Bonne Année-Crémant for your New Years’ Celebration

{These wines were provided as media samples with no other compensation. Opinions are my own.}

At this time of year, articles on sparkling wine are as plentiful and pervasive as the bubbles in the bottle. But I will throw one more at you, specifically focused on three diverse examples from one region. No, not Champagne. Because, let’s be honest. Unless you’re having an intimate dinner with a few of your closest oenophile friends, you may want to save that bottle.

The region is Alsace, home of the majority of Crémant being produced. If you have been following for a while or like to research wine terms, you are likely familiar with the label. Crémant refers to sparkling wines made from seven regions in France other than Champagne which are produced using the same methods of the famed region. They are also hand-harvested, go through second fermentation in bottle, and age at least 9 months on the less, three months after. They are slightly less effervescent than Champagne and can be made from a wider variety of grapes. They are also, in general, much more affordable.

I recently sampled three provided Teuwen Communications:

Domaine Saint-Remy Crémant d’Alsace Brut Prestige ($22)

The Ehrhart family has been farming the region for nearly three centuries. 60 acres, biodynamically certified across 11 communes, four Grand Cru vineyards. 100% Chardonnay, pale creamy yellow in the glass. Nose of melon and pear. Palate maintains those notes with the finish of a lemon meringue tart.

Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Brut ($25)

This Domaine has been producing wine since 1836 and is on of the most distributed labels from the region. They grow on almost 80 acres, nearly one-quarter Grand Cru. The wine is equally composed of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir. This made a delicious Thanksgiving appertif. Golden in the glass. Think of a warm buttered biscuit dripping with honey.

Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé ($20)

These families have been growing and producing wines in the region for centuries, but in the mid-20th century, René Dopff chose to dig deeper into terroir and compartmentalized the grapes into four estates which produced Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, and Gewürztraminer. They continue to grow other varieties as well including this Pinot Noir. Aged six months in stainless, the 12-15 months on the lees in bottle. Salmon in the glass, a nose of strawberry and currant. These fruits pop and are coupled with lively acid and minerality, extending into a long creamy finish. Really tasty, especially for the price point.

If you are wanting to pop something special at New Year’s but are needing to pull in the spending reins after the holidays, look for Crémant. It is sure to please and add some sparkle to your evening. Be safe out there tonight, friends. And cheers to a Happy New Year!

 

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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