Made by just like Champagne with the secondary fermentation in the bottle and from the same grape (Chardonnay), but at half the price. The wine is aged 18 months on its lees (dead yeast cells) for release giving it a soft, creamy palate. It shows a green apple and citrus character, with chalky minerality on the tangy, briny finish.
Cremant de Bourgogne are made using predominantly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the addition of some Gamay, Aligoté, Sacy and Melon de Bourgogne. Despite sharing common grape varieties these wines are less elegant and complex than Champagne, but can have great freshness and acidity.
Jean-Paul Brun is undoubtedly the best-known producer in the south of Beaujolais. This is the so-called Pays des Pierres Dorées, named after the golden coloured limestone, much quarried for building material. Jean-Paul is based in Charnay, a village just north of Lyon. He started in 1977 with just four hectares, and now has 30, as well as 15 hectares of vineyard plots on the granite soils of some of the Beaujolais crus – Fleurie, Moulin à Vent, Morgon and Côte de Brouilly. The vineyard is in the process of conversion to biodynamic viticulture. Particular specialities include his chardonnay, which accounts for eight hectares of his vines and some of these grapes are used for his Cremant. Jean Paul’s winemaking is much more Burgundian and traditional than most of his neighbours, with wines fermenting in vats before ageing in cement or oak. He believes in minimal intervention, and chooses not to add industrial yeasts, which are often responsible for the ‘bubblegum’ style of some generic Beaujolais.
Only wines produced in Champagne can be called Champagne. In the rest of France wines produced by secondary fermentation in the bottle (Champagne method) are known as ‘Crémant’. Crémant de Bourgogne are produced the Burgundy (which includes Beaujolais) in north east France.
Most sparkling wines are good with food as the bubbles help to keep your palate refreshed which stimulates good appetite. Cremant de Bourgogne can be paired with snails, shellfish, fish and rich pâtes. They also work well with creamy and washed rind cheeses.