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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
Mar212006

Big Points, No Whammies…Plus 1!

As I put this column together, I am preparing for a buying trip to Spain! Look for an update in the May newsletter! 2004 Las Rocas de San Alejandro, Garnacha, Calatayud ($7.99) 89 points Stephen Tanzer: “...Perfumed aromas of liqueur-like dark berries and black cherry, licorice and spicy oak. Smooth, ripe, fat and full, with an enticing dark cherry flavor. This is wonderfully lush and pliant for a red wine under $10. Finishes with big, mouthdusting tannins and lingering sweetness. Exceptional value.” 2004 Bodegas Y Vinedos Maurodos Prima, Toro ($14.99) Wow! An awesome wine for an awesome price! Made by famous Spanish winemaker, Mariano Garcia, this tempranillo packs a punch with loads of ripe cherry/blackberry fruit, a lush mid-palate, and a long spicy finish. The plush mouth feel is balanced with bright acidity and a little kick of tannin. Enjoy this red with grilled leg of lamb! 2003 Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica ($10.99) 92 points Robert Parker: “...aged ten months in both American and French oak. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by sumptuous aromas of blueberries, black currants, cold steel, and minerals. Evocative of a baby Priorat, it possesses an amazing fragrance, considerable nobility as well as complexity, medium to full body, and a long, concentrated, heady finish. Enjoy it over the next 5-7 years.” 2003 Bodegas Castano Solanera, Yecla ($11.99) 91 points Robert Parker: “...a beautiful blend of 75% Mourvedre and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by a smoky, scorched earth-scented nose displaying notions of black cherry jam, licorice, and truffles. Ripe and medium to full-bodied, with wonderful sweetness, it possesses purity, suppleness, and balance…another example of why Spain is beating virtually every other viticultural area in the world when it comes to high quality wines that sell for a song.” Saludos! —Anne Pickett, anne@klwines.com

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