Chateau de Brézé

The Story

L’Histoire:  Lauded in the classical literature of the 15th century, by King René of Anjou, the legendary wines of Château de Brézé were served in many royal courts in Europe. Regularly exchanged with other famous châteaux, like Sauternes’ greatest, Château d’Yquem, during the 1600’s, the white wines of Château de Brézé became known throughout Europe as “Chenin de Brézé.”

When the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) of Saumur-Champigny was established in 1957, the owner of Château de Brézé refused the inclusion of his vineyards into this red wine appellation. His claim was that his historical vineyards were the best in the area for Chenin Blanc and that they should have their own AOC, Brézé.  He was denied and the vineyards remained part of the abyss of Saumur.  However, most vignerons in the area would tell you today that the vineyards of Brézé are the best vineyards in Saumur, and that the claim of superiority is true.

In 2009, the château’s new owner, le Comte de Colbert, asked Yves Lambert and his son, Arnaud, from Domaine de Saint-Just, to manage the estate. They accepted with a twenty-five year lease and immediately began a hard work of converting these historical vineyards to organic culture after more than fifty years of chemical farming.  Today, five after many years of quality farming and the deft touch of Arnaud, the brilliance of the wines known centuries ago is reemerging.

Lay of the Land

Saumur, the vast sister appellation to Saumur-Champigny, is largely made up of tiny estates and one big co-op. There are hills that pop up here and there but they are generally gentle slopes leading down to alluvial valleys carved out by the flooding of the Loire River and its tributaries over thousands of years. Brézé is a unique place to all others in Saumur.

Tuffeau limestone is the mother rock that sits below the surface of all vineyards on this hill.  Indeed, topsoils vary with different depths and mixtures of limestone, clay and sands. Cold temperatures of Brézé couple with the highly active calcium content in the soil to create still wines that have unusually low finishing pH levels (within the range of 2.85 to 3.05) and extraordinarily powerful acidic structures; they are more like what is found in Champagne, or other sparkling wines. Brézé is a special terroir that tastes and smells like no other.

Clos Tue-Loup

Château de Brézé - 2014 Saumur Rouge, ‘Clos Tue-Loup’

Price: $32.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

Out of stock

Type of Wine: Red
Style: Rich, Medium Body

The Wine

Inside the Bottle: If you like Cabernet Franc and red Burgundy, the red wines from the hill of Brézé are a must try. Of course, these wines come from the Loire Valley but there is a similarity in polish and nobility of Burgundy with the red's of Brézé.

If the proper time is given to this wine to open up it will overflow with high-toned, fresh red and black fruits, followed with rich, red flowers and softer notes of black earth, gravel, meat and iodine. The wine is raised in old oak barrels to keep the savory earth and pure fruit notes fully intact. During fermentation, it was extracted a mere three times, a strong move to further encourage the purity and precision of the wine. In typical Brézé fashion, the acidity reigns over the tannic structure. Indeed, the tannins are present but they are smoothly polished and serve as a supporting role for the wine's striking and refined acidity. Clos du Tue-Loup is a "tour de force" in the ethereal department of Cabernet Franc and while there are many examples of this grape that try to make up for their lack of noble terroir, Arnaud works to let Brézé do most of the speaking for the wine.

Terroir: Again, tuffeau limestone is the biggest key ingredient here. In the Clos du Tue-Loup, it sits below a good dose of clay supported by sand and larger limestone rocks. This structure allows more power and depth to the wine compared to a more sandy site.

About The Wine

Inside the Bottle: If you like Cabernet Franc and red Burgundy, the red wines from the hill of Brézé are a must try. Of course, these wines come from the Loire Valley but there is a similarity in polish and nobility of Burgundy with the red’s of Brézé.

If the proper time is given to this wine to open up it will overflow with high-toned, fresh red and black fruits, followed with rich, red flowers and softer notes of black earth, gravel, meat and iodine. The wine is raised in old oak barrels to keep the savory earth and pure fruit notes fully intact. During fermentation, it was extracted a mere three times, a strong move to further encourage the purity and precision of the wine. In typical Brézé fashion, the acidity reigns over the tannic structure. Indeed, the tannins are present but they are smoothly polished and serve as a supporting role for the wine’s striking and refined acidity. Clos du Tue-Loup is a “tour de force” in the ethereal department of Cabernet Franc and while there are many examples of this grape that try to make up for their lack of noble terroir, Arnaud works to let Brézé do most of the speaking for the wine.

Terroir: Again, tuffeau limestone is the biggest key ingredient here. In the Clos du Tue-Loup, it sits below a good dose of clay supported by sand and larger limestone rocks. This structure allows more power and depth to the wine compared to a more sandy site.