Cremant de Bourgogne from Jean-Claude and Anna Breliere of Rully

Cremant de Bourgogne (Brut) from Jean-Claude and Anna Breliere of Rully

Once again, our friends Stephane and Anne introduced us to another little gem in Burgundy. This time it was the silky CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE from Jean-Claude and Anna Breliere of Rully. Generating wines from 7.00 hectare of vines planted in half-Chardonnay and half-Pinot Noir, The Breliere family has created a Cremant we really, really like.  For those unfamiliar with Cremant, it is essentially a sparking white made by traditional methods nearly identical to Champagne for most people (wine purists will argue differently…but this is our opinion, so chill-out), but much more affordable and equally delicious.  There are Cremant blanc, Cremant blanc de blanc and Cremant de noirs, as well as a rose version made from Pinot Noir with or without a touch of Gamay for pink color and delicate red-fruit flavors.

Cremant de Bourgogne sales are soaring (13.5 million bottles in 2007!) as people discover the effervescent whites can be equally satisfying as their more expensive Champagne counterparts, and perhaps more interesting and refreshing.  Nearly every domaine in Burgundy will have a bit of Cremant in its collection of wine offerings, and the industrial giant Veuve Ambal casts an imposing impression on the landscape with its huge warehouse and production facility generating 272,000 bottles all by itself in 2009.

Nearly all the Cremants we have tasted have a compellingly fresh, vibrant feel and taste with white blossom, melon, citrus and white fruit flavors zesting about with fine bubbles and clean acidity. Cremant is simply a great beverage.  We found the zesty mouthfeel of most Cremants really nice and rewarding, but when we tasted the Cremant from Domaine Breliere, we were stunned at the soft, elegant presentation in the mouth.  I immediately thought of the way cotton candy melts in your mouth.  Breliere’s Cremant “feels” like it dissolves its effervescence in your mouth the way cotton candy does (minus the sugary-sweeteness, of course). Wonderful feel and elegant flavors softly entertaining your palate. So, we learned that even in the world of Cremant, there can be great differences in the styles created by the individual domaines of Burgundy. Great stuff. We bought more.