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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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Monday
Mar072011

Auction Spotlight: 2001 Conterno Fantino "Sori Ginestra" Barolo

2001 Conterno Fantino "Sori Ginestra" Barolo. These are the actual bottles, not stock photos.It's hard to imagine that Barolo, like much of Italy, didn't have a particularly stellar reputation 30 years ago. But that all changed in 1987 when the Wine Spectator put the 1982 bottle of this wine, Conterno Fantino's "Sori Ginestra" Barolo on the cover of their esteemed magazine. The 1982 was the first vintage produced by Claudio Conterno and Guido Fantino, and the wine came from what's become an acclaimed southfacing vineyard site in Monforte, Sori Ginestra, notable for its sand and clay-like marl soils with lots of silt that are perectly suited to the delicate Nebbiolo grape. The pair of bottles in this acution lot are in excellent condition, sourced from a Bay Area collector who kept them properly stored in a temperature-controlled cellar since purchase.

These bottles come from the 2001 vintage, which the Wine Spectator describes as having produced, "Aromatic, structured and firm reds with racy character." The wine is, also according to the Wine Spectator, the "Greatest wine ever from here and the wine of the vintage." This 99-point wine was $99 upon release and sells for upwards of $150 a bottle these days.  It also received a 95-point review from Antonio Galloni at Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Still a youngin'--this wine has more than a generation or two of life left. 

Place your bid on this 2-bottle lot of 2001 Conterno Fantino "Sori Ginestra" Barolo...

This auction ends March 13, 2011 at 5 p.m. 

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