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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
Jun092010

Winemaker Interview: Alfred Tesseron

 

Name: Alfred Tesseron

Winery: Ch. Pontet Canet

Number of years in business: More than 35 years

Describe your winemaking philosophy? 

As pure as possible in the wine process. Vinification has just to express the potential of the grapes, without the help of any technology or technique. Winemaking became secondary regarding terroir and growing.

How do you think your palate has evolved over the years? How do you think that’s influenced your wines?

I like wines that are more sincere in the expression of their terroir. So, I like lower oak taste than 10 years ago. I think that many amateurs had the same evolution.

Is there a style of wine that you think appeals to critics that might not represent your favorite style? How do you deal with it?

There are too many great wines to focus only on those I don't like!

What changes are planned for coming vintages? Any new (top secret) varietals, blends or propriety wines on the horizon?

I don't know what will be the next Pontet-Canet vintages. We do not totally decide it. We just try to serve the terroir and the vines growing on it. They will decide and we will try to express what they want to say with the utmost sincerity.

Do you collect wine? If so, what’s in your cellar?

I have too many wines in my cellar and these wines are made to be tried not too old. I enjoy very much using the corkscrew to be aware of what is happening throughout the world.

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing the wine industry today?

The term "wine industry" is not totally correct. There is a wine industry that means that some wines are produced on industrial basis for customers with low tasting-culture.

We don't belong to this world. Apart the "wine industry" there is a "wine sphere" containing the great wines; among them, Pontet-Canet.

The wine industry will have to move and evolve to adapt to know customers and high competition; a business close from classical industry (cars, socks, clothes…)

Great wines will have to preserve their terroir for next generations and keep on producing wine that expresses any subtlety provided by this terroir. It is an other challenge.

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