Cremants are so good they are a great alternative to Champagne and knock the spots off Prosecco any day. Here in the UK sales of these French sparkling wines have been booming for good reason. Priced midway between Prosecco and Champagne, Cremants have been the ‘go to’ drink in France for parties, functions and weddings for years. Smart, stylish and classy, Cremant has caught on over here. The British press have spotted this trend and are helping to build momentum with headlines such as ‘Goodbye Prosecco, hello Cremant’ (the Telegraph). We’ve been bringing you excellent Cremants for over a decade, having introduced our first to the UK back in 2007. Once an expensive oddity nestling at the back of the specialist wine merchant’s shop in the upmarket part of town, Cremants are now becoming much more available. They are still a rarity but you no longer have to be a wine buff to spot one.
Thanks to their previous low profile most wine lovers don’t know that Cremants are made in exactly the same way as Champagne. They have their own AOCs (protected designation of origin) and have to jump through all the various hoops that this involves to qualify.
- There are 8 Cremant AOCs in France: Rhone (Cremant de Die), Alsace, Bordeaux, Bourgogne (Burgundy), Jura, Savoie, Limoux and Loire.
Our ‘Wine of the Week’ is a delicate, light and refreshing Rose Cremant de Loire. It’s made by Raymond Morin at his Domaine de Landreau in Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay; a village deep in the Loire that has been making wine since 1037 AD. Raymond Morin is a multi award winning negociant and winemaker with exceptional holdings across the Loire. His Rose Cremant is made with Cabernet Franc, the Loire’s signature red grape and it’s made the same way as Vintage Champagne.
- The Loire is famous for the quality of its Cremants and you will find that some are made by Champagne Houses who have been attracted to the area; notably Bollinger and Taittinger.
Good Cremant de Loire has more complex, nutty aromas than Cremants produced in other French regions and the Loire Cremants’ floral aromas set them apart from Champagne. The soil is special here and it’s suited to the making of great sparkling wines. The tuffeau limestone of the Loire is similar to the chalk that runs under Sussex which is becoming famous for the production of our own English sparkling wine.
Raymond Morin’s Rose Cremant de Loire is a Gold Medal winning wine and is priced at £11.99. Beautifully crafted with an enticing nose of raspberry, violets and baked apple; it has lovely whorls of creamy, fine bubbles. Gentle flavours of strawberry, red cherry and blood orange are mixed with notes of herbs and graphite and subtle toasty hints of nutty toffee. It retains its freshness on the finish but has a delicously smooth texture. Serve it chilled; as the glass warms slightly in your hand you’ll be treated to a gorgeous waft of aromas. Like Champagne, this Cremant pairs well with a whole range of foods, it’s very versatile!