Once divided between Champagne and Prosecco, the world of sparkling wine is more exciting in 2021 than it has ever been. Today, you can find excellent bubbly whites, rosés, and reds in the Loire Valley, Savoie, Alsace, and Emilia-Romagna, to name just a few regions. And the best sparklers from those places aren’t just noteworthy for their lower price of entry compared to Champagne. They truly shine on their own merits. Take Boxler’s gorgeous Crémant d’Alsace, for example. Made exclusively from the Pinot family—Noir, Blanc, and Auxerrois—this “extra brut” sparkling wine saw all the artisanal care of many top-notch Champagnes, from the organic farming to the extended lees aging to the hand-rotating of bottles. And Jean Boxler’s thorough dedication shows in the resulting wine: it is tremendously elegant, mineral, and delicious. In recent months, when in need of a festive sparkler, I have turned as often to this cuvée as I have to bottles from our three Champagne producers. It is that good. This is just one example, though. You will experience similar satisfaction and astonishment with each of the wines below, no matter if they’re from within or outside of that exalted region.
Champalou France | Loire | Vouvray
From clay and limestone vineyards, they are able to obtain remarkable complexity in their Brut, while the texture shows both a creamy richness and an austere minerality.
La Marca di San Michele Italy | Le Marche
A pet-nat made from organically grown Verdicchio in limestone hills overlooking the Adriatic? Sign me up! Bracingly crisp, slightly cloudy, surprisingly complex, and incredibly invigorating to the last drop.
This discounted collection celebrates Corsica’s pioneering vignerons and features bottles that display the Île de Beauté’s identity in all its splendid glory: tenacious and soulful, forged by Mediterranean sunshine, sea salt, and wild maquis herbs.
In 1976, when I was busy being born as a wine importer, Richard Olney guided me through the French vineyards. He introduced me to Domaine Tempier, Clape, Chave, and other incomparable sources. In the Beaujolais we visited Château Thivin and Georges Duboeuf. I chose to pursue Thivin
Tasting the two side-by-side today, the 2019 Mégaphone is a step up in structure and complexity from the comparatively ethereal 2019 Pigeoulet—also gorgeous and highly recommended. If the latter is a hedonistic country quaffer, the former is a full and intense sensory immersion in Provence
When traveling the wine route in France and Italy, I come across fine olive oil almost as often as I come across fine wine. Of course, these are the two staples of the diet in this part of the world...
Here at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant we don’t believe in selling anything mediocre, and we would certainly not put our name on a wine we didn’t believe in. So our values are just that, wines that are full of value and quality.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa