On the Road with the Grape Guy

Masterclass on Crémant (Loire Valley)

29 Sep 2022

(April 29, 2022) ...

Gerhild Burkhard led this morning’s Masterclass about Crémant, because there is no better way to start a day than with six glasses of sparkling wine. Gerhild Burkhard

We will start here ...

There are 8 regions for Crémant in France:
Alsace / Bordeaux /  Bourgogne / Die / Jura / Limoux / Loire / Savoie
with 5000 producers and 12,736 hectares in production.

To be considered as Crémant the rules are as follows:

- Traditional method
- Hand harvested
- Minimum 9 months of aging on lees
- Lees must be disgorged
- Maximum sugar level 50g/L
- After 12 months the wine can go to market

Crémant de Loire is centered mainly in Angers-Saumur-Tours with approximately 2600 hectares. The AOP was created in 1975 and the main varieties used are Chenin and Cab Franc with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Grolleau Noir et Gris plus others are also allowed, but can make up no more than 30%.
60% is exported (23.3 million bottles) of which 65% goes to Germany, 8% to the USA and 7% to the UK.

The Wines … six were sampled, below are my top four

Domaine de las Clartiere 2019 Cremant de Loire
(50% Chardonnay / 30% Chenin / 20% Grolleau Gris)
18 months on lees has developed a creamy palate with nice acidity, plenty of crisp apple, mineral, plus lemon/citrus notes.  (*** ½)

Domaine Baumard NV Carte Turquoise Blanc
(30% Chenin / 40% Cab Franc / 30% Chardonnay)
Leesy/brioche character right off the hop which leads into a creamy mouthfeel, but backed by citrus zest and green apple bite.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Olivier 2017 Cremant de Loire
(70% Chenin / 30% Chardonnay)    
Crispiness based on that punch of acidity from green apple, there’s also a lovely brioche note, pretty floral and lingering citrus. More of this, please.  (****)

Domaine de Nerleux 2018 Art des Loups
(55% Chardonnay / 45% Chenin)
65% of this wine sees new barrel giving it a richness which comes out as honey and lemon zest with good acidity and even a little something spicy.  (*** ½+)


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