With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, you may be looking for that perfect bottle of bubbly. I highly recommend buying a bottle of Specially Selected, Aldi Crémant du Jura 2018 which hails from France’s Crémant du Jura AOC region located along the Swiss border.
What exactly is a crémant wine?
Basically, the word crémant means that a wine is made according to the traditional méthode champenoise but that it doesn’t come from the actual Champagne region. There are eight Crémant appellations in France plus one just across the French border in nearby in Luxembourg. Each appellation has it’s own permitted grape varieties; however, in order to be labelled as Crémant, the wine must adhere to the following EU Commissions’ rules;
- The wine must be labelled Crémant plus the region it comes from (eg: Crémant du Jura)
- The wine must (juice) needs to be obtained by pressing whole grape clusters and can’t exceed 100 Litres / 150 Kg of grapes.
- Only a maximum of 150mg/Litre of sulphur dioxide may be used.
- Only a sugar level of less than 50g/Litre is permitted.
- The wine should also adhere to any additional special rules by the European Member state where it is being made.
What is a Crémant du Jura sparkling wine?
In order to be labelled a Crémant du Jura, only Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Poulsard, Savagnin, and the Trousseau grape varieties are permitted. However, within the Crémant du Jura AOC, there are even more specific requirements;
- White Crémant du Jura must include at least 70% Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Trousseau within the cuvée. Poulsard and Savagnin are also permitted varieties. Most white Crémant du Jura sparkling wines are 100% Chardonnay.
- Rosé Crémant du Jura must include at least 50% of Pinot Noir, Trousseau and/or Pinot Gris. Chardonnay and Savagnin are also permitted within the blend. Most rosé Crémant du Jura sparkling wines are 100% Pinot Noir.
- The grapes must be hand harvested.
- Second fermentation takes place in bottle and the wine must have contact with the lees for at least 9 months.
- No sales are allowed before 12 months after bottling.
What are some differences between Crémant du Jura and Champagne wines?
It’s great to have a point of comparison, so you understand the value you’re getting. On the palate, Crémant du Jura is not necessarily as complex as Champagne; however, it also depends upon the winemaker’s style, quality of the grapes, terroir etc…You never, know what surprise might be in bottle!!
|Crémant du Jura (white)||Champagne|
|Lees Ageing||9 months||12 months|
|Total Time in Bottle||12 months||15 months|
|Permitted Grape Varieties||70% Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Trousseau, along with Poulsard and Savagnin||‘Pinot’ (a family that includes Noir, Meunier, Blanc, Gris and Chardonnay) as well as more unfamiliar varieties such as Arbane and Petit Meslier|
|Ageing||Vintage wines will age longer than non- vintage wines which are meant to be enjoyed within 2 years of bottling.||Vintage wines are renowned for their lengthy ageing capabilities.|
|Price||mostly below £40||£20 on upwards|
The Vigneview Verdict
So, if you’re looking for a great Champagne alternative at a bargain price, then pop open a bottle of Specially Selected Aldi Crémant du Jura which is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. This particular wine imparts subtle white springtime blossom aromas along with zesty lemon, green apple and toasted bread notes. The effervescence is vibrant, yet pleasingly expressive on the palate, enabling the flavours to linger so you can also enjoy the moment just a tad bit longer.
Pair this delightful bottle of Aldi Crémant du Jura 2018 with a regional speciality, Comté cheese, from the Franche-Comté area which includes Jura. The wine’s vibrant effervescence along with the zesty lemon and ripe apple notes uplift the cheese’s butteriness, while creating a memorable, savoury finish. Comté is similar to Gruyere but I think it is a bit more subdued, offering flavours of subtle smoke, roasted cashew nuts, a bit of milkiness and a hint of honey. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
Producer: Aldi Specially Selected
Region: Crémant du Jura AOC
Colour: Pale Lemon
Price: £8.49 (Aldi)
Floral: Fresh white blossoms
Fruit: Green apple, zingy lemon
Other: toasted brioche and subtle yeasty notes
Drinking Window: Can drink now or save for a few years.