Posts tagged ‘AlsaceRocks’

Alsace Rocks with Four Cremant d’Alsace Wines

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

 

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut

Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace

Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Rosé

Charles Baur Crémant d’Alsace

 

 

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Overview:

Not too long after writing about four Crémant d’Alsace wines, I was invited to participate in an online Wines of Alsace Twitter Taste & Chat featuring four different Crémants d’Alsace sparklers.  Since I loved the first four wines, this was a very easy invitation to accept.  For this event, Wines of Alsace teamed up with Binny’s.  Binny’s had all Alsace wines on sale.

 

 

wine glasses

 

 

About the region:

AOC Crémant d’Alsace is the jewel in the crown of the sparkling wines produced in Alsace.  Fresh and elegant, Crémant d’Alsace is developed by secondary fermentation, and predominately made from Pinot Blanc, but also from Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling or Chardonnay.  These varietals are in general picked at the very beginning of the harvest, an auspicious moment when the grapes offer the best balance and harmony for vinification.

 

As early as the late 19th century, several companies in Alsace were producing sparkling wines by the traditional method, not only in the vineyard area but also in the cities of Strasbourg and Mulhouse.  This tradition, while less commonplace during the first half of the 20th Century, was continued until the creation of AOC Crémant d’Alsace, by the decree of August 24, 1976.  For the wine houses of Alsace, this decree produced the new framework necessary for the production of a high-quality sparkling wine, applying similar, strict demands to those applied in the Champagne region.  Today, more than 500 producers are united under the Syndicate of Producers of Crémant d’Alsace.

Because of its unique personality and outstanding quality, Crémant d’Alsace is currently the top AOC sparkling wine to be consumed in homes across France.  It has also earned considerable international recognition.

 

AOC Crémant d’Alsace represents 22% of the region’s wine production.

 

For more information on Crémant d’Alsace please click here.

 

To follow the key players on Twitter, consider the following:

@drinkAlsace – Wines of Alsace

@binnysbev – Binny’s Beverage, largest Chicago retailer and co-­‐host of the tasting

@teuwencomm – Teuwen Communications, agency of record for Wines of Alsace

@dopffirion  – Dopff & Irion

@quintwines – Quintessential Wines, importer of Gustave Lorentz

@pasternakwine – Pasternak Wine, importer of Lucien Albrecht

 

 

Teuwen logo

 

I want to thank the wineries and especially Teuwen Communications for providing me with this opportunity to try these wines.  For more information on Teuwen Communications, please click here.

 

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting:

Cremant d'Alsace Sparkling Wines line up

Cremant d’Alsace Sparkling Wines line up

 

 

 

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut

Domaine Lucien Albrecht is one of the oldest and leading Alsace family owned estate, tracing its roots back to 1425.  Through the Albrecht eighteen generations, they have become one of the largest owners of prime Alsace hillside vineyards.  In the early 70’s, Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean, the current proprietor and winemaker, was one of the three founding fathers of the regulated Crémant d’Alsace.  In 2004, Lucien Albrecht Crémants made history.  At the 14th Concours National des Crémants de France (Crémant Wine Challenge), they stole the show, winning an unprecedented Four Gold Medals.

 

This wine is a blend of 80% Pinot Auxerrois, 10% Pinot Blanc and 10% Chardonnay.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color with persistent pinpoint sized bubbles.  The very inviting nose has apples, lemon zest, minerals, orange blossoms and a hint of yeasty bread.  This has a light body and a mouthful of bubbles with crisp lemony acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate lemon, apples and minerals take charge with a light floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short with lemon zest, minerals and a yeasty note carrying the load.  (88 pts)

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut

 

 

 

Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace

The grapes are carefully selected and vinified according to the “Methode Champenoise.” After traditional fermentation “vin de base” in tanks, a second fermentation (“prise de mousse”) takes place in the cool cellars.  Ageing is done “sur lattes” with daily bottle rotation, going from a horizontal to vertical position, in order for the yeast deposit to accumulate in the neck of the bottle.   At the time of “degorgement,” the neck is frozen and, enclosed in ice, the sediment is ejected by natural pressure, after which the bottle is corked and wired.

 

This wine is a blend of equal amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color with abundant very small bubbles after a nice frothy mousse.  The refreshing nose has apples, cherry skin, orange blossoms, peach pit and lemon zest.  This has a light body with crisp acidity and just a touch of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart green apples and lemon zest grab hold initially, eventually allowing cherry skin, peach pit and stony minerals to come in on the back end.  The finish has good length with apples and lemon zest taking control.  (89 pts)

Gustave Lorentz Crémant d'Alsace

Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace

 

 

 

Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Rosé – SRP $17

The Irion and the Dopff families were already wine connoisseurs in the 16th century and have been closely involved in the fortunes of the village of Riquewihr throughout the ages.  The firm of Dopff & Irion was established when Rene Dopff joined fortunes with the widowed Madame Irion.  Rene Dopff was the first to have faith in the concept of “terroir,” the restructuring of the vineyard by dividing it into five “domains” or estates, and then planting each one with the most suitable grape variety.

 

This is made from 100% Pinot Noir.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pink salmon color with abundant pinpoint bubbles after a foamy mousse.  The enticing nose has red currants, orange blossoms, minerals and a touch of yeasty bread.  The wine has light body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  Red fruit and orange zest greet the palate with minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with nice the orange zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is a very tasty and easy drinking sparkler to start off an evening or to pour for friends.  (91 pts)

Dopff & Irion Crémant d'Alsace Rosé

Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Rosé

 

 

 

Charles Baur Crémant d’Alsace

Wine at Domaine Charles Baur has been made by many generations of the Baur family.  Armand Baur took over the property from his father, Charles, who began selling the property’s own wine in bottles beginning in 1946.  Today, Armand Baur and his son Arnaud produce wine from 30 acres of vines of which 7 acres are in the Grand Cru Eichberg and Pfersigberg.  The property is located in the village of Eguisheim, which is just west of the city of Colmar, in the southern portion of Alsace.  The terroir is composed mainly of clay and old limestone and marl which give the wines of Domain Baur a rich creaminess and depth of flavor as well as an interesting complexity in both the aromas and flavors.

 

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light salmon color with small persistent bubbles.  The enticing nose has cherry skins, strawberry, minerals, yeasty bread, orange blossoms and lemon zest.  This has a light body with crisp acidity and just a slight hint of sweetness.  On the palate the bright fruit and minerals jump out first with more minerals and citrus coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with some orange and a yeasty note joining the fruit and minerals.  This is a nice, easy drinking sparkling wine that would be a hit with light appetizers at a party.  (89 pts)

Charles Baur Crémant d'Alsace

Charles Baur Crémant d’Alsace

 

 

 

Closing Thoughts

These sparkling wines were all delicious.  Some may have lacked some complexity but that did not hurt the taste.  These had just a touch of closing sweetness but also had plenty of acidity to make your mouth water for another sip.

 

If you are looking for an easy to drink sparkling wine, I would wholeheartedly recommend checking out one of these wines or another Crémant d’Alsace.  These offer outstanding value when compared to a bottle of Champagne.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

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Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Wines of Alsace – Rieslings

 

This is based on samples supplied by the winery or another organization on their behalf.

 

2010 Trimbach Riesling

2011 Meyer-Fonné Riesling Reserve

2011 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d’E

2011 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvée Théo

 

 

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The Region of Alsace

Tucked into France’s northeastern corner, Alsace follows the Rhine River through its long, thin strip.  The Vosges Mountains protect and provide Alsace with a backdrop for some of France’s most stunning scenery.

 

Central to this landscape of rolling hills and charming timber villages is the renowned Alsace Wine Route (Route des Vins d’Alsace), a 106 mile journey winding through more than 100 wine villages, 19 of which host 26 Michelin-starred restaurants.  Incomparable weather and scenery, delicious eating and drinking, and generous hospitality make Alsace a feast for all the senses.

 

Loads of information on Alsace is available here.

 

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The lineup for the tasting was:

Wines of Alsace

 

 

 

2010 Trimbach Riesling – SRP $20

To me, Trimbach is the torch bearer for Alsace wines.  You can find their wines in just about every decent wine store in the country.

 

The Trimbach family has been producing wine since 1626 and the 13th generation of the family, Anne, has recently joined the “family business”.  Trimbach usually harvests their grapes in late October.  The grapes are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and concrete vats.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The fresh and Spring like nose has lemon zest, minerals, apples, candied ginger, steamy slate, orange blossoms, white peach, and a touch of pineapple.  This has fairly light body, very crisp acidity, and is dry.  On the palate mouthwatering lemon and minerals kick off the show with candied ginger and a floral note kicking in on the back end.  The finish is very long with a bit of pineapple adding to the lemon and minerals.  This was better as it warmed and got some air.  This is good now, but will reward a few years in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2010 Trimbach Riesling

 

 

 

2011 Meyer-Fonné Riesling Reserve – SPR $22

This is another old world winery that has been around for a LONG time.  In this case, the winery was founded in 1732.

 

The winery is increasingly getting into organic farming and does not use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.  All grapes are hand picked and are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks or oak barrels using native yeasts.  The wines are aged on their fine lees

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light straw color.  The very open and easy going nose has lemon zest, apples, white peaches, minerals, and honeysuckle.  This has light to medium body, good acidity, and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate this is very fruit driven with apples and citrus up front with minerals and white peach coming in later.  The finish has nice length and again is fruit driven.  This is a touch softer that most dry Rieslings making it seem a touch sweeter.  This fruit driven wine could easily stand alone on a hot afternoon or evening of pair with a spicy dish.  (87 pts)

2011 Meyer-Fonne Riesling Reserve

 

 

 

2011 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d’E – SRP $24

This is a relatively new winery that was founded in 1966.

 

This wine is a blend of grapes from 15 different plots in and around the village of Epfig.  This wine is made in a style that showcases the fruit with little regard for terroir.  The grapes are whole cluster pressed via a pneumatic press and fermented using wild yeasts and aged in stainless steel tanks for a year.

 

This wine is Certified Organic.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light, pale straw color.  The very nice nose has lemon zest, toast, apples, white flowers, spice, grapefruit, apricots, and minerals.  This has light to medium body, good acidity, and has just a hint of sweetness.  The creamy palate features nice citrus and apples up front with a nice floral note, pices, and minerals coming in on the backend.  The finish has very nice length and again highlights the citrus, apple, and minerals, with a slight saline element coming into play.  This would be a very nice wine to serve to a new comer as an introduction to dry Rieslings.  (89 pts)

2011 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d'E

 

 

 

2011 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvée Théo – SRP $30

Talk about a winery with some history!  The winery was established in 1612 and the land has been home to vines since at least the year 890.

 

All Domaine Weinbach wines are estate-grown and bottled.  The vineyards have been cultivated organically for 20 years.

 

After gentle pressing the wines are vinified in ancient 1500 to 6000 liter casks using only native yeasts.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden straw color.  The very appealing nose has lemon zest, minerals, anise, white pepper, white peaches, apples, pineapple, lime zest, yeasty bread, and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity, and is dry.  Even though this is dry it has nice richness on the palate with a nice mix of fruit and minerals with a very appealing herbal note in the background and a spritz of lime kicking in on the lengthy finish.  Even at the young age, this is already showing nice complexity.  This is one to enjoy now or a few years down the road.  Impressive.  (91 pts)

2011 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Theo

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

Cheers!

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