Crémant – Loire Valley’s Dazzling Sparkling Wine
Crémant de Loire is the regional title or appellation for sparkling wines from France’s Loire Valley. Loire Valley is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest region for producing sparkling wines, particularly in Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. Because Champagne is a legally-protected word, it cannot be used for any sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne region. Thus, well-known sparkling wines Alsace, Burgundy and the Loire Valley are called Crémant.
Loire Valley produces 14 million sparkling wines each year. Rosé makes about 10% of the overall production while the rest are white. As of 2018, there are 597 producers of Crémant de Loire. They sell about 17 million bottles per year.
According to historical records, it was the Romans who cultivated the first vineyards in the Loire Valley in the 1st century AD. Loire Valley has a temperate oceanic climate influenced by the presence of bodies of water around the area. This includes the Loire river, the other rivers in the neighbouring areas and the Atlantic Ocean at the midwestern edge. The soil type is diverse and varies in each region such as chalky limestone, silica, gravel, sand and clay.
The traditional Loire grape varieties used in Crémant are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Pineau d'Aunis, Grolleau Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, the two main grape varieties are Chenin– a white grape variety, and Cabernet Franc, a red grape variety.
How is Crémant made?
Crémant is made in the same method used in Champagne called “méthod Chapenoise”. The specific rules were strictly set in 2009. The first fermentation occurs in the barrel, followed by the second fermentation process in the bottle. During the second process, fermentation in the bottle produces bubbles.
After the minimum ageing period of nine months, the bottles are turned upside down for the deposits from the yeast cells to gather in the neck of the bottle for discharging. Crémant de Loire has a subtle freshness. It has hints of white fruits, lemon, nuts, vanilla and liquorice. Rosé, on the other hand, has red fruit scents.
Types of Crémant
There are eight wine regions in France, and Crémant production is growing. Aside from Crémant de Loire, here are some of the popular ones:
Alsace has been producing Crémant since the 1900s. It’s mostly made from Pinot Blanc grapes.
White: Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Rosé: 100% Pinot Noir
Crémant de Bourgogne was first produced at the beginning of the 19th century.
White: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Rosé: Pinot Noir and sometimes Gamay
It’s said that the city of Limoux has been making sparkling wines since 1531, 100 years before Champagne was produced.
White and Rosé: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, Pinot Noir
Crémant vs Champagne
Crémant de Loire has a similar taste profile to Champagne. It can be a good alternative to Champagne. Here are their key differences:
Region - Champagne wines are produced in the Champagne region while Crémant de Loire is produced outside Champagne.
Price - Champagne is more expensive than Crémant.
- Grape varieties - Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, while Crémant mainly contains Chenin and Cabernet Franc.
Jaillance Crémant de Loire Brut NV
Popsy & JJ has added Jaillance Crémant de Loire Brut NV into their wine collection. If you’re looking for a premium sparkling wine without a high price tag, Jaillance Crémant de Loire Brut NV is perfect to bring to any festive celebrations.
Jaillance Crémant de Loire Brut NV’s white blend from the grape varietals Chenin, Grolleau Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Savour its subtle freshness and hints of apple on your palate. Enjoy a glass of this sparkling wine with any lean fish or poultry and shellfish.