Sun 26 Dec 2010
We drank the Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé, Crémant d’Alsace, with yesterday’s Christmas lunch: country ham and eggs, grit, biscuits and red-eye gravy. Not the fare of Alsace, perhaps, but appropriate for the American South and the traditional Christmas meal in the FK/LL household. Made in the “champagne method” of second fermentation in the bottle — thus producing the all-important bubbles in the bottle in which it will be sold — the product represents a regional interpretation of a sparkling wine made completely from pinot noir grapes. The Albrecht family has been growing grapes and making wine in Alsace in an unbroken line since 1425, though the company was founded in 1698; the cellar dates to 1772 and holds huge barrels that are 175 years old and more.
Sporting a pale copper-sunset color, the Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé, Crémant d’Alsace, seems at first to embody the essence of fresh, macerated strawberries. Then, no, it must be the influence of dried red currants. But wait, is it not dominated by ripe peaches with an undertow of melon? These attractive and tasty notes flow together seamlessly in lovely appeal, bolstered by considerable minerality in the limestone-damp shale range and by assertive acidity that both stimulates and quenches thirst, keeping the wine crisp and lively, though the texture is more silken than sprightly. Exquisitely charming, and capable of not only lubricating the meal but cutting through some of its richness and the bracing saltiness of the excellent country ham. 12 percent alcohol. Very Good+. Prices range from $16 to $20.
Pasternak Wine Imports, Harrison, N.Y. A sample for review.