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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
Feb072006

Landmarc Restaurant in NYC

Last week I was in New York for a tasting of 2004 Burgundies (more on that later). While I was there I ate at wonderful restaurant I wanted to share with you all. It is in Tribeca, and is called Landmarc, at 170 W. Broadway. (http://www.landmarc-restaurant.com/ ) The food is simple, but wonderful, with lots of French favorites on the menu, but plenty of more modern items as well. I was impressed by the food and the ambiance, but overwhelmed by the wine program. Prices for wines appear to be only about $5 above retail, and the selection is an excellent one, with Nicolas Potel Burgundies, Jolivet Sancerre, and lots of interesting wines to pick from. They do not have any wine by the glass program, since their half bottles are so reasonably priced. In a town where Beringer founder’s Merlot went for $10 a glass at my hotel, $15 for a half bottle of Nicolas Potel’s Bourgogne Rouge is just a steal. Every table had a good bottle of wine on it, as you would expect with prices like these. Kudos to proprietors Marc Murphy (formerly of le Cirque) and his wife Pamela Schein Murphy for a wonderful place and an extremely fair concept on wine. If I lived nearby, this place would be a regular hangout. -Keith Wollenberg (K&L Burgundy buyer)

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