riesling Classic ($23.99), a zippy wine with just a smidge more residual sugar than a trocken, reminds me of ripe green apples. A great match to lighter first course dishes for that next dinner party you are having. The wines of Leo Alzinger are everything the Wachau region of Austria should represent: power, grace and beauty. We are happy to have the 2004 Alzinger Grüner Veltliner Loibenberg Smaragd ($49.99). With its peppery aromas, surrounded by white stone fruit and earthy mint, and a full body richness that mingles around a juicy yet stony mineral backbone of love, this is one of the best ’04 Grüners I have had to date. There is also the 2004 Alzinger Riesling Steinertal Smaragd ($54.99), a true testament to what top notch Riesling from a great region and a great producer should be. This one has set the bar way up there! A bit of smokiness, a bit of tart apple, spicy peach and a juicy sense of a stone that has been dipped into a cold mountain stream, this wine is brilliance in a bottle!!! —Eric Story

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