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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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Wine Wednesday: 2007 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien

As someone who writes about wine, I often have conflicted feelings about the wine press. Writing about wine, like writing about food, is very subjective, but there are some wine writers whose opinions are given so much credence that they can make or break a vintage. Note that I said "opinions." Wine writers who offer expertise are incredibly important to helping average people like you and me understand wine better, and to get a fuller understanding of what we like, but "opinions" vary. The 2007 vintage Bordeaux are a case in point. Yes, the vintage was challenging weather-wise. But great Bordeaux have been made in challenging vintages for centuries. The problem for 2007 Bordeaux, really, was that it followed the epic 2005 and the classic 2006 vintages. In a word, it was overshadowed. Opening prices for the vintage were initially quite high, too, which rubbed lots of people the wrong way. But prices have come down significantly in the year since the vintage was released to the public, and there are now some incredible deals to be had, even on the top wines. 

Today's wine, the Second Growth 2007 Léoville-Poyferré from St-Julien is a STEAL at just $39.99 (the 2009 is going for $174.99 pre-arrival and the 2005 is $99.99, for some context). Made by Didier Cuvelier, who has been managing the château since 1979 and whose family has owned Léoville-Poyferré since 1920. We recently opened a bottle of the 2007 for a staff tasting, and it was astonishingly good. Mineral, tobacco and coffee scents wrapped around black currant aromas like a glove, continuing onto a bright, forward palate that can best be characterized as pretty. This isn't a Bridgette Bardot-like Bordeaux, it's more like Audrey Hepburn, striking but understated. The finish is a little astringent right now, so either give this a few more years to integrate or at least a couple of hours in a decanter. There isn't much left of this wine--at this price there shouldn't be--and it's written about again in our January newsletter. So if you like Bordeaux or know someone who does, snag a bottle or two before this ethereal little beauty is gone.

Leah Greenstein


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Reader Comments (1)

The hardest part is choosing from all the great wine recommendations at k&l. I'll definitely keep this one in mind. Another steal is a wine I had in mendoza called quimera by achavel ferrer. It's a male blend, gets 94 points and will only.cost you around 30$ for the 06. Best part is its available right here at k&l.
December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex E

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