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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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Wednesday
Mar212012

Direct Imports @ K&L

What does that really mean, anyway? Direct import. "How does the fact that K&L imported a wine really make a difference to me, the customer?" one might ask.

Here's why we at K&L tend to stress the importance of our exclusive wine offerings - bottles that provide value as well as supreme quality:

There are many professions in the alcohol industy.  There's the production side - the part that actually makes the wine.  There's the importation side - the part that gets the wine from Europe to the U.S.  There's the distribution side - the part that brings the wine from the importer to the restaurant or shop.  Finally, there's the retail side - the person who actually sells you the bottle.  Along that complicated path comes the fee from each participant - each component taking a cut on the way.  But what if we could remove all those middlemen from the equation and just sell you the wine directly from the producer?  What if we went and did their job ourselves? Dollars could then be shaved off the sticker price, resulting in incredible values for those in the know.  Ladies and gentlemen, we want you all to be in "the know."  That's why we're going to start featuring some of our fantastic direct import wines here on the blog.  

Mulan Chan, our French regional buyer, travels to France each year to meet directly with producers who are interested in bringing their wines to America.  While traveling through the Languedoc, she met Paul Old and Hugo Stewart, the founders of Les Clos Perdus.  These two gentlemen have dedicated their practice to discovering and nurturing select parcels of old vines that are scattered through the hillsides of the region.  In many cases, their geographical location prevents machine harvesting, so larger producers have lost interest in their profitability despite the quality of the fruit.  The Prioundo is a blend of 80% grenache and 20% Cinsault from Corbieres hills, near the village of Villeseque.  It's a medium-bodied wine full of fresh red fruits and delicously juicy texures.  

More importantly, it's a wine of such a quality that we would expect to cost $25, but since it's a K&L direct import, our customers pay $16.99.  It's a fine example of what's possible when we purchase wine straight from the source. 

-David Driscoll

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