Burgundy amazes us with its great wines known throughout the world, but it also offers us to discover exceptional Crémant which have nothing to envy to the champagnes! The traditional method of vinification is used, just like the one used for champagnes. The only difference lies in the length of maturation on the lees, which is a few months shorter in Burgundy. In Burgundy, as in Champagne, we use mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Then the character of the Crémant de Bourgogne varies according to the hand of man, the practices of the winemaker: decisions of the assembly and the yeast of expedition. With Crémant too, Burgundy surprises us with aromas and flavors of character: the finesse of the blanc de blancs, the power of the blanc de noirs, the delicacy of the rosés, Crémant-de-Bourgogne wines offer varied profiles.
The stages in the creation of Crémant de Bourgogne
Pressing of the red and white grapes to separate the juice from the skins. Only the must (the colorless juice) is collected. The must for Crémant is generally more acidic and less sweet than that for still wines because the grapes are harvested earlier in order to preserve the acidity that gives Crémant de Bourgogne its freshness.
After pressing, the juice is cloudy. The sludge will settle at the bottom of the tank. Racking is then carried out to separate this sludge from the clearer juice. This step allows us to eliminate some of the cloudiness. The juice is then put into vats or barrels and the lees are removed. Depending on the choice of container, the wine will be different: drier in the tank and fatter in the barrel.
This is the stage of alcoholic fermentation: the fermenting yeasts transform the sugar into alcohol and the first aromas are revealed. This is the beginning of the birth of wine (before we had a simple grape juice).
The wine is then racked to be aged. There may then be a second fermentation, not compulsory, the malolactic fermentation. Malic acid is transformed into lactic acid under the pressure of micro-organisms. This stage allows the acidity of the wine to be reduced and stabilized naturally.
Then, in the winter following the harvest, the different vintages from different terroirs and grape varieties are assembled. At this stage, we "cook", we have to assemble the cuvées harmoniously to create the final composition of the crémant (aromas, acidity, fatness...).
Bottling of the cuvée with the addition of the liqueur de tirage, composed of a mixture of yeast and sugars. The bottle is then closed with a temporary cap.
The bottles are stored for 9 months. During this stage the new yeasts eat the sugar and start a second fermentation, these yeasts will produce carbon dioxide and create the foam. The bubbles are born!
The bottles are then placed upside down on racks and are stirred or rather turned regularly. This stage is called riddling. The yeasts then form a deposit that will accumulate against the cap. The next step is disgorging, i.e. freezing the neck of the bottle so that the yeast deposit forms an ice cube and is then expelled by the pressure.
Before closing the bottle with the final cork, a liqueur d'expédition (a mixture of wine and sugar) and sulphites (for better preservation) are added to the crémant. Depending on the composition of the liqueur (which is specific to each producer) the crémant will be more or less sweet.