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Cremant d'Alsace Calixte Brut Rose, NV 

Alsace, France

Retail $19

This wine was named for Pope Callixtus II, a 12th century prelate. This cremant, a French sparkling wine not from the region of Champagne, offers plenty of complexity at a reasonable cost. It is produced by Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr in the heart of Alsace's Grand Cru region, home to some of the sunniest, driest climates in France. The Vosges mountain range protects the vineyards from the sometimes harsh ocean influences. The wine features hand-harvested pinot noir grapes and was produced in methode traditionnelle; it was vinified at low temperatures and went through a second fermentation while aging on its lees for 18 months in the bottle. The wine offers aromas of red berries, a syrup character and an effervescence marked by tiny bubbles. On the palate, one tastes cherry, raspberry, strawberry and blood orange flavors, with hints of bright, fresh fruit and there's a caramel tinge on the long finish. Drink it as an aperitif or with smoked salmon, foie gras, tuna tartare, shrimp remoulade and even some meat dishes. Buy it at: Swirl Wine Bar and Market.

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