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NV Daheuiller Cremant de Loire Brut 

Loire Valley, France

Retail $21-$22

French law requires Cremants — produced in eight regions outside of Champagne's boundaries — be made in the same methode traditionnelle as Champagne, following requirements on vinification, grape content, aging and more. The Daheuiller family, who in 1900 planted grapes in the western Loire Valley's Saumur region, produces this Cremant from Domaine des Varinelles. All chardonnay grapes are hand-harvested, sorted and pressed gently. Initial vinification occurred in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with gentle auto-punching followed by maceration (on the skins with occasional stirring) lasting 15 to 30 days. The wine aged in the bottle for three years prior to disgorgement and dosage (the addition of still wine sweetened with sugar). In the glass, its zesty blanc-de-blanc style features refreshing floral notes and aromas of brioche and citrus. On the palate, taste apple, pear, citrus, minerality and a backbone of acidity. Drink it with raw or cooked oysters, crabmeat, shrimp, foie gras, fish, light meats, salads, roasted nuts and desserts. Buy it at: Pearl Wine Co., Swirl Wine Bar & Market and Philippe's Wine Cellar. Drink it at: Bayona, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Saveur, Andrea's, Oak, Bacchanal and 1000 Figs.

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