The Albrecht Pinot Blanc Cuvee Balthazar, an Alsatian white, offers terroir and varietal character at a more than a fair price
One reason why the Wine Curmudgeon buys so much wine to review is that too many of the samples I get taste like bowdlerized plonk. And yes, if you don’t know bowdlerized, click the link. It’s worth knowing. Those wines are the reason why I bought the Albrecht Pinot Blanc Cuvee Balthazar.
Best yet, this is an Alsatian wine that’s actually affordable. Producers in this part of France used to export great cheap whites (remember when the Hugel Gentil cost $10 and not $16?), but prices started going up before the recession, when all “high-end” French wine became more expensive.
So don’t miss the chance to buy the Albrecht Pinot Blanc Cuvee Balthazar ($13, purchased, 13%). Riesling is the most common Alsatian white, but the region makes excellent pinot blanc, too. These wines are drier, but not especially rich or tart. The Albrecht pinot blanc offers pear fruit, a fresh and appealing body, and a long, stony finish. The bottle was gone much too quickly.
Highly recommended. Pair this with any summer salad or grilled seafood or chicken.
Imported by Foley Family Artisan Imports & Spirits
What, you don ?t think wine and Father ?s Day are a good fit? Then you don ?t know all of the dads that I know, since they find wine a fine gift at any time. Whatever you do, though, keep our wine gift-giving guidelines in mind — “Don’t buy someone wine that you think they should like; buy them what they will like.”
These suggestions should get you started:
? Hey Mambo Sultry Red ($12, sample): Red California table wine that deserves better than its hokey back label. Simple, basic, and fulfilling, with enough black fruit to be noticeable, but not so much that it tastes like a juice box. Pair with grilled sausages, and don ?t be afraid to chill it a little.
? Bodega Amalaya Tinto ($17, sample): Much better than than I thought it would be, with sweet cherry fruit that was more bright than stewed (which can be a problem with Argentine malbecs). It was still soft, but pleasantly so. A terrific barbecue wine.
? Lucien Albrecht Cremant d ?Alsace Brut Rose NV ($17, sample): The decline in the euro means this sparkling wine may return to more affordable territory, which is worth waiting for. Crisp and bubbly and refreshing, with subtle cranberry and cherry fruit and just the thing for a hot summer Sunday.