Crémant sells better and is becoming increasingly important for Alsace. The quality is increased by less use of Pinot Gris and Auxerrois for the benefit of Chardonnay and, not least, the Pinot Noir. Nowadays, you often see the vintage on the bottle as well as the dates of degorging. More serious. Even tastier. And still as ridiculously cheap.
2010 Crémant d'Alsace from Jean-Claude Buecher
in Wettolsheim offers hazelnuts, orange marmalade, sponge cake and strawberries on the nose. The palate is rich, full and harmonious with wonderfuly firm acids, perfect mousse and velvety fruit in the finish. The dosage is 6 grams/liter, and the grapes are Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and a splash Auxerrois. Degorged in March 2014. Price (2014): €7.90.
Hello Per, since you mentioned the subject of Crémant d'Alsace and its importance in general to the region, I'd like to ask you: is there any specific reason why almost none of the "big name" négociants or the most well-known domaines seem to produce Crémant? Has it perhaps been seen as a lesser wine, unworthy of them?
Good point! It is true that none of the 1-2 mill bottle negoces Trimbach, Hugel or Lorentz make crémant. We would have to ask Etienne Hugel, but I think the logistics and space would be limiting. Also, firms such as Dopff au Moulin and Wolfberger are already huge in crémant, which probably is a somewhat different market than still wines with a barrier of entry. But if we look at the domaines ranked *** by La Revue de Vins de France, 2/5 make crémant (Boxler, Albert Mann). Of the ** domaines 7/11 have bubbles on their card, as well as most of the * domaines.
Oups! That was more Crémant-producing domaines than what I would have expected. I've actually visited Boxler and I don't remember tasting any Crémant! René Muré is the only high-class domaine where I've done so (and they produced more than one) - perhaps they are one of the 7 out of 11? So, it seems I definitely underestimated the production of Crémant at small producers!
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