It’s that time of year when many are reaching for a bottle of bubbly. While Champagne is the first bubbly to come to mind for most consumers, there are many better bargains to be found in sparklers from other regions. If you want a French sparkler but don’t want to pony up the cash it will take to get a true Champagne, then Cremant is the wine for you, and Cremant D’Alsace is one of my favorites.
Certainly we could get into a cultural debate about whether Cremant D’Alsace is more French or more German. The Alsace region does have a lot of Germanic cultural influences, but technically it is French.
This Cremant D’Alsace from Albert Mann is made from a combination of Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois grapes. If you’ve had much bubbly in your life you’ve probably had Pinot Blanc before, but Auxerrois may be a new variety for you to add to your Wine Century Club list. It’s a white variety, closely related to Chardonnay, which is grown in Alsace and parts of Germany.
One of the things that surprised me about this wine is that it has a vintage, 2010. Most sparkling wines I come across in this price range are non-vintage.
This wine is a brut, which means it’s dry. For those new to sparkling wine, brut is the most common style you’ll come across and generally it’s what most consumers prefer.
Another thing you may like about this wine is the label, which is festive by design and perfect for holiday celebrations. Although, in my opinion, you don’t need a holiday to enjoy a bottle of bubbly.
Of course what’s most important is how the wine tastes, and this one delivers in droves. Yeast dominates the aromatics, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion. There are also some pear and straw notes. The palate is super bubbly with crisp apple flavors up front, evolving into pear and yeasty bread flavors. The acidity is great. The finish reveals plenty of aromatic notes from the yeast along with salty mineral. This is a tasty bottle of bubbly at a reasonable price.
Wine: Albert Mann
Variety: Cremant D’Alsace
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.