Whenever it comes to sparkling wine, the wine lovers go crazy about champagne. The presence of this golden spirit at any occasion lifts up the mood of the celebration with elegance and sophistication. But, according to law, the term Champagne cannot be used for any other sparkling wine outside the Champagne region of France. Again, the atmosphere to prepare champagne is not available outside the specific region. Therefore, often it fails to meet the desire of enjoying evenings with sparkling wine for all people. After adding the export value, champagne often goes beyond the affordable limit of many people.
Does that mean you can’t have the bliss of bubbly and fizzy sparkling wines? Never. To give you a better taste on your palette than champagne, you can trust Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco or French Cremants. Today, we thought to introduce you with another French ecstasy, Cremant. This is new, and that’s why it has many things to offer to you. To increase your curiosity, cremant comes with seven varieties that are not present in champagne. Apart from that, there are several other differences between these two French ‘brothers.’
Cremant A New Addition in the World of Wine
In recent years, cremant is gaining huge popularity, and true wine lovers love this new variety of sparkling wine. If you are an old school and love vintage champagne, you should taste the creamy cremant once in a lifetime. You will be boozed with the taste for sure. If you like to experiment and a bit adventurous in nature, the varieties of cremants will really blow your mind. Initially, cremant was produced in the champagne region with champagne; but, since 1985, it became separated from champagne and started to make its own identity to the wine lovers. Today, there are seven varieties available of cremant and those are:
- Cremant d’Alsace
- Cremant de Bourgogne
- Cremant de Bordeaux
- Cremant du Jura
- Cremant de Loire
- Cremant de Die
- Cremant de Limoux
There is a basic similarity between each variety of cremant as all these are made from different types of grapes. Besides this, the other similarities of these types of cremants are:
- All grapes are hand harvested
- While pressing, grapes are kept whole branched, or they can be destemmed
- From 150 kg of grapes, 100 liters of liquid must be obtained
- While the second fermentation is done, it should be done in a bottle
- The amount of sugar in each type of cremants must not cross the barrier of 50 grams per liter.
- Before disgorging, each variety of cremants must be aged for nine months and then again for three months before releasing into the market.
Among these variants, Cremant du Jura and Cremant de Die are basically white wine. All the other variants can be white and rose. Cremant d’Alsace and Cremant de Bourgogne are the most favorite sparkling wine to wine lovers. To give tough competition to champagne and to be a value added a drink for every occasion; these two varieties of cremants are really effective.
Cremant de Bourgogne The Sparkling Wine You Are Fascinated about
Along with the immense population of sparkling wine and its growing demand, the sale of Cremant de Bourgogne is also increasing. You will be surprised to know that in 2015. The worldwide sale of Bourgogne was more than 17 million bottles! Statistics says, 32% of this huge amount has been exported to meet the need of people around the world.
Making Process of Cremant de Bourgogne
The traditional method is followed while making this popular version of Cremants. The method is known as ‘la methode traditionnelle’. In this method, the following steps are followed
- Harvest This is done by hand only. The harvested grapes are kept in a large wooden barrel with a hole so that the pressed grapes can easily pass through it and can be stored in the container.
- Different Types of Juice There are several varieties of pressing grapes and extracting juice. From 150 grams of grapes, 100lt juice must be extracted. This juice that is extracted first is used to prepare Cremant de Bourgogne.
- Types of Press While the grapes are first pressed it is known as Cuvee. The juice, extracted from this press, gives the body, acidity, and sophistication to the wine. The second press is known as taille, which brings the rich aroma of the wine.
- Preparation of Base Wine When the base wine is made, it is fined and filtered. Then it is chilled, and cane syrup and particular types of yeast are blended with the base wine before bottling. This is known as liqueur de tirage.
- Fermentation The bottled base wine is now known as prise de mousse. This is kept in the bottle for one month for fermentation. In this period, the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol. During this process, carbon dioxide is formed up to five bars of pressure. This gas is then dissolved into the wine to create sparkle into the wine. Now, comes the sealing part. Bottles are hermetically sealed with a bidule and a crimpled metal cap.
- Sur Lattes The sealed bottles are kept so that wine gets matured to become sur At this period, autolysis starts in the yeast and the sugar is completely consumed by it, and yeast gets settled. This entire procedure enhances the aroma and also make the sparkling wine bubbly. For this entire process, the wine should be aged for 12 15 months or more.
- Riddling Process After this settling process, the bottles go through riddling. Here, the bottles are gradually tilted downside by holding at the neck. Thus, the deposits come at the neck before disgorging. Due to this process, the dead yeast capsules, formed at the neck of the bottle can be removed.
- The additions of the Dosage Procedures of making Bourgogne are almost done. Now, the dosage is added according to the secret recipe of the winemakers. The amount of sugar used in dosage determines the label on the bottle
- Brut Nature: Without any sugar
- Extra Brut: less than 6grams sugar per liter
- Brut: 6 12 grams sugar is added per liter
- Extra Sec: 12 20 grams sugar is added per liter
- Sec: 17 35 grams sugar is added per liter
- Demi Sec: 33 50 grams sugar is added per liter
- Doux: more than 50 grams sugar is added per liter
Cremant de Bourgogne is ready. Finally, the bottles are corked, and the wire is closed, and the bottles are labeled.
Cremant d’Alsace The Sensational Sparkling Wine
The region of Alsace is making this traditional sparkling wine from a long time ago, but it has gained popularity in recent years. Usually, Cremant d’Alsace is made up of crispy Pinot Blanc grapes which give this exotic spirit the body and boozing aroma. Not only this variety of grapes but other variants, like Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes are also used to make Cremant d’Alsace.
All these grape varieties are used to produce white Cremant d’Alsace; but, to make rose Alsace, 100% Pinot Noir has to be used. The varieties of Alsace are mainly single varietal wine, but there are certain blended ones too. But, the one thing that is common in all variants is the freshness and dryness. The procedure of making Cremant d’Alsace and Cremant de Bourgogne are almost same as to make both wines, the first 100liters juice of grapes is required. Due to the unique personality, at present, Cremant d’Alsace is the top AOC sparkling wine that is consumed in the home country, France as well as around the world. Each bottle of Alsace must be kept for minimum 9 months for aging. If the maturity level is less than that, you may get a nutty and toasty flavor in it. Many people also prefer that ground taste.
It is said that the drink in your hand describes your personality. A glass of Cremant d’Alsace will talk about your elegance, courage and a fun nature altogether. Depending on the varieties of grapes, Cremant d’Alsace gets the colors of pale gold to salmon gold and fits almost every type of cuisine. The best hand picked and fresh grapes are used to prepare this vibrant and sparkling wine.
Making Process of Cremant d’Alsace
To produce the best Alsace, the proper vinification process is followed. Wine lovers know how a variety of tastes and aroma they can get if they choose Alsace and that is possible just because of different style of production. Both Cremant d’Alsace and Cremant de Bourgogne are made in the same process. It is the grapes that bring a different taste in both wines. But, both will give you a dry and creamy taste on your palette.
Here, you got details of only two varieties of cremants. There are more to come, and each is different from the other. Why have only champagne? Be creative and experimental and try cremant with authentic French cuisine. You will be surely going to love it.