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Cremant and Loire

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Dom Stephane Aladame Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV (1x75cl)

Stéphane Aladame is one of the stars of the younger generation of French producers. Whereas many young winemakers inherit their estate, Stéphane began from scratch in 1992, at the age of 18. He completed his studies in Beaune before renting vineyards in Montagny, in the Côte Chalonnaise. The wines of Montagny can easily rival those from the more famous Côte de Beaune, which lies immediately to the north, and often at considerably better prices. Stéphane is also a bit of an anomaly in Montagny, as the village is dominated by cooperatives (at around 75%), with only 18 independent producers. Stéphane now cultivates eight hectares, with seven hectares situated in Montagny Premier Cru.

Grapes for this Crémant de Bourgogne were grown in the Aladame family's Montagny vineyards, in the far south of the Côte Chalonnaise. This is a Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, made only from white grapes, from the classic Burgundy grape, Chardonnay.

The grapes are picked by hand in open boxes and gently pressed immediately after. The first fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The wine is then bottled and stored on shelves for 9 months. The length of time before release varies depending on the vintage.

100% Chardonnay (it's a Blanc de Blancs!)

Aromas of white fruits with notes of acacia. On the palate, the Cremant is supple, attractive and dominated by peach flavours. It is fresh and crisp with good minerality and a long finish.

£19.80

Dopff au Moulin Cremant d'Alsace, Cuvee Julien Brut NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition expert review of French Cremant(s) (see blue link below).

Dopff Au Moulin Cremant D'Alsace, Cuvee Julien Brut NV - August 2018 Decanter review

The Dopff family has been winegrowers since 1574 and still manage the 70 hectare estate near the charming medieval town of Riquewihr. The vineyards are more than 300 metres above sea level, nestled in the foothills of the lower Vosges. As a family of pioneers, they were responsible for the use of the stemmed wine bottles, which today distinguish Alsace wines from other regions. In 1900, tenth generation Julien Dopff was so impressed by the Champagne tastings held in Paris' World Exhibition, he learnt the art of winemaking in Champagne for two years before returning to Alsace. After WW II Julien Dopff strongly believed that a Crémant made from local grape varieties and reflecting the terroir of Alsace should be produced and protected. In 1976, together with five other producers, he finally obtained official recognition for Crémant d'Alsace as an AOC.

Made from 50% Auxerrois, which is a sibling grape variety of Chardonnay, mainly grown in Alsace. It is an earlier ripener, added to the blend for its low acidity and body. The grapes are mainly sourced from vineyards in the Colmar area. Grown in a light sandy soil, with good drainage, the vines are trained according to the Guyot method. Green harvesting takes place along with meticulous canopy management to ensure good light penetration and air flow. Rest of blend not specified by Dopff.

The grapes are gently crushed and pressing is limited to 100 litres of must per 150kg of grapes. The first fermentation is carried out in stainless steel and glass tanks, while the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, using the traditional Champagne method. The wine is aged for 18 months in bottle on its lees with automatic riddlings using gyropallets. This Crémant D'Alsace is mostly based on a single vintage, currently being 2012 crop.

Dry and elegant Crémant, showing hints of quince and white flowers, fine bubbles with good length and weight. Ideal as an apéritif or excellent white fish, sushi, oysters or fresh fruit.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£17.05

Louis Bouillot No 21 JCB Brut Cremant de Bourgogne NV (1x 75cl)

Jean-Charles Boisset was born into a winemaking family in Burgundy. Today, he is the proprietor, along with his sister, Nathalie, and parents Jean-Claude and Claudine Boisset, of a collection of more than twenty great producers from the world's pre-eminent wine producing regions. Created by Jean-Charles, the innovative JCB Collection brings together two worlds of winemaking - Old and New. Each wine in the collection is a limited edition, and is "named" with a number. These numbers relate to a wine style that Jean-Charles strives to achieve vintage to vintage, while also symbolizing important ideas, passions and moments in his life and wine career. 'N° 21' because 21 is the French government's 'department' number for the Côte d'Or. Jean-Charles was born in 1969, the year that mankind went to the moon. And 69 represents unlimited expression, freedom, and refinement.

All the grapes were sourced from parcels located within the Burgundy AOC area: the Pinot Noir and Aligoté were grown in the Côte d'Or, the Gamay in the South of Burgundy and the Chardonnay from the Mâconnais.

This wine has been made according the traditional method. Being a Cremant, the second fermentation happened in bottle and the wine was aged for a minimum of 12 months on slats.

40% Pinot Noir , 35% Chardonnay, 20% Gamay, 5% Aligoté.

The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay shine through this Crémant. Pale and vibrant in colour, it offers a lovely fresh and fruity nose with almond and white flower aromas. It feels full and generous on the palate, it has a great harmony between acidity and fruit.

£17.05

Louis Bouillot Perle d Aurore Cremant de Bourgogne Rose Brut NV (1x75cl)

Louis Bouillot was founded in Nuits-Saint-Georges in 1877 by Jean Bouillot. With over 130 years of experience, Bouillot is one of the oldest producers of Crémant de Bourgogne, as well as being the largest. Today, the house is owned by the Boisset family, but expertly guided by Crémant specialist winemaker Olivier Medigue. Perle d'Aurore is a Crémant Rosé, made from Pinot Noir, while Perle Noire is a sparkling, Brut style made from Pinot Noir and Gamay and aged on its lees for 15 months.

The Pinot Noir fruit for the Perle d'Aurore is sourced entirely from Burgundian vineyards in the Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise. The Gamay is from the Maconnais.

The Perle d'Aurore is a sparkling rosé produced from a majority of red grapes (90%). It is made by the 'méthode traditionnelle', the same as in Champagne. The grapes were lightly pressed after a short maceration on the skins. The individual parcels of wine were blended, then the 'liqueur de tirage' of sugar and yeast was added, before the wine was bottled ready for the second fermentation. The bottles were aged for over 24 months at a constant temperature of 12°C, rather than the six months legally required before disgorgement. The bottles were then topped up with a liqueur de dosage before release.

70% Pinot Noir, 20% Gamay,10% Chardonnay.

Lovely rose pink in colour, with fine bubbles and a light mousse. Perfumes of blackcurrant and strawberry follow through to a fine, ripe fruit on the palate, balanced by a freshness and clean finish with a lingering hint of strawberries.

£20.30

Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne Grande Cuvee NV (1x75cl)

Veuve Ambal has 230 hectares of vineyards in Burgundy and is one of the most prestigious wineries in the region. All of the company's domaines are managed using sustainable methods. The use of specific cultivation techniques aims to reduce the use of treatments by optimising their position and efficiency.  This approach is an indication of Veuve Ambal's desire to reduce its impact on nature. These environmental concerns are at the core of the company's ethos, from the vineyards right up to the vinification of the wines.

The domaines are located in 6 different terroirs. This diversity brings richness and aromatic complexity to the wines produced. This Crémant de Bourgogne draws on the unique characteristics of each Burgundian terroir, just as an artist uses his palette of colours in order to magnify the beauty of his painting.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical and tasting note from the winemakers at Veuve Ambal.

Cremant De Bourgogne Grande Cuvee Veuve Ambal NV - fiche technique

40% Pinot Noir,  30% Chardonnay, 10% Gamay, 10% Aligoté.

Predominantly a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this Burgundy Crémant offers remarkable complexity, doubly so at the price. It is full, well-structured and balanced on the palate. Aromas of red and citrus fruits dominate, but the nose has hints of flowers and butter too.

£14.95

Gustave Lorentz Cremant d Alsace Brut NV (1x 75cl)

The Lorentz family has been making wine since 1836 in the heart of the Alsace, which lies in the northeast corner of France, along the Rhine River.  Charles Lorentz Sr., grandfather of the current president of Gustave Lorentz, developed his vineyards on the hills of Altenberg de Bergheim, in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, which has grown to 85 acres in this extraordinary terroir, with four acres planted on the hills of the Grand Cru Kanzlerberg and 30 acres in the Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim.

The current management, led by Georges Lorentz, is the sixth generation of the family firm, headquartered in the medieval village of Bergheim, in the Haut-Rhin.   As far back as anyone can recall, the grapes harvested from this extraordinary terroir have been vinified separately.   Thus, Riesling, Pinot-Gris, Gewurztraminer and other Muscat varieties from the Altenberg de Bergheim vineyards unerringly express their unique qualities in these wines year-to-year.  The family is very proud that the wines are “gastronomic,” meaning fresh, clean, well-balanced and mostly dry – great matches for many of the cuisines from the more than 55 countries where the wines are sold. As they have down through the generations, the Lorentz family hues to tradition while also employing state-of-the-art vinification techniques and equipment.  Gustave Lorentz was among the first producers in the Alsace to use stelvin (screw-cap) closures. In 2012, the Gustave Lorentz vineyards became certified organic by Ecocert.

For this Cremant d'Alsace, the grapes are carefully selected and vinified according to the methode Champenoise/traditional method. After traditional fermentation to vin de base in tanks, a second fermentation (prise de mousse) takes place in the cool, winery cellars. Ageng is done sur lie with daily bottle rotation, going from a horizontal to vertical position, in order for the yeast deposit to accumulate in the neck of the bottle. At the time of degorgement, the neck is frozen and, enclosed in ice, the sediment is ejected by natural pressure, after which the bottle is corked and wired.

The balance and freshness of Cremant d’Alsace come from the subtle match of the three grape varieties (of which, equal thirds of each): Chardonnay for its vivacity & fruit, Pinot Blanc for its refined elegance and Pinot Noir for its persistence and subtle dark fruit. Clean and zesty, there's a lemon rind quality to the nose along with whiffs of red fruit. The palate is refreshing, balanced and has a big personality.

£17.85
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