21.11.11

Crisp-massy and Elegant: Crémant d'Alsace for Festive Sparkle

Did you know that, after Champagne, the most popular sparkling wine to be found in households all over France is Crémant d'Alsace?

Elegantly fruity and medium-bodied, Crémants d'Alsace are made from grapes picked at the beginning of the harvest - producers go to their local town hall to declare which vineyards they intend to use - and grown on sunny, south-facing slopes where the dry heat brings out the varietals' aromas and flavours.

Domaine Pfister Blanc de Blancs Brut NV, Cremant d'Alsace AOC - RRP £18.50, slurp.co.uk

The Pfister estate covers ten hectares of vineyards spread across 40 different parcels in Dahlenheim, around 20km away from Strasbourg in the north of Alsace.  Each terroir has been carefully matched to rootstock and variety, with the full spectrum of Alsace grapes planted, and each parcel is vinified separately.

Eighth generation winemaker Melanie Pfister* makes her Blanc de Blancs Crémant d'Alsace from a blend of 50% Chardonnay grown on clay and limestone soil, and 50% Pinot Blanc / Auxerrois grown on deep marl.  The grapes were hand-picked and each variety fermented individually in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks prior to a malolactic fermentation.  After blending, a second fermentation took place in bottle and the wine was then aged for 24-36 months on the lees.

This lees ageing gives gorgeous toasted brioche notes to the nose of this crisp, elegant and fresh sparkling wine.  The long-lasting, fine bubbles and light fruit on the palate make it perfect as an aperitif all manner of celebrations - from Christmas festivities to New Year parties.

*watch Melanie Pfister talk about Crémant d'Alsace at www.alsacewines.co.uk from 14th November!

Further information: Ali at ewpr / 020 8747 9592