The Greek Brut survived the cage only to be trounced by a Bubbly Alsatian (that wine vocabulary can so easily substitute as pro-wrestling lingo is, I think, quite remarkable).
The "B" de Becker, Cremant d'Alsace, Extra Brut, NV, is from the Domaine Jean Becker in the hilltop village of Zellenberg. The three Becker siblings, who run the vineyards and winery together, trace their wine-making lineage back to the early 17th century. The "B" is a blend of Pinot, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. It's $18 at K&L Wines.
It has a beautiful nose of white flowers and tropical fruits including that faintly banana smell you sometimes get from new oak. And I'd swear there's an elusive fusel aroma as well. The palate is breathtakingly austere. Beautifully balanced, with a chalky minerality and a crisp, pencil-lead finish. The label looks like the page of a brochure from one of those wretched village museums, musée d'histoire de la ville, but the wine is quite elegant.
Next up in the Bubbledome, champion versus challenger. Two Cremants go toe to toe.
One unrelated note: It would seem that democracy has caught on more quickly at the Lab than in some parts of the Middle East (without naming names). After getting to vote on the Dome contest, the staff now votes on almost everything. They all voted the photo above as the worst in Lab history. When I tried to point out that a constant and direct democracy wasn't very practical, they voted that I leave the cafeteria.