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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 Amalfi coast (1)


Wine of the Week: Hellocello Limoncello di Sonoma

Last week, stomach still rumbling from weeks of holiday gluttony, I declared January to be "Digestivo" month here on Uncorked. Within the category, which can include some of the most bitter, medicinal tasting concoctions anyone has thought to drink for pleasure, there is one liqueur that stands out as a fresh, approachable crowd-pleaser: limoncello. 

Traditionally served as an after-dinner drink on Italy's Amalfi Coast, where Sorrento lemon trees trained into canopies that stretch longer than than the Lincoln tunnel line the steeply terraced hillsides. The lemons are macerated in a high proof distillate that is then proofed down with water and sugar, for an electric yellow, sweet, citrusy spirits that tastes like a Mediterranean holiday with the natural digestive benefits of lemon's essential oils . And while "traditional" limoncello comes from Italy, one of the best we've found is actually produced right in our own backyard. Hellocello Limoncello di Sonoma (375ml $24.99) uses organically grown lemons with similar aromatic and flavor characteristics as Sorrento lemons, plus local organic grappa made from biodynamically grown grapes, organic agave sweetner and reverse osmosis cleaned water, to create a limoncello that is pure, bright and energizing. A single sip transports me to my favorite restaurant in the Amalfi town of Minori, Ristorante Libeccio, where the homemade scialatielli with fresh-from-the-sea clams and mussels was one of the best dishes I ate on my honeymoon.

For an authentic experience, drink Limoncello di Sonoma out of a grappa glass, like the one in  Riedel's Vinum line, after a meal full of the freshest seafood you can get your hands on. If you're feeling fiesty, trying mixing it into a cocktail, like the Limoncello Champagne Cocktail with Mint from Bon Appetit.

Cin Cin!

Leah Greenstein