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Crémant Above and Beyond: Elevating Sparkling Wine Excellence


Many winemakers go beyond traditional Crémant production rules, creating exceptional sparkling wines from single vintages, single sites, and extended aging processes. These practices enhance the creaminess and richness of the wines, while maintaining their slender profiles.

Crafting Crémant with Precision

Jean-Christophe Bott of Domaine Bott-Geyl aims to infuse his Crémants with the same "lightness, finesse, and drinkability" as his still wines. He ages his Crémant for at least 24 months, believing that extended maturation on lees adds complexity, personality, and harmony to the wine.

"I want to create a Crémant with aromas of toasted, buttered brioche and marzipan," Bott says, emphasizing the benefits of long aging.

The Unique Terroir of Alsace

Although Alsace is nearly as far north as Champagne, its climate is much drier, warmer, and sunnier. This results in slightly riper grapes with more rounded, generous flavors. Consequently, many Crémants from Alsace have low or no dosage—the addition of sugar before bottling that balances the tart acidity of most sparkling wines. These sparklers are labeled extra brut, brut nature, or brut zéro.

Marie Zusslin of Domaine Valentin Zusslin produces a single-site Crémant from Clos Liebenberg, a walled, southeast-facing vineyard. "When grapes are slightly riper, the acidity is fine and ripe, and a low dosage brings more balance and harmony to the Crémant," Zusslin explains.

Mastery Through Tradition

Thomas Boeckel crafts one of his Crémants from some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in Alsace, with his 2012 vintage containing just 2 g/L (grams per liter) of sugar.

"The long time spent on the lees makes for an elegant mousse and rounds everything out," Boeckel notes. "I think it’s really important that we can make Crémant in Alsace that has a very pleasant acidity and hardly any sugar."

Conclusion

These winemakers are pushing the boundaries of Crémant production, demonstrating that meticulous craftsmanship and a deep understanding of terroir can elevate these sparkling wines to new heights. With their unique approaches and dedication to quality, they offer a refreshing alternative to traditional sparkling wines, delivering an exquisite experience with every sip.

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