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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

Moulin de la Gardette

Ecoutez s’il vous plait! The 2003s from Moulin de la Gardette have arrived! These Gigondas beauties from Jean-Baptiste Meunier have been on our list of favorites here at K&L for the last several vintages now, and boy are we stoked about the recent arrival of these Rhones from the very sunny and warm 2003 vintage. Meunier’s small domaine encompasses approximately 17.5 acres from clay and limestone soils located on both the terraced vineyards as well as the lower plateaus of Gigondas. The average vine age here is around 60 years, and from very low yields, Meunier crafts a range of powerful yet fine grenache-based reds. Are you curious about all of the hoopla over these wines? Then read on! The 2003 Moulin de la Gardette Gigondas “Tradition” ($18.99) is a lovely southern Rhone with super bright cherry notes, along with hints of sassafras, lavender and cocoa power. This southern Rhone posess very nice balance, with juicy fruit and medium-fine tannins that make the finish on this wine elegant rather than coarse and chewy. Crack open a bottle of the Tradition and enjoy with grilled chicken and fig sausages or a homemade wild mushroom pizza! Think of the 2003 Moulin de la Gardette Gigondas “Cuvee Ventabren” ($27.99) as the “Tradition’s” big brother, which hails from the estates oldest vines, some of them being nearly 100 years in age! Notes of Provencal garrigue and black olive come to mind, along with lush black cherry and boysenberry fruits. The “Ventabren” is a step up as far as depth, focus and age-worthiness are concerned. Best from 2008, or decant for a couple hours and enjoy with heartier fare like a grilled rib-eye steak slathered in black olive butter! Enjoy! —Mulan Chan

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