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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 Bethel Heights (3)

Friday
Nov192010

Talking Turkey: Gougères from Bethel Heights 

Image courtesy of Karen Low at Citrus and Candy.

Editor's Note: Everybody celebrates Thanksgiving just a little bit differently, which is why we've been hitting up some of our winemaking friends for some of their Thanksgiving recipes and wine pairings, which we'll be featuring over the next week. This time we reached out to Mimi Dudley Casteel, the second generation at Bethel Heights Vineyard in Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills. Mimi, along with her father Ted Casteel, tends the vines that have made this winery's offerings among some of the best over the past 30+ years. Her gougères are the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer--easy to make, sophisticated and a mouthwatering match for the 2008 Bethel Heights "Estate" Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (or both).

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Friday
Nov122010

Food-Pairing Friday: Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Sriracha & Mint

It's been more than four years since I wrote my first ode to Brussels sprouts, the cute, grassy green little cabbages about the size of a golf ball. And I'm still amazed that despite New York Magazine declaring that "Vegetables are the New Meat," their reputation hasn't improved much more than rosé wine in some circles. (See this summer's post, No Way Rosé.) But Brussels sprouts are deliciously sweet with nutty overtones when they're cooked properly. And you can do almost anything you want to them--though I often default to a quick sauté and dressing them up in the salty goodness of Fra-Mani pancetta--as long as you don't boil them. They're even amenable to a little kick, like in this simple recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint from our friends the White on Rice Couple.

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Tuesday
Nov092010

Winemaker Interview: Amy Wesselman of Westrey Wine Company

Fall in Oregon is a bit like Russian roulette if you're a winemaker. But the gamble--against cool weather, mold, rot and rain--is more than worth it...if you win. On the day I visited Amy Wesselman of Westrey Wine Company at the vineyard she owns and farms in the Dundee Hills with her husband and partner, David Autrey, it looked like Mother Nature might have the upper hand. I had been trying to outrun the rain on the drive over the Eola-Amity Hills from Bethel Heights, but as I bounced along the dirt road that led the Oracle Vineyard the dark, thick clouds told me we were done for.

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