Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night Bubbles

2005 Dirler Crémant d'Alsace Brut, $23, Chadderdon Selections. In my self taught learn-by-drinking Alsace wine course, thus far I've found that my two favorite producers are Dirler and Boxler. Boxler makes lush wines that sometimes have a bit of residual sugar, and Dirler makes lithe and bone-dry wines of powerful intensity. Totally different styles, from what I've tasted, anyway.

This stylistic difference applies also to their Crémants, but with a role reversal. Both producers' new releases are non-dosage wines. Boxler's (drank in September) is made from a typical Alsace blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and other highly aromatic grapes, yet comes across as lean and refreshing wine that showcases the purity of delicate fruit. Dirler's Crémant is all Pinot Blanc , and is a more full bodied and rich wine. Although I appreciate both styles of sparkling wine, I think that Dirler's is more successful.

This wine has rich freshly-baked bread aromas upon opening. With a little air time there are also aromas of baked apple and ripe fruit, and there is a noticeable mineral underpinning. There is something in the nose that reminds me of some Blanc de Blancs Champagnes that I've tasted, and it's the combination of rich bread and baked apple fruit. On the palate this wine is really just gorgeous, with ripe pear and citrus fruit, an herbal edge, good acidity, and a sense of purity and freshness that tempers the richness. Very well balanced and completely delicious - honestly one of the best non-Champagne sparkling wines that I can remember drinking.

It's interesting to think that Dirler can achieve this kind of richness and ripeness without any dosage at all, and the wine is still impeccably balanced. No surprise at all that these grapes are grown using Biodynamic principals and vinified with absolutely minimal chemical intervention - the wine is so clean. This one is a candidate for under $25 sparkling wine of the year, as far as I'm concerned.

More Dirler, please.


Anonymous said...

Friday night Bubbles is a great idea, will add it to our routine at home.

No 1 Family Estate in Marlborough New Zealand has a bottle of bubbles you might like to seek out.

Can be a bit of a treasure hunt to find, sometimes the joy is the journey.

Ron McFarland

Anonymous said...

Nice post - you should start tasting everything Robert Chadderdon brings in - it is all killer. Especially a Jurancon Sec - great wine at a great price if you can find it.

Vinogirl said...

Another great bubbly post, love it!