Sunday, July 1, 2018

Crémant d'Alsace - Delicious Champagne-Method Bubbles <$25

High quality Champagne-method sparkling wine and value — not always an easy combination to come by. Luckily, Crémant d’Alsace exists.

For less than $25, Crémant d’Alsace provides some of my favorite sparkling wines from France. In Alsace, the producer Lucien Albrecht first began applying the Champagne method process to their own grapes in 1971, and, after lobbying the French authorities for an official designation, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée Crémant d’Alsace was born in 1976. Now, producers all over Alsace make wines this way from a variety of grapes. I’ve been drinking Crémant d’Alsace since I was legally able to purchase alcohol, because I found a few reliably good producers whose wines were so delicious and affordable.

I’m a Champagne worshipper; nothing will ever rival that. But I can’t always spend the money on Champagne, and sometimes I want something good but inexpensive to share with family and friends. And this is where Alsace wines excel, with high quality and $20-ish price points.

Since my last post on Alsace, I received four Crémants d’Alsace, all of which should retail for $25 or less. These wines were received as samples and tastes sighted. 

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d'Alsace - France, Alsace, Crémant d'Alsace
SRP: $25
Light gold color. Aromas of yellow apples, toasted biscuits, crushed shells, cut flower stems. On the palate this is crisp and nervy with a mineral tang and flavors of lemon, green apple. Toasted bread crumbs, chalk dust, floral perfume, this is a bright and zesty style that really powers through on the finish. Yum. A split blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. (90 points)

N.V. J.B. Adam Crémant d'Alsace Emotion - France, Alsace, Crémant d'Alsace
SRP: $22
Light gold color. Bright and floral on the nose, also yellow apples, lemons, with richer cinnamon, biscuits and nougat. Zesty and brisk on the palate, I like the chalky brightness on this wine, but depth is impressive, too. Apricots and limes dusted with chalk, sea salt and candied orange peel. 95% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir. (89 points)

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé - France, Alsace, Crémant d'Alsace
SRP: $22
Pale rose petal color. Fresh and floral aromas of red apple peel, peaches and ruby red grapefruit with some spicy nettle. Crisp and bright on the palate with zesty strawberry, red apple peel, along with spiced white tea, chalk dust and some white pepper. Fresh, brisk, minerally. All Pinot Noir. (87 points)

N.V. Willm Crémant d'Alsace Blanc de Noirs - France, Alsace, Crémant d'Alsace
SRP: $15
Very pale copper color. Yeasty and biscuit nose with apricot, red apple peel, lemon zest, mixed with yellow flowers, honeysuckle and musky cologne. Lively and crisp on the palate with a deep mineral and slate element, impressive depth, highly delicious. Strawberries, lemons and apricots mixed with musk, yellow flowers, almond and rose hips. For $15, this could easily become a house sparkling wine. All Pinot Noir. (89 points)

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