Alsace is probably most well known for the aromatic whites – Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewertztraminer. It is also well known for their sparkling wine, Cremant d’Alsace, amde in the classic champenoise method. But, Alsace also produces some lovely Pinot Noir’s will excellent QPR. Tucked away in a corner of eastern France, Alsace has long been a disputed territory. In the confluence of Germany, France, and Switzerland, the Alsatian culture is a fitting blend of these three. Bouncing back in forth across the arbitrary borders that conflict cause, the Alsace region has maintained an independant mentality. When the AOC was created in 1962, wines were not required to be bottled in the region and there were no Grand Crus. That quickly changed in the mid 1970s, and in 1976 the AOC of Crémant d’Alsace was created, to showcase the sparkling wines of the region, which had been produced since the 1900s. Using the Méthode Champenoise (Champagne style, secondary fermentation in the bottle), these bubblies are made from the local aromatic whites of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Auxerrois, as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The rarest of Crémants is the rosé, make entirely of Pinot Noir. Sitting down to dinner on this evening, we were treated to the Jean-Baptiste Adam Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV. This $20 sparkling wine comes from a producer that has been making wine for 400 years; with a 14th generation winemaker at the helm, the estate recently went biodynamic. Aged in foudres and on the lees for 9 months, it is bursting with strawberries and bright citrus it is a delightful summer sipoper. Other Crémants to enjoy: Allimant-Laugner Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé NV – this popular producer offers another history lesson as the Allimant and Laugner families have been making wine since 1724. Now run by 10th generation winemaker Hubert Laugner, this mineral drive rosé comes from vineyards on the granite slopes of the Vosages. It is zesty and driven by blood orange and red fruit, and is a great option for weekend brunch! $18 Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Rose Brut – this budget busting $12 sparkler is a house staple. Easy to drink, easy to find, grab it while you can! Moving in to more undiscovered territory, we started to explore the Pinot Noirs of the region. With 90% of the wines produced in this region being white, and 18% being Crémant, there is only a smattering of red wine available. The vast majority of this red wine is Pinot Noir, used both for the illusive Crémant Rosé, as well as still wines. 2015 Rieflé Pinot Noir Bonheur Convivial – Another historical house, the grapes for this wine are grown on the limestone loess and were fermented on native yeast. Aged in French oak for 10 months, the result is a low alcohol (13.5%) wine with floral notes wafting out of the glass, followed by bright cherry and dusty strawberry, Jolly Rancher notes and mouthwatering herbal notes. 2012 Hubert Meyer Pinot Noir Fut […]
Sadly, Lucien’s twin brother decided to have a party by him self while I was on vacation, and popped his cork without anyone around – thus soaking my futon with tasty Cremant. However, his pink colored bro Luke, is here and quite tasty! The Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose, from Alsace, is a fantastic budget bubbly. This rose is 100% Pinot Noir, and is a pale salmon pink, with some copper flash. The teeny tiny bubbles tickle your nose with strawberries, raspberries, and bitter orange. For under $20, this is a STEAL for a special occasion, or everyday. I love my bubbles, and I love my bubbles with potato chips. I’m munching on some tasty local triple cream cheese, and it’s the perfect compliment. At a price like this, you can afford to celebrate life everyday. Thank you to the importer for sharing these bubbles with me!