French Brut

Whilst dominated by Champagne, most wine producing regions of France also produce their fizz some of which are very good indeed. The best are produced in the same way as champagne, the traditional method, with a secondary fermentation taking place in bottle followed by prolonged ageing on the lees (the yeast cells, left after the fermentation has finished). First among equals must surely be Blanquette de Limoux. Documentary evidence suggests this sparkling wine, from the south-west of France, predates the ‘invention’ of champagne. Made from the Mauzac grape with the addition of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, the results are stunning and Rives Blanques produce one of the best. Sitting alongside this ‘band’ are the Crémants from across France such as: Crémant d’Alsace; Crémant de Loire; Crémant de Bourgogne and Crémant de Jura. All made from the local grapes of each region, they offer refinement and elegance at a fraction of the price of champagne.

From the next tier, still made using the Traditional Method, are the likes of Saumur Brut from the Loire; less ageing on lees means a less complex wine, but sometimes we don’t want too much complexity, just a decent glass of wine with bubbles! Finally we come to the Vins Mousseux, produced more like Prosecco where the bubbles are introduced in a tank rather than in each individual bottle. These make excellent value drinking and are ideal for cocktails or for a Buck’s Fizz.

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  1. Crémant d'Alsace, Dopff & Irion
    Crémant d' Alsace Blanc de Blancs Brut, Dopff & Irion
    Pinot Blanc/Bianco 12.0% Vol
    Sparkling > French Sparkling
    Creamy and not at all aggressive like some Zero dosage wines can be. Pretty almost floral hints,...
    £12.80 per bottle £13.80 per bottle
  2. La Grande Marque Saumur Brut
    La Grande Marque Saumur Brut NV
    Chenin Blanc 12.5% Vol
    Sparkling > French Sparkling
    A lovely pale golden colour this is a fresh and lively Saumur with elegant fruit and a good hint of...
    £11.50 per bottle
  3. Jules Larose Brut
    Jules Larose Blanc de Blancs Brut, Vin Mousseux
    Colombard 11.0% Vol
    Sparkling > French Sparkling
    This is an excellent summer quaffer, being juicy with lively, floral, lemony fruit, and good value...
    £8.70 per bottle
  4. Cremant du Jura Zero Dosage, Champ Divin
    Crémant du Jura Brut, Zéro Dosage, Champ Divin 2016
    Chardonnay 13.0% Vol
    Sparkling > French Sparkling
    Creamy and not at all aggressive like some Zero dosage wines can be. Pretty almost floral hints,...
    £18.50 per bottle
  5. Blanquette de Limoux, Ch Rives-Blanques
    Château Rives-Blanques, Blanquette de Limoux Brut 2016
    Mauzac 12.5% Vol
    Sparkling > French Sparkling
    Hand-harvested grapes and low yields, this is the world's oldest sparkling wine. Peach, pear and...
    £16.00 per bottle

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