Fashionable fizz? Forget prosecco. This Alsace crémant has far more style, says MARY DOWEY …
Domaine Saint-Rémy Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Brut NV
Over the past couple of years there’s been a growing interest in crémants – sparkling wines from all over France, made in much the same way as champagne but not from the Champagne region and not necessarily from the champagne grapes. Why? Partly because prosecco’s image has been tainted by poor quality and over-exposure. Increasingly it’s seen as naff – but it has sharpened appetites for fun fizz costing much less than champagne. Along come crémants (and some smart cavas and New World sparklers) to fill the gap.
Alsace crémants are especially appealing in summer because they tend to taste quite fruity. Domaine Saint-Rémy Prestige Brut wafts out delicate pear and peach aromas. These notes are subtly echoed in its flavours too, draped around the kind of crisp, refreshing core that will keep encouraging you back for more.
As far as image is concerned, Alsace has long been seen as extremely prestigious – a region carpeted with small estates, most of them making wines of high quality for centuries. Domaine Saint-Rémy is a family enterprise whose wines have been certified organic since 2010 and biodynamic since 2012.
In case you’re wondering about the grape varieties used in their Crémant Prestige Brut, it’s 50% Auxerrois (a popular Alsace grape a bit like Pinot Blanc); 40% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir.
This elegant sparkler will make a stylish start to any summer meal. Serve it well chilled as an apéritif (with nibbles, please – cheesy ones will be spot-on) and you may find that dedicated fizz fans decide to remain loyal to it through their first course or maybe even an entire summer meal. It would perform particularly well at a relaxed dinner made up of sharing plates.
For a wine with so much purity, character and verve, the price is absolutely right.
From Wines on the Green, Dublin 2 and www.celticwhiskeyshop.com; also Blackrock Cellars, Blackrock, around €25.95.
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