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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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Supreme Court Asked to Hear Wine Shipping Case

Let me start by apologizing to our friends in Austin, in Boston and in Atlanta. And to our pals in Ann Arbor, Missoula and Chicago, not to mention our fans in Miami and Burlington. We can't ship wine to you. Not yet, anyway.

It's been five years since the United States Supreme Court heard and ruled on Granholm v. Heald, a case that deemed Michigan and New York State laws barring out-of-state wineries from selling direct to consumers unconstitutional. The laws, according to the majority opinion, violated the Constitution's Commerce Clause and weren't necessary for the states to prevent underage access. At the time, the case seemed groundbreaking. It looked like the barriers between a consumer and a broader selection of wines were coming down. But another wine shipping law, this time in Texas, has shown that the issue is far from resolved.

A recent ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the four-year-old suit Wine Country Gift Baskets v. Steen says that the Granholm decision doesn't apply to retailers, like us here at K&L, only to producers. The ruling maintained that the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition but allowed states to determine alcohol laws for themselves, granted Texas the right to discriminate between in-state and out-of-state wine retailers. 

The Specialty Wine Retailers Association has asked the Supreme Court to hear the Texas case with the hope that they will not treat retailers, who are engaged in identical retail transactions as producers, differently, and that the principles of the Commerce Clause will be upheld.

To learn more about this and other cases that could be preventing YOU from having access to the wines you want, visit Wine Without Borders, and subscribe to their newsletter.

Leah Greenstein

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