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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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Best of the "Off" Vintages

You'll hear a lot of hype about vintage in Bordeaux.  2009 is considered by many, including one Robert Parker, to be the best vintage ever.  2005 was also considered outstanding, as was the glorious year of 2000.  With high scores come even higher prices, raising the cost of many bottles far beyond what the everyday shopper can afford.  That's why many of us at K&L shop for Bordeaux value in the "off" vintages - years that are not considered collectable, but can still provide an amazing quality of wine for far less.  One of the best examples of value I've seen in the store as of late is the 2007 La Croix de Beaucaillou $39.99 - the second wine of esteemed St. Julien producer Ducru- Beaucaillou.  The standard Ducru from 2007 sold for a whopping $100 a bottle, but the wine they put into the La Croix is also top notch.  Full of rich red fruit and lovely delicate tannins, the wine contradicts the overall score of the vintage. 

Our Bordeaux guys loved this wine and their notes are as follows: This wine was quite sweet on the palate. Lots of black fruit flavors even though it has quite a bit of cabernet in the blend. This is a very good second wine. Toasty oak aromas lead to the palate. Clyde loves this wine's Asian spice aromas and flavors.

I've also noticed that I'm not the only staff member taking this wine home.  The Croix de Beaucaillou is a true staff insider wine - an example of us taking our job home with us.  Our customers depend upon us to find these diamonds in the rough and we get a kick out of doing it.

-David Driscoll

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