A pure, sparkling Chenin Blanc showing crisp pear, lime and mineral notes. In my opinion this is a much better wine to go with smoked salmon than Champagne as it has the acidity to cut through the oiliness.
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 Loire are made in the Loire Valley in central France and can be made using Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Grolleau, Pineau d’Aunis, Sauvignon Blanc or a blend of any of these grapes. Wines (like this one) often contain a high proportion of Chenin Blanc giving very high acidity and apple, honey and citrus character.
Catherine and Pierre have run this Loire Valley estate biodynamically since the 1990s after meeting Jules Chauvet, the high priest of organic wines in the Beaujolais region. Their wines are unfiltered with minimal use of sulphur; the Cabernet Franc reds have a great reputation, and Catherine’s whites (all from Chenin Blanc) come from single cuvées, hand-picked, and fermented only with indigenous yeast.
Just to the east of the city of Tours are the vineyards of Vouvray and Montlouis. Using Chenin Blanc dry, demi-sec and sweet styles are produced. The dessert wines can be some of the greatest and longest-lived sweet wines in the world. Green and minerally in their youth, the dry and medium styles become increasingly rich and honeyed with age. Some of the best Loire sparkling wines are made here.
Most sparkling wines are good with food as the bubbles help to keep your palate refreshed which stimulates good appetite. Cremant de Loire can be paired with smoked fish, river fish like salmon or trout, white meats and goat cheese.