Friday, 4 May 2012

Wine of the week #30: Crémant du Jura (Sparkling Chardonnay/France)

Hi all,

Unfortunately, no time for a full blind tasting this week but a superb value sparkling wine anyway from a very unusual wine seller (Aldi) and a much better value alternative to entry low quality Champagnes!
Special thanks to Sarah for this tippletip!!

It is
A dry sparkling wine made only from Chardonnay in the region of Jura, in the North-East of France.

Appearance: pale lemon, relatively thin and numerous bubble strings in the glass.
Nose: apple crumble & some citrus hints
Palate: tonic bubbles that soften up on your tongue to leave delicate pleasant green apple & citrus flavours. Good balance between the crisp acidity and the fruit flavours. Hints of biscuits/crumble give a little bit more complexity and pleasant finish.


Score: 15/20 (taking into account price)

You'll like it if you like: very dry ciders, sparkling wines (not frizzante), a bloody good deal, partying with friends, underdogs, dry Prosecco, Champagne more on the more than the biscuits autolytic flavours, an 'apéro' with the salted peanuts & amuse bouches; cava.

Have it with:
Not sure it's best drunk on its own. Might be a bit too dry.
Would recommend either with salted nibbles before dinner or with creamy fish or even homemade fish & chips. The idea to get something creamy or a little bit oily but not too heavy.

Find it:
1) Aldi - £6.99 - Philippe Michel - Crémant du Jura. 15/20. Also recommended by Jancis Robinson & Sarah.
2) Laithwaites - £9.99 - Roche Lacour - Crémant de Bourgogne. Not tried.

Did you know?
> Jura is not very well known in the wine world. It is tucked between very famous Burgundy and the underdog Switzerland and was once a very big wine region with 20,000ha of wines cultivated in the 19th Century (now down to less than 10% of this).

> Jura produces Crémant but also some vin jaune and vin de paille. Vin jaune ('yellow wine') is made by using the same technique as for Sherry. A wine is fermented from late-harvested local Savagnin grapes and then put in casks where a film similar to flor develops on top of the wine ('le voile') and gives the wine a very distinctive oxidised taste.
Vin de paille ('straw wine') is made from Savagnin grapes traditionally dried on straws, then creating a rich sweet white wine.

> Aldi is probably the best discounter when it comes to wine. They also have award-winning Cava (£4.48) and Prosecco  (£6.99) worth considering.

> The appellation 'Crémant du Jura' was created in 2005 and now represents 20% of the Jura wine production. The region is ideal for crisp sparkling Chardonnay with a reasonably wet climate that encourage slightly underripe grapes, best for sparkling wines.

> Crémant is the name for any sparkling made like a Champagne but that is not from the region of Champagne. The method and most often the grapes are the same so you can find, especially in the UK, much better from Crémant vs. Champagne.

> You can find Crémant in Alsace, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Jura, Die, Loire and Luxembourg. Take your pick!

> I tried this Crémant at 4pm this Friday afternoon and now feel very ready for the Bank Holiday weekend!

Whatever wine you're drinking this weekend, ENJOY!


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