Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crémant, Jean-Marc Bernard

Crémant from Alsace is getting better and better. The raw material has historically consisted of still wine from Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois, but now Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are increasingly  used for France's most drunken sparkling wine. Chardonnay provides a lovely acid that allows long bottle aging and lees sur lattes. With bottle storage up to three years before degorgement producers such as Bernhard, Mader and Sorg make serious sparkling wine with lovely volume and mouth feel. The sugar added can scarcely be perceived.

Crémant from Jean-Marc Bernhard offers a fresh nose with brioche, yellow apples, quince and mineral. In the mouth, the wine has a fine mousse that does not feel bubbly. The palate is medium bodied, with lovely fruit, a lively acidity on the tongue and a rich aftertaste with a hint of grapefruit zest in the finish. The balance between volume and acidity make it a perfect match for food. Moreover, it is ridiculously cheap! Price: € 6.80.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2005 Muscat Altengarten, Jean-Louis et Fabienne Mann

It is against all common conception and conventions to store Muscat wines, as the hallmarks of the variety are fruitiness, freshness and elegance. Only the excellent examples from the most skilled producers and the best terroirs will gain in quality with cellaring. Jean-Louis and Fabienne Mann maintains a low profile with a simple tasting romm (a hut) in a residential area in the north of Eguisheim. Here bone dry wines with racy acidity, finesse and purity are made. A virtually unknown producer that deserves much more attention.

2005 Muscat Altengarten by Jean-Louis et Fabienne Mann in Eguisheim is light straw yellow. The aroma is spicy and complex with hints of wet earth, white pepper and candied lemon. The taste offers high but ripe acidity, silky fruit and a long finish with lovely salinity. At its' peak after 8 years! Price: € 12.