Friday Sips

Non-Champagne, Cremant French Bubbly - The Cellar Door
French Sparkling Wines
outside Champagne made in
Le Methode Champenoise

Cremant D'Alsace, Cremant de Bordeaux, Cremant de Loire

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J-F Merieau Touraine Brut
'J'Ose des Fines Bulles'
$23.99 btl./$287.88 case

We have been using Jean-Francois Merieau’s red and white Loire Valley wines for over ten years yet many do not realize that this Top Dog of the Touraine in the Loire Valley produces scrumptious, dry sparkling wines produced in the Champagne method.

Made with about 80% Chenin Blanc with the rest being Chardonnay, this fizz spends 24 months on its lees that allows for brilliant dimension. A range of apple aromas wafts from the glass along with undertones of biscuit and underlying mineral. In the mouth, it is inviting, regal, full of elevation and zest all with a finesseful, creamy mousse. The finish is very refined, classy and long. A fantastic sparkling wine that will not break the bank and will often out-perform many lower end Champagne in the forty-ish range. Have it for toasting, guzzling, celebrating or with goat cheese or a flaky white fish in sauce.

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J-B Adam Cremant D'Alsace
Brut Rose
$26.99 btl./$323.88 case

Like any virtuoso, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his daughter Laure simply have to show up, because with their deft touch they will make fabulous wine. Known for top-notch Alsace wines Adam also produces sparkling wine of superb quality and perfect for those who do not want to drop the bank on Champagne.

Made from 100% Pinot Noir and made by an Alsace specialist, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his daughter Laure take their sparkling wines very seriously by not making tooty-frooty, candied versions. Moreover, at $23.99 a bottle it should make every meal a milestone, or add to a daily a festive feast. The color is a beautiful pink that is pale, yet lively. The mousse is a delicate foam that cascades over one's tongue. The finish is all-together refined and elegant. Drier than the likes of the Lucien Albrecht or Pierre Sparr, it sports succulent red currants and fresh strawberries touched by rose petals and ginger. Serve with smoked salmon, grilled vegetables, couscous, and sushi or just by itself.

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Chateau Haut-Rian
Cremant de Bordeaux Brut
$22.99 btl./$137.94 - six pack

We all know and love Haut-Rian and this release marks the third go-round of bubbly from our great friends. Pauline Dietrich-Lapierre's mama Isabelle is from Champagne so the fizz gene runs through her blood and we are ultra-thrilled with the result. Made from 100% Semillon from 60+ year old vines, charisma, and class and character what this over performing sparkling wine more than delivers.

Very fine and very dry with a lacey mousse along with aromas and flavors of orange blossom, bright quince, lime and subtle toastiness. The length is extraordinary for fizz from this appellation and it continually calls you back for glass after glass. Drink many bottles of this fresh, light (11.5% alcohol) sparkler with hors d’oeuvres, ceviche, sushi, or as a post-dinner palate cleanser.