2019 Melanie Pfister “Breit” Cremant Extra Brut, Alsace, France

2019 Melanie Pfister “Breit” Cremant Extra Brut, Alsace, France



Domaine Pfister began life in 1780 during our Revolutionary War. That seems a long time ago, until you learn that Pfister’s village of Dahlenheim was favorably noted for wine production in the distant year of 884. A written record has survived, detailing how the village supplied wine to the Abbey of Saint Michel de Honan during that era.

Melanie Pfister is one of the brightest young Rising Stars in France.  Mélanie “officially” took over from her father with the 2006 vintage, but dad is far from retiring. He very proudly has got his daughter’s back, and works the vines as hard as he ever did.  Some of you may remember Melanie’s superb, and top rated Engelburg Grand Cru dry Riesling we sold last year!

The acronym Breit comes from Hangenbriete, the name of the vineyard. The appellation rules for this wine were promulgated in 1976, and Mélanie’s father started making crémant in the early 1980s. From the first, he worked with a long aging period. Today, the Pfisters consistently make an unusually elegant, perfumed, top-end crémant. The cuvée (Chardonnay with 25% Pinot Blanc and 25% Pinot Auxerrois) rests on its lees for a minimum of twenty-four months (most French crémant, regardless of origin, ages on its lees for about nine months or so). There are three to four disgorgements of a given year’s production, and what you’re drinking could have aged as long as thirty-six months on its lees. This is a single-vintage wine without any older reserve wine, but the vintage is kept discreetly on the back label rather than printed on the front because of the multiple disgorgements. The final sentence in the back label text gives the exact number of months of aging on the lees. Production averages 800 cases annually; dosage is 3-4 grams per liter, making this an extra brut.

Intensely vibrant with great synergy and cleansing acidity are the hallmarks of this serious vintage sparkling wine.  After the froth subsides, very lively, high energy beads of small bubbles persist and will tickle your nose and fancy.  Absolutely dry on the palate, with citrus zest and tart granny smith apple.  Appealing chalky minerality tags the long fresh finish.  Would drink this with top grade caviar or smoked trout, but just perfect as an aperitif.

“Farm Fizz” from Alsace!  One of our favorite “go to” sparkling methode Champenoise and always over performs.