92 Insider Points
A continual favorite amongst our team, Domaine Charles Frey's Extra Brut tastes as good as it sounds. White peach and flowers on the nose. Small-medium bubbles showing in the glass with flavors of guava, persimmon and honeydew. Great value for the season. 92 Points - JZ Nov '18
Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois and Riesling
Crémant d'Alsace is the second best selling sparking wine from France after champagne. Designated for the purpose of sparkling production (not the leftovers from the still wine making process!), the best from the region can be a wonderful treat for Champagne Lovers. As is the case in this production here.
Domaine Frey’s extra-brut Crémant is matured in bottles on the lees for 24 months, which gives it its fruitiness, complexity and delicacy. “The best alternative to Champagne is sparkling wine, and the best value in sparkling wine is Crémant d’Alsace from France’s northern Alsace region,” writes Forbes.
This bubbly is made from 100% hand-harvested Pinot Noir (60%), the local Auxerrois (30%) and Pinot Gris (10%), brought to the winery as whole bunches, fermented with indigenous yeasts only and lightly pressed for optimum freshness. Maturation on the lees for 24 months adds weight and Crémant’s telltale creamy character. We love this sparkler before meals and with lighter foods, and this value arrives just in time for holiday parties gloriously free of the seriously non-festive cost of Champagne.
· The Frey family has roots in Dambach-la-Ville, Alsace going back to the early 1700s when the first Freys moved here from Switzerland.
· Today, three generations of Freys work together on every aspect of farming and winemaking at this historic estate.
· Domaine Charles Frey was one of the very first estates in Alsace to convert to biodynamic agriculture in 1997.
· Crémant is a designation for sparkling wines made outside of Champagne but in the same quality-conscious “méthode traditionnelle.” Like Champagne, Crémant d’Alsace bubblies undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle, which creates a fine, elegant bead and a creamy texture.
From the winery:
The extra-brut Crémant is matured in bottles on the lees for 24 month, which gives it its fruitiness, complexity and delicacy (made with Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois and Riesling).
The Frey family estate cultivates 13 hectares of vines in three communes (Dambach la Ville, Scherwiller and Châtenois). Their ancestors, from Switzerland, settled in Dambach la Ville in the 17th century and practiced polyculture. It was with the Frey grandfather Joseph and father Charles when selling bottled began.
Nathalie and Dominique brought Domaine Frey Charles et Dominique to the next level with the first exports in European countries, followed by exports to Japan, Canada, and the United States. In 1997 the family decided to move the operation under control in organic Ecocert.
Since 2001, Frey is proud to practice biodynamics. They try to provide the wine the same life energy that we give the grapes so that it is the most digestible and most sustainable possible.
Above all, the biodynamic work is caring for the earth. This is to ensure balance and to create harmonious living between land, plants and environment.
The various treatments of the vines are systematically accompanied by herbal plants (nettle, horsetail, willow). Compost and tillage are fundamental, the grapes are handpicked and paid in full on the press without crushing or stalking so as not to damage it. The pressing is done slowly and smoothly, and after fermentation, the wines are aged on the lees until spring.
Drink alone or pair with a delicious charcuterie and cheese plate.