Mark my words: Stephan Steinmetz is a star in the making. But having just completed a whirlwind tasting of the last several weeks of hundreds of sparkling wines, I have to say Stephan has done it again. Not only is this a delicious (and immensely affordable) sparkler, it might just solve your ‘Champagne hangover’ as well.
Here’s the thing – many Champagnes include as part of the process, a dosage – which is when sugary grape juice is added back into the bottle and even champagnes labeled Brut can have up to 12 g/L of residual sugar. It’s these sugars more than anything else that affect the body in a way many wine drinkers are not used to. Stephan adds zero dosage to his sparklers.
Next – the price. Stephen Steinmetz biodynamically farms his tiny estate by hand in the Obermosel, east of Frankfurt, very close to the border with Luxembourg. His old vines are rooted in Kimmeridgian limestone, the exact same vein of rock that winds its way from Sancerre through Chablis and Champagne to its final out-cropping here in the Obermosel.
It’s here that is the last safe haven for a delightful grape called Elbling. Grown since the Roman occupation, Elbling was the most popular planting in all of Germany until the early 20th century. Now, less than 1,500 acres remain with a few acolytes like Stephen Steinmetz keeping the varietal alive.
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