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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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Wednesday
Oct202010

Wine Wednesday: 2009 Viña Tobia Joven Rioja

We're all fired up for the 25 Grapes extravaganza tomorrow, October 21st, at K&L Hollywood (5:30-7 p.m.), a fantastic tasting being hosted in partnership with one of our favorite Iberian importers, Vinos Unico, and Eastern European wine powerhouse Blue Danube. To get your tastebuds-a-tingling, this week's Wine Wednesday pour is Vinos Unico's unbelievably affordable Viña Tobia Joven Rioja ($9.99).

Bodegas Tobia is located in Spain's Rioja Alta, near the town of San Asencio, and is 100% Tempranillo fruit from the winery's 42 acres of dry-farmed vineyards. The Bodegas' winemaker, Oscar Tobia, is part of the new guard in Rioja, making traditional wines with a modern twist. His "Joven" or Rioja Tinta, is a case in point. Like most classic, Joven-style Riojas, this is completely unoaked, which helps to preserve the fresh, easy-drinking and approachable character of the fruit. But Tobia takes the style up a notch, employing a cold, two-day carbonic maceration, which helps to further accentuate the wine's raspberry, currant and cherry aromas and flavors. This is not to say this wine is simply a jammy fruit-bomb. On the contrary, it's got hints of violet and licorice, a medium-bodied structure and a luscious, round mouthfeel that bounces across your palate like a Super-Ball. Nonetheless, it's fantastic with a little chill on it, and goes down so smooth that you might want to buy at least two bottles, so you can continue enjoying after the first one quickly and inevitably runs out.

Leah Greenstein

 

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