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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 Grand Valley of the Marne (1)

Friday
Nov162012

Champagne Friday: Larmat Atlas of Champagne

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Larmat Atlas of Champagne

Good maps of the vineyards in Champagne are almost impossible to come by. While almost every other great wine region of the world actively promotes the distribution of maps, Champagne, by contrast, is downright secretive. Some of the best vineyard-specific cartography of the region was printed in tiny runs in 1944 by the Larmat Company in Paris. They were commissioned by a number of the big houses (I have also seen the Roederer and Mumm versions) and I was able to acquire one of the Moet editions.

Benoit Marguet searched auctions in the Champagne region for 10 years on my behalf in order to find this copy. The Larmat Atlas that he found is one of only 500 printed by Moet and is in the best shape of any that I have seen. After receiving it, I contacted Moet for permission to post them here. They agreed, but asked me to explain that the vineyards marked as owned by them on these maps from 1944 do not reflect the current state of affairs. Over the last 68 years new plots have been bought, some old ones sold and other traded.

And finally, here are links to the seven maps and one sales chart from the original Larmat. These are very large PDF’s, so it might take a little while to load them. As I showed in the video, I had theses printed out in full size on laminated Styrofoam board. I hope some of you will also print them out, mine turned out great!

 

Click here for the full map of Champagne

Click here for the Montagne de Reims including vineyard sites

Click here for the Grand Valley of the Marne including vineyard sites

Click here for the Cote des Blancs including vineyard sites

Click here for the Western part of the Mountain of Reims

Click here for the Western part of the Marne and the Aisne

Click here for the Aube

Click here for the 1844-1944 sales chart

 

Enjoy the maps! A toast to you!

-Gary

 

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