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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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Entries in 1999 (1)

Wednesday
Dec292010

Wine of the Week: 1999 Tarlant "Rosé Prestige"

Just because it's almost 2011 doesn't mean you can't still party like it's 1999. Of course, this time around you don't have to worry about Y2K or any other millennium fear-mongering, all you need is our Wine of the Week, the 1999 Tarlant "Rosé Prestige" Extra Brut Chamapgne ($79.99).

Champagne Tarlant is an exceptional house in the Marne Valley, established in 1687. Their vines are planted to a combination of limestone, chalk, sand and pebbly soils, which lend the wines their distinctive character. The 1999 Rosé Prestige is a blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir, and it smells like summer--something all of us could use a little of after all this rain and snow. Strawberries, cherries and muskmelon dominate the nose and palate, complemented by a subtle hint of roasted almonds. Its mousse is wonderfully delicate, carrying pearls of minerals across your tongue. Try it with oysters, paté or other charcuterie. It would also be delicious with traditional Italian cotechino and lentils or black-eyed peas and greens.

Happy New Year!

Leah Greenstein