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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 Finca Allende (1)

Tuesday
Jan102012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News - 1/11/12: Bodegas Las Orcas

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

Greetings all,  

Let's start off by thanking everyone who made it to our tastings this past Saturday.  The first tasting of the year can be a tough one to guage - will people turn out, excited to once again have a Saturday tasting after a few weeks without one?  Or perhaps people would want to take it easy after the holidays? 

Well, as it turned out a lot of people wanted to taste some wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  And, since we only have the opportunity to do this a few times a year, we had the chance to open some good bottles:  1996 Viña Sastre Pagos de Santa Cruz Ribera del Duero, 1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Reserva Rioja, 1996 Finca Allende "Aurus" Rioja.  In Redwood City we were fortunate to have a bottle of 1970 Viña Tondonia Blanco, a rare relic which, frankly, I was tired of passing by in the jewel rack without pulling it out and opening it for curious customers and staff.  

Let's keep that Rioja feeling going this week.  Based in the Rioja Alavesa town of Laguardia, Bodegas Las Orcas farms tempranillo as well as a bit of garnacha and graciano.  Their wines are delicious, though at the same time they are serious and built for the long haul.  Amongst tasters' favorite wines last Saturday was the 1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Reserva Rioja.  At 15 years old, it has developed into a beautiful, aromatically complex, medium weight, silky wine, still showing fruit but with plenty of mushroom and sous bois notes to grab your attention.  We hardly have any more of this wine left, grab some before it disappears. 

People also enjoyed the younger and fruitier 2006 Bodegas Las Orcas Crianza Rioja.  This is tasty now, though our experience with this wine suggests that, for those who prefer softer tannins and a bit more savory nuance, its optimal drinking period will not begin for another few years, and will continue through its 10th birthday. 

Finally, the 2001 Bodegas Las Orcas Reserva Rioja is drinking great now, though it too will continue to reward cellaring.   

2006 Bodegas Las Orcas Solar de Randez Crianza Rioja - $14.99 http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1075877  

2001 Bodegas Las Orcas Solar de Randez Reserva Rioja - $24.99 http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1049887  

1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Solar de Randez Reserva Rioja - $29.99 http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1058127  

Saludos,

Joe

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Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com