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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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Friday
May182012

Champagne Friday: Visiting the Vineyard at Champagne Aspasie

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Visiting the Vineyard: Champagne Aspasie

On my trip to Champagne, I had a chance to join Paul-Vincent Ariston in the tiny vineyard where he grows three grape varieties that almost went extinct in Champagne - Meslier, Arbanne, and Pinot Blanc. He shows us the vineyard and explains a little bit of the history & challenges of these rarities.

The wine that comes from this vineyard is my personal favorite special occasion Champagne, the Ariston Aspasie "Cepages d'Antan" Brut Champagne ($99). I often feel guilty that my own consumption has impacted the global supply- they only made 3000 bottles!  

Ariston Aspasie "Cepages d'Antan" Brut Champagne ($99) Composed of 40% Meslier, 40% Arbanne and 20% Pinot Blanc, on the palate the Champagne makes for a double take: it is very rich and textural, but finishes with a laser beam of chalky acidity that just goes on and on. It is fantastic first course Champagne, and pairs well with a wide variety of foods, we tried it with both foie and oysters to equal delight! 

 

 

 

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Check out more educational wine and spirits videos by Gary and other experts from K&L on YouTube!

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