The Crémants of the Loire!

Hello there y’all! Well once in a while I indulge myself in writing about a favorite pastime of mine over my life. The wine aficionado in me have taken me to some incredible properties and unforseen countries in search of the nectar of the gods. Wine!

And of course, we have some pretty good ones here in my belle France to say the least… An area dear to me for several years now even before moving closer was and is the Loire. Oh yes the Loire borders a river 1006 km , the longest in France, and it is long lots of territory covering several regions and departments of France, from the Ardèche to the Loire-Atlantique. I have written before on the wines per se, but this time let me tell you a bit about the crémants or sparklers of the Loire. You know we cannot call it that other name of bubblies for reasons you know too. This territory for the crémants goes from the appellations of Anjou, Saumur, and Touraine, so narrowing down the Loire!

The measuring body or governing body as you wish was the AOC Crémant de Loire,and it shows up only in 1975. All 250 kms of it or about 155 miles. But wait, let me tell you the interesting story of the Crémants de Loire!

This regional appellation applies to sparkling wines, especially white, sometimes rosé, produced according to the traditional method, with a second fermentation in the bottle and a period of maturation on lees of at least nine months. Its geographical area, very extensive, runs along the Loire and its tributaries, the Vienne, Indre and Cher, over approximately 250 km, and covers 318 towns. It is superimposed on that of the AOC Anjou, Saumur, Touraine and Cheverny. The majority of the production comes from the Saumur region, where numerous cellars carved into the limestone of tufa constitute an ideal environment for the production and storage of these wines. In this sector, sparkling wines have been made since the beginning of the 19C. Many of the appellation’s grape varieties are those from different areas of the Loire Valley. This diversity in terms of grape varieties, soils and climates creates a fairly wide range of characters.

The Saumur tourist office on the Crémant de Loire in French: https://www.ot-saumur.fr/Appellation-d-Origine-Controlee-CREMANT-DE-LOIRE_a16391.html

If Chenin is the star white grape of Crémant de Loire, Cabernet Franc is undoubtedly its Reds grape counterpart. But they are not alone so far, because several grape varieties make up a mosaic that Crémant de Loire can take advantage of: chardonnay, pinot noir, grolleau noir, grolleau gris and even a very original orbois, of which only one remains. extremely rare arpents in Loir-et-Cher. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pineau d’Aunis can also partially enter the grape variety. These are elegant wines with a beautiful crystalline color with gray reflections for the whites and salmon or cherry for the rosés. They have little aging potential and reveal all their freshness and complexity within a year of being marketed.

In its white variety, the Crémant-de-Loire has a more or less pale yellow color, adorned with silver or gold reflections. The bouquet of whites is complex: white flowers, white or yellow fleshed fruits, dried fruits embellished with brioche, butter and honey notes. he white crémant-de-loire is full-bodied, generous and fresh on the palate, embellished with richly fruity flavors.  Some pairings are as an aperitif, chocolate cake, or raspberry pie or similar.

The color of the rosés variety offers a varied color chart, ranging from salmon pink for the palest to dark raspberry or cherry pink for the more intense. The rosés exhale aromas of strawberries, raspberries, currants and other small red fruits. Rosé Crémant-de-Loire is delicious, fresh and rounded.  Some pairings are as an aperitif, fish, white meats, and apple crumble or similar.

The Loire Valley wine assoc on the Crémant de Loire in English: https://www.vinsvaldeloire.fr/en/node/11579

Some of the bigger names here and all good, recommended.

Etienne Bouvet created the Bouvet-Ladubay company in 1851, thus associating his wife’s name with his brand name. Within a few years, the fine sparkling wines of Bouvet-Ladubay, Saumur Brut and Crémant de Loire, were exported worldwide. An expertise recognized by the granting of more than 460 medals in 40 years. Along the 5 km of galleries, visitors will discover all the stages of winemaking with, in the heart of the cellars, more than 1,000 oak barrels and a sunken cathedral made up of 35 monumental sculptures. Including: Contemporary Art Center, 19C theatre, wine-tasting school, and seminar rooms.

Veuve-Amiot Cellars you come to a world of elegance and tradition…In 1884, Elisa Amiot, the widow of Armand Amiot, decided to found her sparkling wine company in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent. A woman of character, she set herself a challenge to meet her own expectations: develop and sell a prestigious Saumur wine known worldwide for its quality. The guided tour of the cellars dug in tufa limestone and of the modernized production site in operation allows the visitor to follow all the development process according to the traditional method. The commented tasting of wines from the company comes with valuable tips on combinations of food and wine

With its majestic position overlooking the Loire, harmoniously perched on the hillside, the site of Gratien & Meyer seems poised between heaven and earth. The Art Deco architecture of the building is as stunning as the unique view over the area. The visit gives access to vast tunnels dug into the tuffeau during the Middle Ages, where 5 million bottles are ageing. A stenographic journey illustrates a century of work founded in tradition and expertise. The visit details the winemaking process of sparkling and still wines from the harvest to the tasting.

A pioneer for the Loire fine sparkling wines, Jean-Baptiste Ackerman founded in 1811 his famous company in spectacular cellars dug in tufa limestone. He started the development in the area of Saumur Brut and Crémant de Loire in the traditional way. Embark for a “Journey to the Centre of the Bubble”, a unique scenography, and let yourself be carried away by the magic of art in the caves. The Ackerman Company has joined its know-how with fontevraud-la Scène to select artists whose ephemeral works of art brighten the space. A tour punctuated by videos, entertainment and games for the whole family. Tasting of the iconic wines of the Company.

Since 1885 the house of Langlois-Chateau has retained its family atmosphere and is a remarkable wine site. The vines overlook the cellars, which are dug into the tuff eau. The site offers “Behind the Scenes at the Winery”, a presentation in 4 acts: 1 – Introduction to oenology in the wine school. 2 – Visit of cellars with wine presses and fermenting tanks for white and red wines. 3 – Visit of 300 meters of underground cellars, to understand the different stages of the traditional method. 4 – Commentated, comparative tasting of still and sparkling wines.

The Anjou area tourist office on the houses of crémants de Loire with further info on each : https://www.anjou-tourisme.com/fr/decouvrir-lanjou/pratiques/en-vins-et-recettes/appellations-anjou-saumur/cremant-de-loire

These are all good value, great quality/price ratio and more and more drank here. We love it, and stock on them, even some lesser known properties I like to tell you briefly with some bottle labels.

The M Cuvée des Anges rosé of the Montlouis sur Loire cooperative; more info here: https://www.cave-montlouis.com/visite-degustation/

Montlouis sur loire coopérative M cuvee des anges bubbly loire

The Mlle Ladubay rosé a discounted product of the Bouvet-Ladubay house, more on them here: https://www.bouvet-ladubay.fr/visiter-vous-reunir/

st hilaire- st Florant Mlle ladubay cremant de la loire white bubbly

My favorite of those above, the Vouvray Tête de Cuvée Charles de Villeneuve of the Vouvray cooperative. More here: http://www.cavedevouvray.com/fr/editorial/10/81/les-fines-bulles

vouvray tete de cuvee bubbly white cave coop

These are wonderful bubblies for simple occassions such as birthdays, mind you no set level to enjoy these anytime as we do just this week ::) The Crémant de Loire are excellent, try them.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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