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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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« Spanish & Portuguese Wine News - 1/11/12: Bodegas Las Orcas | Main | Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Fabulous Chablis in Stock! »

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 1/5/12: Delicious, obscure Portuguese Rioja and Ribera Del Duero Tastings this Saturday in all K&L locations!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish and Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings Iberiophiles,

Short post this week as we assess what new stuff we need after the busy season.  I have a delicious, somewhat obscure pair of wine suggestions this week, from the sandy pre-phylloxera vineyards of the Colares region outside of Lisboa, Portugal. Ramisco is the grape variety, and the two wines below show a distinctive intense, ever so slightly rustic quality, paired with enough fruit and the sort of fresh profile that makes you wonder out loud: "I can't believe this is Portugal!"  Not that Portugal is incapable of producing fresh, balanced, lower alcohol red wines. In fact, wines such as these help to readily disprove that point.

The first of these two wines is from relatively younger vines, with less fruit intensity but lovely balance.  And the second, bottled as a 500ml, shows amazing intensity and structure.  This is an example of a Colares wine which Portuguese connoisseurs collect, and that has proven to be the country's longest ageing red (I've heard of wines from the 1950's showing beautifully, something akin to a fully mature Barolo).  I suppose we will have to all find out for ourselves, though.


2007 Adega Regional Colares Tinto Chao Rioja Colares - $14.99


2004 Adega Regional Colares Arenae Colares (500ml) - $39.99


Also, I would like to encourage you all to stop in this Saturday to Redwood City (1-4pm), San Francisco (12-3pm) or Hollywood (3-5:30pm) for a Rioja and Ribera del Duero focused tasting.  Without mentioning specific wines (the line-ups are different in each store) I will say that the two northern California tastings will have some very cool mini horizontals from both regions, featuring traditional as well as modern producers.  It's always fun to taste with an open mind, compare the different styles, and possibly dispel any prejudices you may have (I do, admittedly, have some about these wines myself).  In Hollywood, the line-up has a bit more Rioja, and will show the amazing range of styles in the region, while showing a few great examples of Ribera del Duero as well.  The Tempranillo grape is the focus, so come in and see how different "terruño" as well as cellar technique affects the profile of these classic Spanish wines.

Un saludo,



Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

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