When you think about sparkling wine, the most recognised brand is Champagne. But did you know there is another sparkling wine made in France?
Crémant is the one that no one is talking about. It is made by a traditional method same as Champagne and is made in France.
What is Crémant
Crémant was a traditional term used to refer to sparkling wine with lower pressure than Champagne. Today it’s no longer used in that context. Crémant is now used to marked French sparkling wine from other regions then Champagne. It also means that it’s using the traditional method as Champagne.
The most significant region for Crémant is Alsace. It produces about 33milion bottles per year. Only Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Auxerrois and Chardonnay are allowed to be used for making Crémant. But generally speaking, the most common grape used is Pinot Blanc.
Burgundy produces only third of the amount Alsace does. Beaujolais is the only region where you can’t make the Crémant. The most used grape is Chardonnay and Aligoté.
All the grapes that are allowed to grow in the Loire are permitted for Crémant except Sauvignon Blanc. In Loire, Crémant has to spend at least 12 months on lees (dead yeast in the bottle) versus the rest of the regions where it’s only 9 months.
Best vineyards, Blanquette de Limoux and Crémant de Limoux are the ones to look at. Blanquette de Limoux is at least 90% Mauzac blended with Chardonnay and Chennic Blanc. Crémant de Limoux must be 50%-70% Chardonnay and 20%-40% Chenin Blanc.
There you have it. Next time, when you are in search of good and reasonably priced sparkling wine, try to look for Crémant. Who knows it might pleasantly surprise you.