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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 Italy (10)

Tuesday
Apr282015

One of Montalcino's Greatest Producers makes great Rosso as well!

I’ve known Caroline Pobitzer and Jan Erbach since 2003 when their tiny winery was more of a Garage than anything else. I remember Jan climbing through an impossibly arranged stack of barrels in an incredibly small cellar under their house and just being stunned at how anyone could work like this and still create really good wine. Much has changed over the years and they now have an incredible winery building that Jan designed and they’ve added vineyards as well, they’re still tiny, just shy of 15 acres.  Pian dell’Orino, is perched on a little plateau just above Biondi Santi just 2.5 kilometers from the town of Montalcino while the other 3 vineyards they have are another few kilometers away but still in the south-eastern corner of Montalcino near the Abbey of Sant’Antimo.

 

Jan would be upset if I portrayed him as a “winemaker” because the major portion of his work is in the vineyards, nature is his true passion (other than Champagne and Vinyl) he’s an ardent certified Organic (certified by ICEA) and Bio-Dynamic (certified by Demeter) farmer, if you’d like the whole story check out their website www.piandellorino.com. The wines are all 100% Sangiovese, all natural yeasts and unfiltered while the Brunello are all aged in 15-25hl barrels, the Rosso is aged in barrique (.25hl) and tonneaux (.5hl).

 

Mike “Guido” Parres and I tasted the 2012 Pian dell’Orino Rosso di Montalcino $39.99

in February while Guido and I were hanging in Jan’s “Man Cave” listening to his vinyl recordings of Frank Zappa, OK, that may not been what you thought our “work” was about, but one has to be flexible.  We were struck by how incredibly delicious the 2012 Pian dell’Orino Rosso di Montalcino is, but it wasn’t the incredible “deliciousness” that makes this wine so special is its’ purity. Sangiovese when grown in the right soil and best methods is truly an eye into the soil, and Jan’s wines truly speak of their origins, the dirt, the yeast, the air, slope so many things that make each little vineyard site so different. The nose is full of a complex blend of earth, spice, plum, wild cherry, wild herbs, smoke, and shows a particularly savory side to it. On the palate the wine is true to its Sangiovese core with a long, central structure that stretches out the plum and wild cherry and intertwines the two with a mix of depth and tannic structure and then the spice shows up. So complex, building slowly, not jumping out, just a long, ever growing flavor…Stupendous. This wine will age easily for a decade but it is so good to drink now it’s OK to pop one tonight! I would decant the wine for 1-2 hours; Sangiovese always does better with air. This is a profound wine, and really a jewel only 441 cases were made, we’ve sewed up almost all that came to California, but don’t wait it will go in a hurry!

 Ciao, Greg St.Clair K&L Italian Wine Buyer

Wednesday
Apr222015

*NEW* 2010 Brunello Producer - Albatreti

Thank you Ryan for posting this for me...I’ll get my own login soon! - Greg St.Clair

The moment I put my nose in this wine I knew it was extraordinary, effortless, graceful, and classic, everything you’d want in a Brunello and more…and well…without being “More”. My colleague Mike “Guido” Parres and I tasted the wine simultaneously and both had the same reaction “WOW” who is this? We’ve been travelling to Montalcino together for more than 20 years and have tasted a veritable ocean of Brunello. We’d never even heard of this producer, the first vintage was the 2009 and we hadn’t seen it in the market at all. We re-tasted another bottle just to make sure we didn’t get mis-poured, and the second time we had a “Double Wow”!

So we went out to meet the producer, Gaetano Salvioni and found a self proclaimed “Hobbyist”. He makes 5300 bottles of Brunello, that’s not cases that’s bottles. He ages the wine for 12 months in barrels not bigger than 5HL then 2 years in botte, that’s a really big barrel. His vineyards are about 30 years old and just southwest of the town of Montalcino in a rocky outcrop in some of the highest elevations in Montalcino.

The nose on this wine is scintillating, so pure it is hard to put into words to, yet it seems like waves of aromas of wild cherry, Tuscan brush, leather, rosemary and Middle Eastern spices. On the palate the wine is so graceful, respectful and calm it reminded me of Gaetano himself.

Sangiovese’s long core of acidic structure gives this wine just incredible length and around this foundation the wild cherry flavors seem to wrap themselves around this center and then peel back into the flow of the wine.

On the palate the wine has real body, weight and a richness that is so texturally pleasing it’s hard to believe it seems so delicate at the same time. In the mouth the wine has so much flavor or so many flavors it would seem to be a Bulldozer but this wine’s great charm and character is its delicacy, it’s no Bulldozer it’s a Symphony.

The fruit is so well integrated into the wine it doesn’t seem to have layers or waves it is just one very complex flavor that includes wild cherry, leather, porcini, earth, oyster shells, smoke, rosemary, dried meats, spice and that wild Tuscan brush. Great balance as well, you can drink this wine now or age for another decade plus, it is a real steal!

 

2010 Albatreti Brunello di Montalcino (Pre-Arrival) $34.99

Ciao, Greg St.Clair K&L Italian Wine Buyer

 

 

Tuesday
Jul022013

K&L Electronic Newsletter 5th Edition - Italy: Open Your Heart to New Experiences

K&L Wine News July 01 2013: Italy

K&L Wine News

July 2013

Electronic Newsletter Fifth Edition

Italy: Open Your Heart to New Experiences

Italy is the world’s most diverse winegrowing region, from racy whites in the north to luscious reds in the south. In this issue, our Italian team invites you to embrace life like an Italian and try something new!

Click the image or follow the link at the end of the page to read more:

http://www.klwines.com/staff/3005pdf/July13-Italy.pdf