New Year’s Eve parties can be easier on the purse and pleasant on the palate with a glass of Lucien Albrecht Blanc de Blancs Cremant d’Alsace.
Romanu Albrecht moved to the town of Thann in the Alsace region in 1425, and the family documents its vineyard work and winemaking from 1520. Nearly six centuries later, Jean Albrecht oversees this family-owned and operated winery.
Cremant d’Alsace is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne method. This means that after the first fermentation- changing the grape juice to alcohol- the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle by adding fresh yeast and sugar. It is the second fermentation that creates the bubbles. Champagne’s elegance is distinguished by the second fermentation in the bottle, as opposed to doing it in tanks and then transferring the bubbly wine into bottles.
Cremant is the French term for sparkling wines made in the Champagne method but not from the Champagne region, 95 miles northeast of Paris. Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean Albrecht, was instrumental in having the French wine authorities grant the region’s sparkling wines official status in 1976. Today, Cremant d’Alsace is the most popular Cremant in France.
Lucien Albrecht makes Brut, Rose’, and Blanc de Blancs Cremants. In Champagne, Blanc de Blancs is made from 100-percent chardonnay, Lucien Albrecht uses 100-percent pinot blanc, one of Alsace’s great white wine grapes. Like champagne, Lucien Albrecht’s Blanc de Blancs has refined bubbles and a delicate texture on the palate. Serve the wine at 45 to 50 degrees; it offers an attractive floral and almond scent, and flavors reminiscent of pine nuts and raw cashews. If consumed refrigerator-cold or directly from an ice bucket, the wine is too constrained and you’ll miss its complexity. But at either temperature, it has a champagne-like dry, mineral finish.
Some New Year’s Eve parties use sparkling wines or champagne for toasts, and others pour it throughout the evening. The Lucien Albrecht Blanc de Blancs Cremant d’Alsace is an excellent choice for both styles. It will be delightful with shrimp, creamy dips, chicken satay, sushi, sashimi, tempura vegetables, cerviche and spicy foods. And it will be perfect with its streaming refined bubbles at midnight. Happy New Year!
Lucien Albrecht Blanc de Blancs Cremant d’Alsace retails for approximately $20.