From: Alsace, France
Blend: Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir
Taste: A floral, fruity and bone-dry sparkling wine from Domaine Leon Boesch. Their Cremant d'Alsace Zero is a biodynamically-produced wine made with a blend of grapes; namely, the Pinot family with the addition of Riesling. This fantastic balance comes together in a harmony of flavors and aromas. Riesling adds lift and verve, while the elements of the Pinot family contribute to the body of this sparkling wine. You’ll find notes of lime zest, pear, apple blossom, honeysuckle, and warm toast that linger in the finish.
Pairing: Crémants of most kinds are extremely versatile with food, and this one is no exception. Dishes that include crab, lobster, scallops, and prawns are easy pairings, as well as salads, fresh vegetables, roasted winter squash, pasta with cream sauce, fried foods and traditional Alsatian fare. We’re sharing a comfort-filled recipe that’s equally as versatile, and can be made to center around veg or non-veg cravings: Sarah Copeland’s Cheesy Breakfast Egg and Polenta Casserole.
Curious about sparkling wines from Alsace? Check out The Story Behind Crémant d'Alsace by Anne Kreibehl, MW.
About the Domaine. Matthieu and Marie Boesch are the 11th generation to take charge of the domaine, which has been in the hands of the family since 1640.
Nestled in the Vallée Noble in the heart of the Ballons des Vosges natural park, their vineyards are protected from dominant winds and rain-bearing weather from the west by the Petit Ballon and Grand Ballon, 1,267m and 1,427m respectively. Marked by a Mediterranean-type climate (cicadas, praying mantis and green lizards roam among almond trees, ash oaks, and orchids) the valley is ventilated by fresh air currents throughout the growing season and into the Autumn. From a geological standpoint, it sits on the Rouffach-Guebwiller fault mosaic where layers of the Lower Triassic (Buntsandstein – sandstone), Middle Triassic (Muschelkalk, shale, slate), and Upper Triassic (Keuper – mostly marl) sit alongside each other, creating an incredibly diverse patchwork of soil types. The Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé sits proudly in the centre, overlooking the state-of-the-art eco-friendly winery built in 2010 using only (local) natural materials.
They have worked tirelessly to produce grapes with better balance, giving wines that throughout the range are mostly bone dry, a style which they feel works much better with food and allows for better terroir definition. In the cellar, pressing is long and slow (8 to 12 hours), yeasts are indigenous, and malolactic fermentations are allowed to occur spontaneously rather than being blocked by the addition of sulphur – Matthieu believes there is a better exchange between fine lees and wine without the interaction of sulphur, which is only added in small doses before bottling.
They set such high standards for themselves that they consistently downgrade perfectly good riesling, pinot gris and muscat grown on Zinnkoepflé (which they could bottle as Grand Cru and sell at much higher prices), simply because they believe that gewürztraminer is the only variety that reaches GC level quality in Zinnkoepflé.
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