Armed with remarkable finesse and driving personality, Arnaud Lambert’s dynamic dry Chenin will easily be the best $20 you spend this summer. For lovers of crystalline, fresh white wines, Lambert’s electric work here defies the weeknight asking price. Don’t miss a fabulous “introduction” wine to this remarkable and hugely important Loire estate.
2018 Arnaud Lambert (Chateau de Brézé) Saumur Blanc Les Perrieres
Tim’s Tasting Note: Born from 65-year-old vines on silt and limestone, Lambert’s deeply impressive Les Perrieres is a Chenin that effortlessly provides an incandescent brightness and detailed intensity you simply can’t find in 99.9% $20 wines. Juicy citrus orchard fruits play off a tension-filled freshness – this is an absolutely beautiful bottle of wine.
More About the Wine
In his seminal book “The Sommeliers Atlas of Taste”, Raj Parr wastes no time emphasizing how significant the hill of Brézé in Saumur is to France: “Brézé is on the rise, today producing some of the most arrestingly mineral, intense Chenin Blanc on the planet. For at least 500 years, these vines produced some of the most profound wines of France.” In other words, if you haven’t paid attention to this appellation yet, well…it’s time.
Mr. Parr goes on to emphasize the importance of Lambert’s work: “Arnaud Lambert has 21 hectares, and makes stunning single vineyard whites…these are precise crystal sharp wines in their youth, with enough snap to shock the tongue, but still possess the weight and resonance to expand and slightly soften with age...”
Historically, Château De Brézé has long belonged to the Counts of Colbert, but it was only with the arrival of Arnaud Lambert that the reputation of chateau began to rise again. After his time studying in Bordeaux and Burgundy, Mr. Lambert took control of the estate with his father in 2009. 2010 was Lambert’s first true vintage and he hit out of the park. Little by little he has turned the 21 hectares of vineyards over to organic farming, and last year the entire estate begun to be fully converted to Biodynamic.
Now, after working with these vineyards for over ten years, Lambert feels like he has finally hit his stride. We would argue Lambert (who is famously humble) hit his stride far sooner. This 2018 – a fabulous vintage for the Loire – hits the perfect balance of delicious fruit and mineral tension. Don’t waste your time finding another value Chenin, it’s right here!