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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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"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."
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Wolfberger Cremant d Alsace Rose Brut

Wolfberger Cremant d Alsace Rose Brut is 100 % Pinot Noir. 


The harvest occurs mid September, usually two weeks before the harvest for still wines, when the grapes offer the best balance. Only the healthiest grapes are hand selected and gathered in small crates.


Vinification: gentle pressing of whole grapes is followed by temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks. After bottling, bottle fermentation takes place in cellars at 12°C. A minimum of 15 months bottle aging before disgorging ensures ripeness.
Lovely delicate salmon color with active, small bubbles. Round and full-bodied, this Crémant Rosé displays beautiful watermelon and strawberry aromas cascading in a smooth finish.

"This light copper salmon sparkler of Pinot Noir has a lively fresh mousse and clean light cherry aromas. It is dry and crisp on the attack offering delicate raspberry flavors and a dry finish. Delicious."
- I-winereview.com (April 2010), 89 pts

Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Blanc 2017

Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Blanc is 100 percent Pinot Blanc

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Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Blanc is 100 percent Pinot Blanc

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Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Gris 2018

Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Gris is made from 100 percent Pinot Gris.

Powerful and well structured wine. Round, rich, offering fruity aromas, toasty and spicy notes.

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Wolfberger Alsace Riesling 2017

Wolfberger Alsace Riesling is 100 percent Riesling. 

Riesling is the most popular grape variety in Alsace. Racy yet slightly fruity, Wolfberger Riesling is a subtle fine wine of citrus and mineral aromas, good acidity and freshness. It has been known for being the perfect "food wine" - great with traditional Alsatian dishes such as sauerkraut, but also, thanks to their vivacity, with fish and shellfish.

A very slow-growing variety, Riesling ripens with chilly nights. The leaves are round and thick with sharp teeth.
The berries – small, green or yellow, with thick skin – grow on a short-stemmed, cylindrical, compact cluster.
The Reisling grows best in soil that isn’t too rich, with a preference for light terroirs with lots of sunshine.

After the harvest, the grapes are put into horizontal pneumatic presses where the juice is slowly extracted. After crushing the grapes, the juice (actually the must, which includes the skins, stems and seeds) is stored in different vats, then it is carefully clarified.
Fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 3-4 weeks.
Racking. Fining (3-4 months). Filtration and stabilization, then aging in the bottle.


Excellent with grilled fish or cooked in a sauce, and shellfish.

Wolfberger Alsace Riesling 2018

Wolfberger Alsace Riesling is 100 percent Riesling. 

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A very slow-growing variety, Riesling ripens with chilly nights. The leaves are round and thick with sharp teeth.
The berries – small, green or yellow, with thick skin – grow on a short-stemmed, cylindrical, compact cluster.
The Reisling grows best in soil that isn’t too rich, with a preference for light terroirs with lots of sunshine.

After the harvest, the grapes are put into horizontal pneumatic presses where the juice is slowly extracted. After crushing the grapes, the juice (actually the must, which includes the skins, stems and seeds) is stored in different vats, then it is carefully clarified.
Fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 3-4 weeks.
Racking. Fining (3-4 months). Filtration and stabilization, then aging in the bottle.


Excellent with grilled fish or cooked in a sauce, and shellfish.

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Jean-Claude et Nicolas Fayolle Hermitage Rouge Donnieres 2017

Jean-Claude et Nicolas Fayolle Hermitage Rouge Donnieres is made from  100% Syrah.

Made from 40-year-old vines planted on granitic and rocky soils in the Lieu dit "Les Donnieres" at the bottom of the Hermitage's hill.


Intense inky ruby red color. 
The wine has plenty to offer with red and black fruit aromas, as well as a good minerality. 
The finish is very long, clean and juicy and offers a great spicy mouthfeel.

Soil is clay, silica and round pebbles.
Hand harvested in small crates. The grapes are then pumped into tanks (full cluster, not destemmed). 
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Tey will also use the "rack and return" technique (delestage).
Then the wine is transfered into neutral French Oak barrels where the wine will complete the Malo-Lactic fermentation.

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"If the prebottling sample of the Fayolles' 2017 Hermitage Les Dionnieres is truly representative, purchasers will be in for a treat. It's inky dark in color, with a cassis-laden nose that's marked by hints of crushed stone. It's full-bodied and concentrated, tannic without being hard or overdone, and despite ample ripeness, there's structure and freshness. It looks to be the complete package and potentially in the same ballpark (quality-wise) as the impressive 2015. - Joe Czerwinski"

- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue #239, October 31th 2018), 94-96 pts

 Wine Advocate: 96