Crémant, Champagne, Classic Method... let's clarify the differences and particularities of this type of sparkling wines.
Here's everything you need to know about Crémant.
Introduction: it is a sparkling wine produced with second fermentation in the bottle, while for a refresher on the difference compared to the second fermentation in autoclave there is our guide on difference between Classic Method and Charmat Method .
What is meant by Crémant
Crémant is the term used to indicate the sparkling wines produced in France NOT in the Champagne region . The production method is the same, it is the Champenoise Method (what in Italy we call the Classic Method).
Small history of Crémant
Until August 31, 1994, the term Crémant indicated sparkling wines with a lower carbon dioxide content, a fact which determines a softer and more delicate foam. The pressure in the bottles is less than 5 atmospheres, instead of the usual 6 for Champagne.
On the initiative of various French wine regions alternative to Champagne, which like Italy and the rest of the world have seen the use of the expression "metode champenoise" for wines not produced in Champagne prohibited, it was therefore requested - and obtained - of use the term Crémant.
The EC Regulation n 2045/89 of the European Council then specifies the new rules for the use of Crémant, reserved exclusively for:
- To quality sparkling wines
- To wines made in France or Luxembourg
- To wines that respect the particular rules issued by the Member State to regulate their production (i.e. there must be a decree or law that establishes the rules for making wines defined as “Crémant”).
In France the term Crémant would therefore have been reserved only for wines with the denomination Crémant d'Alsace, Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Loire, Crémant de Bordeaux, Crémant du Jura, Crémant de Limoux, Crémant de Die, but later they could have been created further specific names.
A further change in regulation for Crémant occurs with the adoption of EC Regulation 607/09. The expression Crémant today is permitted only for quality sparkling wines, white or rosé, PDO or PGI produced in a community country provided that:
- the grapes are harvested by hand
- the wine is produced with must obtained from pressing whole or destemmed bunches and the quantity of must obtained must not exceed 100/150 kg of grapes
- the maximum sulfur dioxide content does not exceed 150 mg/l
- the sugar content is less than 50 g/l
- the term Crémant must be indicated on the label with the name of the geographical unit which is the basis of the delimited production area of the PDO or PGI of the country of production.
The above limitations do not apply to manufacturers who own trademarks containing the term Crémant registered before 3/1/86, or are permitted to use the term.
The most famous Crémants in the world
The best-known Crémants in the world are those from Alsace , land of gewürztraminer, pinot gris and sylvaner.
But France also produces: Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Limoux, Crémant du Jura, Crémant de Bordeaux, Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Die from Clairette.
The Crémants in Luxembourg
Few know it but the law also allows Crémant de Luxembourg, obtained from the sparkling process of pinot blanc, riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot gris.