Friday, March 21, 2008

Tickled Pink

Cremant d'Alsace--where have you been all my life?

I know I'm supposed to be learning about grower champagnes this year, but I can't resist an affordable bottle of bubbles. I was in a small grocery store on the upper Sonoma/lower Mendocino Coast and they had a bottle of NV Domaine Allimant-Laugner Brut Rose for $21.69. Brut--Rose--Sparkling
--just over $20. What's not to like? Wine comes to this grocery store up a long, winding road and that kind of driving costs money. You will find it in a store online or near you for between $17 and $20. If you do, you should buy it.

Cremant d'Alsace is an appellation in the Alsace region of France. Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir are often used to make Cremant d'Alsace, and while the region's sparkling wine may not be as well known as that from Champagne or Burgundy, wine has been made here for a very long time.

Take this wine, for example. Domaine Allimant-Laugner is a family-owned and operated business. The Allimant family have been involved in the wine business since 1724, when they settled in Alsace near Orschwiller. Today, Hubert Laugner makes wines based on his belief that what he does is both an art and a vocation. His wine-making philosophy includes observation, patience, and the pursuit of beauty.

The result is this beautiful, drinkable, and affordable wine. The first reaction you will have to it is, "it's actually pink!" Not fuchsia, not salmon, not copper, it's shell pink--soft and delicate, with some coppery glints around the edges. When I held it up to the light I saw a very active medium bead or bubble, which is always a good sign in my book. The aromas were strawberry, with some mineral notes just around the edges. 100% Pinot Noir grapes go into the wine, which accounted for these aromas, and the same strawberry and mineral combination was also present in the flavors. The finish was reasonably long, and the mineral notes became pleasantly chalky. I didn't detect much yeastiness in this dry wine, but instead the overall impression was one of cleanness and brightness. Domaine Allimant-Laugner is made in the Champagne method, so it will suit traditionalists down to the ground. Excellent QPR.

This is one of those wines that you would be tickled pink to have on hand when the occasion calls for toasts. Personally, I'm buying every bottle left in the store before I leave for LA today. If you have a wedding in your future, or know somebody who does, I would highly recommend this wine for the celebrations. And if not, buy some for yourself.


A.C. said...

Would you ming if I link to your blog from mine?

Unknown said...

I found the Allimant-Laugner Rosé last year, and it quickly became one of my summer favs. I now always keep a bottle on hand, just because.

Anonymous said...

I think you'd love the J. Laurens Brut as well. I should have known you'd fall in love with Cremant d'Alsace. Yummy stuff much of the time. Thanks for the tip on this producer, who I haven't tried before.

Dr. Debs said...

Corinne, not at all. This is indeed a great "just because" wine, and in that respect rather like the J. Laurens (but I like the color of this one!)