We often talk about Champagne, but there is also so many other great sparkling wines produced all over the French territory. I was invited to take part in a press trip in Savoie with the National Federation of France Crémants (created in 1982). We spent much time meeting local producers and visiting cellars, including sparkling wines and still wines from the region. Savoie is still one of the hidden treasure of France wine world but small region so small volumes produced.
There was also plenty to discover as it was the yearly contest of Crémants, with all the regions represented Alsace, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Die, Jura, Limoux, Loire and Savoie, plus as every year the nighbour Luxembourg was part of the game. The Crémant market is doing well in France and internationally, export is growing at a steady.
Here is MY selection of the different regions with producers that produces great Crémant wines, TOP bubbles (some were present at the tasting and some not) and of course each region produces wines with their respective local grape varieties:
Best Crémants d’Alsace:
- Maison Pierre Sparr Successeurs – www.vins-sparr.com
- Albert Mann – www.albertmann.com
- Wolfberger – www.wolfberger.com
- Domaine Barmés Buecher – www.barmes-buecher.com
- Joseph Cattin – www.cattin.fr
Best Crémants de Bordeaux:
Best Crémants de Bourgogne:
- Clothilde Davenne – www.clotildedavenne.fr
- Vitteau Alberti – www.vitteaut-alberti.fr
- Cave de Lugny – www.cave-lugny.com
- Bailly Lapierre – www.bailly-lapierre.fr
- Maison Louis Boillot – www.louis-bouillot.com
Best Crémants de Die:
Best Crémants du Jura:
- Domaine André & Mireille Tissot – www.stephane-tissot.com
- Philippe Michel
- Domaine Rolet – www.rolet-arbois.com
- La Maison du Vigneron – www.maisonduvigneron.com
Best Crémants de Limoux:
- Domaine Delmas – www.blanquette-delmas-bio.com
- Domaine J Laurens – www.jlaurens.fr
- Chateau Rives-Blanques – www.rives-blanques.com
- Domaine de Mouscaillo
- Domaine de Fourn – www.robert-blanquette.com
Best Crémants de Loire:
- Langlois Chateau – www.langlois-chateau.fr
- Château de Brézé – www.chateaudebreze.com
- Ackerman – www.ackerman.fr
Best Crémants de Savoie:
- André et Michel Quenard – www.am-quenard.fr
- Jean Vullien – www.jeanvullien.com
- Vignoble de la Pierre – www.yves-girard-madoux.com
- Cave de Chautagne – www.cave-de-chautagne.com
- Jean Perrier & Fils – www.vins-perrier.com
- Cave Seyssel – www.cave-seyssel.com
Also very year they have with them the Crémants du Luxembourg, who produces some great bubbles and who presented some great wine, here is a little selection:
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Here are a few numbers:
- 87 millions of bottles produces in 2016
- 80 millions bottles sold in 2016 – key export markets are Benelux, Germany and USA. Export represents 20 to 50% depending on the regions.
- Growth of 5 to 7% per year.
- Average bottle value is 8 to 10€.
- Area under production: 9,400 hectares
- Number of producers: 1,200, all regions and all categories combined.
Crémant is a traditional full-fledged product that comes from one of the eight licensed production areas. These sparkling wines, each recognized as an AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée), are produced according to the traditional method.
* Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Die, Jura, Limoux, Loire and Savoie.
A traditional method of elaboration
Crémant is prepared according to the rules of sparkling wines specified by a Community regulation dated 14 July 2009 *.
A second fermentation in the bottle: after a first fermentation in vats, it is in the bottle itself that the foaming takes place, thanks to a new and second fermentation.
Nine months of aging and rearing period: after a period of aging on slats of at least nine months and identical to all Crémants, the bottles are turned on their tips so that the deposit, formed exclusively of natural yeasts, accumulates in the collar while awaiting the time of the disgorgement. The marketing of the wines can only take place after at least 12 months, depending on the “tirage”.
Separation of the lees by disgorging: the so-called “disgorgement” operation makes it possible to eliminate the yeast deposit collected at the end of the neck of the bottle. The deposit is evacuated by cooling. Then comes the placing of the cork and its muselet.
* Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 of the European Commission of 14 July 2009.
The term “Crémant”
The term ‘Crémant’ may be used only for white or rosé quality sparkling wines with a protected designation of origin (PDO). In addition to the traditional methods, they must respect the following production methods:
• grapes are harvested manually;
• the wines are obtained from musts obtained by pressing whole or scraped grapes. The quantity of musts obtained does not exceed 100 liters per 150 kilograms of grapes;
• the maximum sulfur dioxide content does not exceed 150 mg / l;
• the sugar content is less than 50 g / l.