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Old 31-08-2012, 11:47 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default visit to Dom. St. Just, Chateau de Brézé

On Wednesday morning Adele and I visited the Domaine St. Just where we
were given a very comprehensive tasting by the lovely and friendly
Ann-Lor. She was very knowledgeable, but owner/winemaker Arnaud Lambert
was also there to offer precision or elaboration when necessary. He was
very busy obviously, so we appreciated the attention.

Although we have followed St. Just since its inception in 1996, this is
actually the first time we've visited. Happily success has followed the
domain, but sadly the prices have followed too. (Still Loire pricing
though).

The Lamberts bought Ch. Brézé 3 years ago, and these additional 25ha
bring the total production up to a fairly important 65ha. Both domains
are certified organic and in the process of becoming biodynamic.

As an aside, Ch Brézé looks like a fascinating place to visit for a pure
tourist romp. We intend to try and make it there next year.

I didn't take detailed notes except in a few cases, but my short-term is
pretty good.

St. Just:

Cremant Blanc: Nice fine mousse, floral, good balance, cake and nuts.
60/40 chenin/chardonnay. 8.40 EU

Cremant Rose: Nice mousse again but I thought over balanced towards
strawberry. Not sweet, but not for me. 8.40

Les Perrieres Saumur Blanc 2010: a bit thin but serviceable chenin. nice
acidic backbone. 8.50

Les Terres Rouges Saumur-Champigny 2010: Just bottled in April, I
thought the nose flabby and almost gamay-like. Mouth drying, but decent
fruit hidden away. Needs a year or 2 to come around, and actually quite
typical but not for me. 8.50

La Coulée de Saint-Cyr Saumur Blanc 2010: This has always been the
flagship, and it didn't disappoint. Lovely floral chenin nose, very
round but excellent balance, slight vanilla from the oak overlaid with
tropical fruits and good length. Has aged very well. 17.00

La Montée des Roches Saumur-Champigny 2010: This is a wine from higher
up, and showed an excellent structure overlaid with griottes and
bramble. Still very tannic but the cabernet franc typicity is very
present and not at all hidden by 12 months in bordelais, with some new
wood. Will need some time, but I liked very much. 14.00

Le Clos Moleton Saumur Champigny 2009: Lovely nose of black fruits,
great concentration but not at all jammy (an unfortunate tendency in the
appellation) black cherry, fine acidity, very long and tannic. A
pleasure that will demand 4-5 years to resolve. 20 EU

La Valboisiere Coteaux de Saumur 2005: Dark straw color, this is a wine
selected from fruit that has dried on the vine (vin de grains
passerillés), after 12 months in new oak. Fabulous creamy nose,
followed with layer upon layer of candied apricots, quince, vanilla,
liquor. Enough acid to balance but certainly towards sweet, the oak was
just a ghost. Delicious, with 190 gm residual sugar. 30 EU/50 cl. For
me, resistance was futile.

Ch. de Brézé:

Interestingly Ann-Lor clearly felt that this is the superior terroir
(taken as a whole), and it is true that the wines were amazingly direct
and honest without being at all primary. Arnaud Lambert also was very
excited about the new lots and I think there is a guessing game as to
how the aging will go.

Cremant Blanc: We forgot about this and so tasted it after the sweets,
difficult circumstances. I got yeast and vanilla but otherwise seemed
over acidic, so it may be great (or not) for all I can judge. 8.40

Saumur Blanc 2010: I thought this very good (especially at the price),
floral with citrus and pear. It seemed to begin with a round chenin
expression, but finished with a bracing flush of acidity. Very racy.8.40

Saumur Rouge 2010: Very focused cassis nose, very pure fruit, big
structure, good acidity. I think there will be plenty of fruit when the
tannins mellow a bit. Disappointed to see that I didn't buy any, I hate
when that happens. 8.40

Clos David Saumur Blanc 2010: Precise, acidic, lemon and lime, flowers.
Again surprisingly racy for a Saumur blanc. I'd guess Santiago would
like this very much, as did I. 16 EU.

Clos du Tue-Loup Saumur Rouge 2010: refined nose with violets and
cassis, in the mouth very long and meaty but with great tannin and acid
balance, griottes and black fruits. A bit fresher than the Montee.
Great value at 12 EU.

Clos de la Rue Saumur Blanc 2010: Great tension in the mouth, exotic
fruits with huge lashings of lemon, grapefruit, rind. Racy and fresh,
very long fresh finish. 25 EU (ouch).

Clos Bonne Nouvelle Coteaux de Saumur 2010: Very unusual, 130 gm
residual but packed with acidity, Marmalade and lime confit over a big
citrus backbone. Recalled some very racy Coteaux du Layons, but with
its own unique character. They kindly gifted us a bottle which I will
forget about for a long time. 20 EU.

There is another vin passerillés coming from Brézé which will be called
"l'Or de Brézé". It will be very small quantity (as is the Valboisiere)
and is interesting because it retains the racy quality of the terroir to
some extent.

-E




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