2012 Château de Brézé Clos de la Rue Saumur Blanc
Very pale peach skin color. Fresh melon and nectarine aromas are complicated by cream, lanolin and honey. Fleshy and smooth, showing a pure, bright orange quality and toasted wood nuances and then picking up nervier lime notes on the back of the palate. Suavely blends depth with vivacity and finishes with excellent clarity, balance and mineral persistence. While this property has long belonged to the Counts of Colbert, it was only with the arrival of Arnaud Lambert that the reputation of Château de Brézé began to rise. After studying in both Bordeaux and Burgundy, he returned in 2006 to Domaine de Saint Just, which his father had purchased ten years earlier. When the two took control of the Château de Brézé in January of 2009, the vineyards were in a disastrous state, but the progression since the vintage 2010--the first he calls truly his own--has been impressive, with the 2012s being the finest whites that I have ever tasted from this estate. Little by little he has turned the 25 hectares of vineyards over to organic farming and begun separating each of the eight parcels to highlight their individual character. The Château de Brézé has long been known as the estate with the best potential for dry white Saumur. Now the results speak for themselves. (Joel B. Payne,)
With some wood aging, this is a toasty, perfumed wine. It has a stony, structured character with plenty of acidity as well as ripe apricot and sweet apple flavors. The crispness has been tamed by the wood aging to give a ripe, full in the mouth wine. Drink from 2017.
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.