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Wolfberger Cremant d' Alsace Brut

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 94 Points
Country:France
Region:Alsace
Grape Type:Pinot Blanc
Winery:Wolfberger
Product Description

Wolfberger Cremant d Alsace Brut NV is made with 90 % Pinot Blanc, 10% Pinot Auxerrois.

The production of sparkling wine was already known in Alsace in the early 1900's. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.) Crémant d’Alsace began with an official decree in August 1976.
 
Pale golden color. Fine, persistent bubbles. Floral nose with a hint of spiciness, gentle fruitiness (peach, apricot), and lovely balance. Fruity and lively in the palate, it has a clean and crisp finish. This wine will suit any special occasion.


Review:

""Straw color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of green apple pastry, peaches in cream, and lemon chiffon with a supple, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, amusing, medium-long white nuts, lime-pineapple sorbet,

and minerals finish with no oak. A refreshing, tangy sparkling wine that will shine at the table."

-Beverage Testing Institute, 94 pts (Exceptional)


 

Winery: Wolfberger

The Wolfberger Estate
Wolfberger is a union of producers located in Eguisheim, south of Colmar.  The city was also the home of Pope Leo IX, the Reformer (Pope from 1048 – 1054 A.D.). The winery was founded in 1902 when a group of wine-growers in Eguisheim decided to join forces to create one of the first cooperatives in Alsace. The cave counts 800 members today. Wolfberger combines tradition and constant innovation to elaborate high quality wines and preserve their typicity. 
The resident oenologist at Wolfberger is Bertrand Praz. A young but extremely capable winemaker, he learned his craft at the famous Dijon wine school and from working at the Mumm Champagne House. He has taken huge strides in raising the quality level here. They also take their evaluative wine tasting very seriously and have a highly efficient set-up for tasters. The amphitheatre style classroom has individual wine-tasting desks each with light, spit bowl and automatic water faucet.

"This huge cooperative with more than 800 members makes charming crémant sparklers and clean varietals at a bargain price." - Anthony Dias Blue's Pocket Guide to Wine 2006

"An Alsatian cooperative located just south of the town of Colmar, these are tasty, fairly priced, dry white wines from a region that could use some help." - Wine Advocate (Aug. 2010)

Wolfberger is the rare example, in the wine world, of bigger actually being better.

The Wolfberger Vineyard
With 1300 hectares (3,211 acres), 500 hectares of which are in and around Eguisheim, there is a lot of raw material for a specialty importer to choose from. Pinot Blanc has been known in Alsace since the 16th century. Today it covers 22% of the vineyards and is the second most important variety after Riesling.  It succeeds well in most soils and enjoys the dry microclimate of the area. The grapes are gathered in vineyards situated above Eguisheim and in surrounding villages. Rangen is the most southerly vineyard in Alsace and belongs to the towns of Thann and Vieux-Thann. This mountainside vineyard ranges from 340 to 470 m in altitude, and its slopes are extremely steep (up to 85%), with dark, stony soil, where harvesting resembles mountain climbing because the grape-pickers work from top to bottom, secured with harnesses and ropes. The grapes are brought down on sledges. The river Thur which flows at its base helps to preserve it from spring frosts. From the geological point of view, Rangen is immediately adjacent to the main Vosges fault and lies on the Devonian-Carboniferous volcano-clastic base. This gives a siliceous rock, more or less coarse sand, with acid and basic minerals, fertilizing elements for the soil: Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, F, P, S, with trace elements. Rangen is the only vineyard

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Rebuli Prosecco is a noble wine with a bright straw color, made from a selection of Prosecco grapes, which highlights the flavors and perfumes of the area. It is ideal for important occasions and as an aperitif. It is also excellent with risotto and noble meat.
 

"Pretty silvery straw color. Orange, juicy lemon, peach aromas with a crisp, lightly effervescent, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a long, tangy mineral, starfruit and spice accented finish. Exceptional flavorful, balanced and stylish. A perfect aperitif."
World Wine Championship Award: GOLD MEDAL
Beverage Testing Institute - May 9th 2011 - 91 points (Exceptional)

               
"Toasty, which makes this a little more champagnelike and perhaps more familiar to consumers. Nice balance; quite refreshing."
- Washington Post (Dec 08) - VERY GOOD

"This wine is so much fun that it seems vaguely illegal. Lightly floral in aroma, it shows fresh but restrained fruit flavors. The effervescence is abundant but soft, yet the wine remains structural and refreshing thanks to crisp acidity. Clearly the top pop for parties." - Washington Post (2006)

"Very pale straw. Very fine mousse. Nice elegant bead. Aromas of fresh bread dough, pear, touch of marzipan. Light attack. Semi-dry. Licorice note on palate. Soft, light. Simple, light pear flavors."
- International Wine Review (Dec 08)

This large Spumante estate with just over 100 acres of vines produces high-quality Prosecco. The non-vintage Rebuli Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry is light-bodied and flowery with plenty of white peach, orange and pineapple notes in its exotic aromatics and flavors. It is off-dry, but most consumers would consider it to be a dry sparkling wine. Drink it over the next 12-18 months.-Robert Parker 90 Points

 Wine Advocate: 90
Roland Champion Champagne Cuvee Aramis Brut NV

Roland Champion Champagne Cuvee Aramis Brut is made from 70% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay.
This non-vintage champagne is the newest addition to the Champagne Champion line.
Total Production for this Cuvée : 950 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year


- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2012), 88 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 88
Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2011 (magnum)

Very complex nose. Elegance and finesse. A surprising aromatic complexity. A bouquet of aromas dominated by honey, brioche and notes of dried fruits, hazelnuts and sweets. Perfectly matured.

Juice exclusively 100% Grand Cru from Chouilly, chalky soil and subsoil.

It matches magnificently with foie gras!


J Fritsch Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling 2015

Composition: This semi-sweet white wine is made from 100% Riesling.

The soil is granitic and has southern exposure.

Tasting Notes: This wine has a pale yellow color with intense notes of citrus fruit dominated by lime and balanced by an incredible freshness. After a light aeration, the minerality takes over. On the palate, there is more citrus fruit flavor and minerality. With bottle age, the wine will acquire a typical mineral nose reminiscent of gunflint.

Pairing: This Riesling will be perfect with fish, or with the traditional “Choucroute” (sauerkraut and sausages).

Chateau Gaudrelle Vouvray Sparkling Methode Traditionnelle NV

Produced from 100% Chenin Blanc planted on clay and flint stones based soils.
Vinification: aged in stainless steel tanks with temperature controlled fermentation. Aged on the lees for 4 months. 
Kieselguhr filtration.
This sparking wine is fresh and fruity. Rich and easy to drink, which makes it a wonderful aperitif. For the aficionados this is an excellent food friendly wine. Its quality makes it a great alternative to Champagne.

"The two sparkling wines should not be missed. They’re both terrific examples of how good sparkling Vouvray can be. Both are 100% Chenin Blanc cuvees, with the non-vintage Chateau Gaudrelle Vouvray Brut showing lots of effervescence and plenty of flowery brioche, buttered citrus, melon and dried apricot notes. It is crisp, fresh, and ideal for drinking over the next several years."
-Wine Advocate 90 pts


"Just off-dry, this almond- and apple-flavored wine achieves a fine balance of crispness and richness. There is just a touch of honey, intertwined with delicious citrusy acidity."
- Wine Enthusiast , 90 pts

 Wine Advocate: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Colmant Brut Reserve NV

Blend: Colmant Brut Reserve NV is a blend of Pinot Noir 52%, Chardonnay 48% (Franschhoek, Robertson, Elgin, Somerset-West and Stellenbosch). 10% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintage and 12% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
Ageing: 28 months minimum on the lees at steady 13°C temperature.
Tasting: A subtle pale gold color with a very clean and elegant nose. The aroma has a gentle spicy toastiness with a lemon / yeasty perfume followed by more mature fruit. Plenty of freshness on the palate, with a good acidity which perfectly balances the yeasty depth, bready flavors and ample structure. Long smooth finish. Will develop nicely over the years.
Drinking tips: Divine as an aperitif and loyal as a party buddy, it also goes perfectly with oysters, sushis or any delicate seafood.


Reviews:


"The Brut Reserve (disgorged April 2018) was 10% fermented in French oak barrel and includes 20% reserve vintages. It spent 30 months on the lees. The well-defined, focused nose features bright citrus lemon and hints of baked bread. The palate is well balanced with a taut, crisp, citric entry. This is vivacious, very pretty and graced with lovely apricot hints on the finish. A superb MCC from Colmant. - Neal Martin"

- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 91 pts


"Fresh with leesy notes, a fine mousse and delicate palate of minerals and green citrus zest, this is a first class New World sparkler. It’s rich enough to enjoy on its own or with white meats. It’s a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay aged on the lees for 30 months and 25% reserve wines from earlier vintages."
-International Wine Review, 91 pts


"Disgorged February 2011, the Non-vintage Brut Reserve is a blend of 52% Pinot Noir and 48% Chardonnay based on the 2008 vintages blended with reserve wines from 2007 and 2006 (25% of the blend), aged for 30 months on the lees. It has a very fine pettillance in the glass. The nose is very well defined with crushed stone, oyster shell and the subtle perfume of fine lees coming through with aeration. The palate is very crisp and lively on the entry with vibrant acidity, a citrus thread from start to finish, and though it is not a powerful Cap Classique, it is wonderfully poised with great persistence on the fresh lime and Granny Smith-tinged finish.
There are many alternatives to Champagne, and South Africa is no exception with some fine “Method Cap Classique.” Jean-Philippe Colmant hired winemaker Nicolas Follet to create a small range of impressive sparkling wines; they eschew malolactic fermentation and practice extended lees aging."
- eRobertParker.com  , 92 pts

 

Our Hunt for Colmant:

 It was day 6 in South Africa and we find ourselves outside of beautiful Cape Town, in the country near the Riebeek Kasteel area in Swartland.  Let's talk a little about my accommodations before I tell you about this amazing bubbly. We arrive at the one and only hotel in Riebeek to find out that there were not enough rooms open for all. 

We reached out to our contact at Riebeek cellars, who we will refer to as "Point Break" from now on. For those of you that have not seen the movie Point Break, this guy looked and sounded like a blonde Keanu Reeves with a Dutch accent. Anyway, Point Break tells me that they have secured a small bed and breakfast that we could use for the overflow. Sounded nice...so I opted for it. 

Upon arrival, the home was beautiful on the outside with a catchy French name, "Shades of Provence". After Point Break fiddled with the skeleton key and lock for a good 35 minutes in the rain, we finally get to see the inside of our new home. The door opened straight into the kitchen where the first thing I noticed was the mouse sh*t all over the place. It was winter there and the mice were trying to stay warm, I'm sure. Little did they know this damn place had no heat.

Besides myself and my fiancee Sylvia, there were 3 other people and a total of four rooms. At this point I knew I better drag both our suitcases up those steps and get to the best room before everyone else. At stroke-causing speed, I skipped up the steps nearly knocking Point Break on his back and went through the rooms. I settled for a nice corner room with the least amount of dirt on the concrete floor and with only one or two spider webs on the wrought iron bed post.

For dinner that night, we returned to the hotel restaurant to join the rest of our group. The 5 of us forced to stay in the bed and breakfast were in a far worse mood than everyone around us. Arriving late, we sat at the end of the dinning table and hoarded as much wine as possible to try and drink ourselves to a point where we could sleep in that disgrace of a French country side home that Point Break secured for us.

 That night, I slept with the lights on, all my clothes on, and on top of the sheets hoping to avoid spider bites. I awoke that morning to Sylvia standing over me holding what looked like a hot water knob off of the shower. "It wasn't even attached.", she said. Sylvia proceeds to take a "whore-bath" in the sink using her own packed sock as a wash cloth. It was the only thing she deemed clean. To top it off, in a brief moment of happiness she finds a hair dryer in a cabinet. She pulled it out in triumph only to realize that there was a used condom stuck to the side of it. Obviously, this is her last trip to South Africa.

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 92 International Wine Review: 91
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Morambro Creek Shiraz 2016

Morambro Creek Padthaway Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.

Deep inky black & purple in colour. The nose is perfumed with violet, blackberry, vanilla and spice with a touch of earth and liquorice over white pepper in the background. Expansive palate, smooth lush ripe back fruits nicely balanced oak, plenty of concentration with a long finish.

 Winemaking at Morambro Creek is very traditional and labor intensive. 

Oak maturation takes place using 35% new barrels both French and American. This blend was put together using select barrels from our family estate that best demonstrate the intensity of our fruit balanced by integrated oak. 

excellent with barbecued pork, beef, venisson as well as grilled vegetables.

Alchohol is 14.5%

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