Crémant de Bourgogne has been an AOC, Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, since 1975. This classification of french sparkling wine covers a particularly large territory. The vast area stretches all the way from the north of Burgundy to the south, covering the Chablis region, the Châtillonnais, the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise, the Côte Mâconnaise, and even in the far south- the Beaujolais.
Such diversity means that a wide range of different base wines can be created that individually reflect the various subregions "terroir"- their so called sense of place. For the ambitious wine maker. It is possible to make wines with the typicity of a specific year, and to narrow it down, even from a small parcel within the appelation. Such a wide range of wines can also allow for the creation of subtle, complex, well balanced blends. Each grape variety has different treats and expressions in them selves, and brings out qualities of the region in their own way: Pinot noir brings fruit and structure to the table, chardonnay adds freshness and elegance, gamay for flavour, the chameleon aligoté vivacity…
I recently got to participate in a journalist tasting of the whole range of quality gems from the brilliant crémant-producer Louis Bouillot.
Evidently, the experimenting at Louis Bouillot is extensive. Particularly they focus on different takes on the aging process. It appears to me they make sparkling wines with pioneer visions.
It all started in Nuits-St-Georges, Burgundy, in 1877. Ever since, Louis Bouillot has been a recognized producer of high quality sparkling wines in Burgundy. What is rather unique is that on top of high quality standard wines, Louis Bouillot also creates specially crafted top wines from grapes picked from some of Burgundy's very best vineyard locations. How cool?
More than 130 years of history and expertise reflects in Louis Bouillot's Crémants. Creativity and respect for the terroir are evident as the fundament in the Louis Bouillot philosophy. This alongside an never ending curiosity, ingenuity and playfullness.
Today, Louis Bouillot is owned by the Boisset Group, and this has led to the creating of a large wine tourist center in Nuits-St-Georges with focus on spreading light on the lovely Crémants of Burgundy.
This visionary Burgundy producer stops at nothing to secure the quality of their wines. Not only do they age their babies extra long. They have also just recently launched a crémant that has been aged at the bottom of the sea for 21 months! Imagine that. Look at the spectacular bottle below. So exiting and beautiful. At the tasting I got to compare it with the exact same wine just aged in the cellar, not on the ocean floor. Was there any difference? Absolutely. Quite a bit! The sea is lovely, dark and deep...it is also cold, and absolutely still. Perfect conditions for ageing a wine!
This project was inspired in part by bottles of sparkling wine rescued from ships sunk well over 100 years ago, and eventually rescued. Some of the bottles saved was in remarkably good condition. Winemaker at Louis Bouillot will continue this fun and engaging experimenting with ageing their cremánts under water, under perfect conditions. Best of luck- I can´t wait to try them!