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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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Tuesday
May032011

Behind the Wine: Greg Brewer from Brewer-Clifton

Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton of Brewer-Clifton. Photo courtesy of the winery.

If you love California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, you shouldn't miss this Thursday's Brewer-Clifton tasting at K&L San Francisco (5-6:30 p.m.). Get a little insight into the Brewer-Clifton project with this quick interview with Greg Brewer.

K&L: How did you get into the wine business?

Greg Brewer: I got into the business while I was still teaching French at UCSB.  A part time job pouring at the Santa Barbara Winery tasting room swiftly inspired me to pursue a career in the wine industry with production as a primary focus.

K&L: What’s your winemaking philosophy?

GB: Our philosophy is one of deliberate simplicity and focused restraint.  Every intervention on our part is avoided at all costs with the goal of preserving the more pure and carnal demonstration of site possible.

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

Alinea, Nobuo at Teeter House, Providence and the entire Thomas Keller restaurant group.

What did you drink last night? (Or the last time you had a glass of wine that wasn’t your own?)

Pinot from Copain and Arneis from Palmina.

What’s your position on wine-pairing and what do you like to pair your wines with?

I love finding sincerity and intent as harmonizing elements between food and wine.  For me, the presence of that fundamental eclipses more finite attention to specifics.

What advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

The best advice is to not be intimidated by wines and wine related topics.  Every point of view is valid and should be construed just as any other subjective material in our lives.

If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

Bjork, Grant Achatz and Miya Ando.  We would have creepy Icelandic fish executed by Grant on slabs of steel produced by Miya.

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