#newwinethisweek Week 12 – Crémant, France

Mike from www.pleasebringmemywine.com has come up trumps this week as we get our first fizzy selection for #newwinethisweek… Cremant!

http://pleasebringmemywine.com/2014/03/24/nwtw-week-12-cremant-de-somewhere/

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Champagne is often regarded as the cream of the sparkling crop… but there are other regions in France making fizz in exactly the same way. This fizz is called Crémant and the winemaking technique is called the Methode Traditional. Crémant is one of France’s best-kept secrets… and it’s also perfect for celebrating Mothers’ Day!

Crémant is a great and, more often than not, cheaper option to Champagne. The sparklers are made all of France and are made from blend of the grapes you associate with the still wines of the area (and usually some Chardonnay). Keep an eye out for:

Crémant d’Alsace (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling)

Crémant de Bordeaux (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Franc,

Crémant de Bourgogne (Aligote, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc)

Crémant du Jura (Chardonnay)

Crémant de Limoux (Mauzac, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay)

Crémant de Loire (Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc)

Although the Methode Traditional seems like magic, a very complicated process is used to make the wine:

  1. Firstly you have to grow and harvest the healthiest grapes possible (by hand please!)
  2. Once the grapes have been picked, they are fermented, for the first time, as any other wine to create a still base-wine
  3. The wines are then bottled into the bottle that you will eventually buy and yeast is added for a second fermentation – this is left in the bottle for a period of time to give the yeasty, biscuit, pastry notes we all love
  4. In order to get rid of the dead yeasts, the bottles are placed in a riddling table and undergo a process know as remouage so all of the yeast ends up in the neck of the bottle – this used to be done by a guy in the cellar who would turn every bottle a quarter turn every day for 40 days – its now done by machine
  5. The neck of the bottle is then flash frozen and the pressure in the bottle forces the frozen piece to shoot out of the bottle when the cap is removed – this is known as the disgorgement
  6. A final dosage is then added to achieve the right level of sweetness and finally the cork is inserted

 

So now you know what it is and how it’s made; here’s where you buy it!

Waitrose has really come up trumps on the supermarket front this week – nothing in Tesco but I have included a “Sparkling Burgundy” from M&S… it’s a Crémant in all but name!

Cuvée Royale Crémant de Limoux NV (Waitrose £7.99 was £10.99)

Blason de Bourgogne Rosé Brut Crémant de Bourgogne NV (Waitrose £13.99)

Cave de Lugny, Crémant de Bourgogne NV (Waitrose £13.99)

M&S Chardonnay Sparkling Burgundy NV (M&S £11.99)

 

The indies understand the quality and value of Crémant so take a look:

Moutard Crémant de Bourgogne NV (Wine & the Vine £15.75)

Dopff Au Moulin Cremant d’Alsace NV (Wine & the Vine £16.85)

J Laurens Crémant de Limoux ‘Les Graimenous’ 2011 (Roberson £14.95)

Domaine Berthet-Bondet Crémant du Jura 2012 (Roberson £17.95)

And as usual, The Wine Society has a whole host of wonderful options:

Crémant de Limoux, Cuvée St Laurent 2010 (The Wine Society £10.50)

The Society’s Celebration Crémant de Loire NV (The Wine Society £11.50)

Dopff au Moulin Crémant d’Alsace Cuvée Julien NV (The Wine Society £11.95)

Domaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut NV (The Wine Society £12.50)

 

Sp get yourself a bottle of your new favourite fizz and head over to Mike’s blog to tell us what you think and give it a score – you can keep track of the #newwinethisweek leaderboard here – #newwinethisweek leaderboard

The week’s poll:

http://pleasebringmemywine.com/2014/03/24/nwtw-week-12-cremant-de-somewhere/

 

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Posted on March 24, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Sadly we don’t get much of it down this way. 😦

  2. interesting process, i had no idea. i like my sparklers, especially on a hot summer day, i’ll check these out – thanks ) beth

    • Crėmant really is an undiscovered treasure… The French only tell you about when you visit them! I’m not sure what prices are like over your way but in the UK you get a better wine fir half the price of Champagne. I hood you can find a couple of good ‘uns and thanks so much for commenting!

  3. I have a bottle of Cremant Du Jura sat on my wine rack that I’ve been looking for an opportunity to crack open. Looks like I’ve found one!

  4. Great tips as usual…nice one

  5. This is a great week and my first bottle is from the Loire… from Bollinger’s western outpost, Langlois Chateau. If you’re ever in the region then head on over – the tour is excellent and the tasting afterwards consisted of 10 wines. And then they basically give it away! I paid €10.45 for this bottle – if you loo on Winesearcher.com you’ll find it in the UK for about £12… search it out, it’s brilliant!

    Domaine Langlois-Chateau Brut Medaille d’Or Cremant de Loire NV (€10.45)
    60% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Cabernet Franc, spends 24 months on lees. Honey, apples and pastry aromas which are very pleasant indeed. Very dry but there’s a delightful hint of honey right at the end, after the apples and peaches have dissolved. Lovely light mousse of bubbles. This would make a superb wedding sparkler instead if a cheap, naff Champagne! 8.5/10 – rounded up to 9!

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