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Gustave Lorentz Cremant D'Alsace
The balance and freshness of Cremant d’Alsace come from the subtle match of the three grape varieties: Chardonnay for its vivacity & fruit, Pinot Blanc for its refined elegance and Pinot Noir for its persistence and subtle dark fruit. Clean and zesty, there's a lemon rind quality to the nose along with whiffs of red fruit. The palate is refreshing, balanced and has a big personality.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Touches of yellow apple and sponge cake entice on the nose. The palate adds ripe, friendly and appetizing notes of yellow plum and lemon alongside creamy fizz set against a softly autolytic background. This presents a lovely union of fruit, freshness and development. Full of flavor, is has a dry, lemony finish.
The Lorentz family has been making wine since 1836 in the heart of the Alsace, which lies in the northeast corner of France, along the Rhine River. Charles Lorentz Sr., grandfather of the current president of Gustave Lorentz, developed his vineyards on the hills of Altenberg de Bergheim, in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, which has grown to 85 acres in this extraordinary terroir, with four acres planted on the hills of the Grand Cru Kanzlerberg and 30 acres in the Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim.
The current management, led by Georges Lorentz, is the sixth generation of the family firm, headquartered in the medieval village of Bergheim, in the Haut-Rhin. As far back as anyone can recall, the grapes harvested from this extraordinary terroir have been vinified separately. Thus, Riesling, Pinot-Gris, Gewurztraminer and other Muscat varieties from the Altenberg de Bergheim vineyards unerringly express their unique qualities in these wines year-to-year. The family is very proud that the wines are “gastronomic,” meaning fresh, clean, well-balanced and mostly dry – great matches for many of the cuisines from the more than 55 countries where the wines are sold. As they have down through the generations, the Lorentz family hues to tradition while also employing state-of-the-art vinification techniques and equipment. Gustave Lorentz was among the first producers in the Alsace to use stelvin (screw-cap) closures. In 2012 the Gustave Lorentz vineyards became certified organic by Ecocert.
With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.
The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.
Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.
Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsatian wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.