Crémant: Is This The New Champagne?
Crémant Vs Champagne
Champagne refers to the sparkling wines from Champagne, whereas Crémant is produced from other French wine regions. Both wines are produced using the same wine producing methods (Traditional) and both hold similar notes of biscuit flavours.
Methode Traditionelle refers to the winemaking process which is used for Champagne and Crémant. This method requires the second fermentation with the lees (sediment from the second fermentation) to be in the bottle. The sediment is normally made up of yeast, which helps to give these wines their natural fizz. This process also requires ageing of at least 12 months before these can be sold, to allow the sediment to ferment properly and create the sparkling ability in these wines.
Champagne is known for its sparkling wines, with high guidelines to produce quality wines. The history of Champagne dates back to the 19th Century, where Champagnes were sweet, instead of dry. Crémants, although their guidelines may be a little more relaxed, can still hold the great quality which Champagne holds. Crémants are almost always cheaper than Champagne and are thought to be just as good.
The guidelines for the production of Crémant are:
- Hand-harvested Grapes.
- The second fermentation must occur in the bottle.
- White Crémant cannot exceed the sugar dosage of 50g per litre (same as Champagne).
- Must be aged for at least 12 months before being sold.
Can be either White or Rosé, except for Crémant de Die and Crémant du Jura, which are only permitted to produce white Crémants.
Crémant de Bordeaux
Crémant de Bourgogne
Keywords To Look Out For
- Appellation - AOC approved area where the wine is grown, with specific regulations for winegrowers.
- Blanc - White Wine, produced from white wine grapes.
- Brut - Very Dry Wine.
- Chateau or Domaine - The Vineyard the wine comes from.
- Demi-Sec - Medium-Dry Wine.
- Methode Traditionelle - Traditional Winemaking which is also used for Champagne and Cava.
- Sec - Dry Wine.
- Vintage - The year the wine was produced in.