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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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Like Having Your Own Personal Sommelier...

My husband and I were out to dinner last night with a couple of friends who live in a small town in upstate New York, and who are just getting interested in wine. Well, technically they live in a village. It's the kind of place where everyone knows who you are before you've signed the last of the loan docs on your home and it's crucial to stay on the right side of the plow guy. It's charming and safe and probably a whole host of other complimentary things, but it's not exactly the best place to live if you want to start exploring wine past Woodbridge Chardonnay. And let's not even start in on their busy lives, which makes the four-hour trip to Manhattan for a better selection as likely as a trip to the moon, and the "spare time" to read wine magazines and books to learn more about as common as a three-headed baboon.

Does that mean our friends should be left to drink mediocre wine? To never discover grapes like Blaufränkisch or regions like Sicily? To never follow a nascent love for California Pinot Noir into a passion for Burgundy?

Of course not. And that's why they were so excited when I told them about K&L's Personal Sommelier Service. Sure it was shameless self-promotion, but it's such a great idea I couldn't NOT tell them (or you).

Unlike other wine clubs, which are designed to appeal to the broadest number of palates, the K&L Personal Sommelier Service is designed to suit the individual subscriber, allowing them to set the parameters of their subscription from price per bottle to varietal to region of origin. And the customer can be as vague or specific as they want to be. That means if our friends wanted to spend the next six months just tasting $30 Bordeaux or $10-20 white wines from the Loire Valley, Alsace, Germany and Austria, they can. Or, if they've enjoyed everything I've poured for them on their visit to California, from Nerello Mascalese to Zweigelt, they can sign up to have me as their "somm" with a budget and a bottle count per month, and leave the rest to chance. They can also browse our staff reviews and Getting to Know articles to find another K&L staff member whose tastes or wine interests better reflect their own, or talk to Chiara Shannon, our head sommelier for advice. It's easy, it's fast and it's no more expensive than they want it to be. It doesn't get much better than that.

If you live in a small town (in a state that we can ship to--check out the list here), know what you like but just don't have the time to shop, or want to explore the world of wine more, check out the K&L Personal Sommelier Service for yourself or email

Leah Greenstein

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Reader Comments (1)

What an amazing idea!!!!
August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

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