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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
Nov102010

Wine Wednesday: Antech Blanquette de Limoux

Every year it seems like the distance between Halloween ghosts and Thanksgiving turkeys gets shorter and shorter. And this year, Hanukkah Harry is hot on the bird's tail, with the Festival of Light starting on December 1st! Before you know it Christmas music will be playing in every store you walk into. It's enough to make you want to crawl back under the covers (it's pitch black at 6 a.m. now anyway).

To take the edge of the impending and inevitable holiday madness, I'm stocking up on the Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux ($12.99) and suggest that you do too. Made in the method ancestrale, which is the same spontaneous way another of my favorite sparklers Bugey Cerdon is made, from Mauzac (90%) and 5% each Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay from Carcassonne and Limoux in the Languedoc. 

This is a sweeter style bubbly that delivers tangy Gravenstein apple and D'Anjou pear flavors and a fine, steady stream of delicate bubbles. It reminds me of a Moscato d'Asti with more intense sparkle. And while it could take on your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie like Pacquiao in the ring, I think it would also be delightful with savory latkes smothered in sour cream and apple chutney or salty sweet bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and Marcona almonds.

Leah Greenstein

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