Posts tagged ‘Crémant d’Alsace’

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

 

 

logo

 

 

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.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

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:

Klout

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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

 

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!

 

 

Cremant d’Alsace Sparkling Wines

 

 

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

 

 

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs

N.V. Willm Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Pinot Noir

 

 

logo

 

 

Overview:

Talk about perfect timing, as we were making final plans for a vacation, I get an e-mail offering me four Crémant d’Alsace wines to sample.  Since we were driving, it was very easy to make the decision to take the sparkling wines with us to “sample” during the warm South Carolina evenings before dinner.

 

 

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.

 

 

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:

Crémant d'Alsace Line up

Crémant d’Alsace Line up

 

 

 

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs – SRP $18

Baron de Hoen is the brand of Cave de Beblenheim.  Cave de Beblenheim was established in 1952 and today consists of 120 winegrowers and 750 acres of vineyards extending over 7 villages.

 

This 100% Pinot Blanc uses hand-picked grapes and is made using the method traditionelle, in which the second fermentation occurs in the bottle.

 

This wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and has 10 g/l of residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color.  The inviting nose has apples, pears, spice, orange zest, minerals and a touch of nuttiness.  This has a light body with crisp acidity, very light residual sweetness and loads of pinpoint bubbles.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and a nutty element hit first with citrus zest coming in on the backend.  This has decent length with some very slight lingering sweetness.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but is still very tasty and easy to drink.  (87 pts)

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d'Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs

 

 

 

N.V. Willm Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc – SRP $16

Emile Willm established the Willm estate in 1896 in Barr, just south of Strasbourg.  They are owners of the famed Clos Gaensbrennel, known for producing one of the greatest Gewurztraminers in the world.  The estate’s wines were the first to be imported in the United States from Alsace in the early 1930s, just after prohibition.

 

Grapes are harvested once the harvest ban has been removed, when the grapes are just about to reach full maturity, creating good acidity in the vivacity and fruitiness of the wine.   This wine is made using the méthode traditionnelle, in which the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, followed by a 12 month maturation period.

 

This 100% Pinot Blanc has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden-yellow color.  The appealing nose has apples, pears, minerals, anise, spice, some nuttiness and a hint of honey.  This has a light body with crisp acidity, pinpoint sized bubbles and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate this offers nice up front fruit, minerals and nuttiness.  The finish has good length with a just a hint of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity but easy to enjoy.  (88 pts)

N.V. Willm Crémant d'Alsace Blanc de Blanc

N.V. Willm Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc

 

 

 

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé – SRP $20

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.

 

Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir.  The whole cluster hand-picked grapes are softly pressed in a pneumatic press, hence the coral, light pink salmon color.  Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made by using the same methods as in Champagne, i.e “method traditionnelle”.  After the second fermentation in the bottle, lee ageing lasts for nine months, followed by remuage and disgorging.

 

This has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, yeasty bread and a hint of citrus zest.  The wine has light body with crisp acidity and sporadic pinpoint bubbles after an initial blast of bubbles left a nice mousse.   Cherries, strawberries and minerals dominate the palate.  The finish has great length with just a hint of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity but very tasty.  (90 pts)

NV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé

NV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

 

 

 

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Pinot Noir – SRP $25

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 Cremant d’Alsace Rose is made from 100% Pinot Noir.  The wine has 12.0% alcohol by volume and has 7.8 g/l of residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly bright pink salmon color.  The fresh smelling nose has strawberries, orange zest, minerals and yeast bread.  The wine has a light body with crisp acidity and very persistent pinpoint bubbles.  On the palate strawberries and minerals grab hold slowly allowing orange zest to come through on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of yeast coming into the picture.  Not a lot of depth or complexity, but tasty and an easy drinker.  (88 pts)

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d'Alsace Pinot Noir

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Pinot Noir

 

 

 

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.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

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:

Klout

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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

 

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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