Thursday, 19 April 2012

Sparkling Wine on a Budget Part 2 of 2: Three Crémants and a Cava

Tasting a set of Crémants and a Cava in amongst some Champagnes was an interesting experience.  A couple of the Crémants are not far off the mark, yet bear prices that are significantly lower than most Champagnes.  My main concern here was that these wines lacked some "love" feeling quite austere on the palate.  Nonetheless, their low prices help plump the pillow of austerity.  Now, I'm evidently not sure that last sentence makes sense, but you may be able to deduce my point.  Anyway, here's my round up:

Maison de Grand Espirit Petits Vignettes Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut NV Burgundy
This is probably my pick of the bunch, and only $20 too.  Bright, with a pale intensity lemon colour and medium persistence of fine bubbles.


The nose has light-medium intensity notes that are developing with touches of yeast, apple, lemon, and some honey and herbs.  The palate is dry, with high acid, a very creamy mousse, medium body, short-medium length and similar flavours to its aroma, with the addition of a mineral core.  This is a good wine, if a little austere.  It sits comfortably at the lower-end Champagne level in terms of quality, but is only $20.  84 points (good)

Abv: 12%
Price: $20
Tasted: April 2012

LaCheteau Crémant de Loire
At $16.95, this sparkling wine also punches above its weight.


Made from chenin blanc and chardonnay, the wine is lemon in colour, with a pale intensity and opens to a medium intensity aroma of green apples, lemons, orange rind and white pepper.  The palate has high acid, a creamy mousse, short-medium length, and is rather proper and austere, with green apple flavours predominant.  83 points (good)

Abv: 12%
Price: $16.95
Tasted: April 2012


Sieur d'Arques Aimery Crémant de Limoux Grand Cuvée
Fashioned from chardonnay, mauzac and chenin blanc this Crémant is a little bit different.  It has an aroma of cedar, lemons, apples, twigs and, somehow, paw paw and bananas.


The palate is dry, with high acid, a delicate mousse, and light flavour intensity, with apples and lemons featuring.  Interesting, if not entirely in the manner predicted.  82 points (good)

Abv: 12%
Price: $14.99
Vendors: try http://danmurphys.com.au
Website: http://www.sieurdarques.com/en/page/192-aimery
Tasted: April 2012

And finally, a Cava from Spain, in the form of the Freixenet Cordon Negro:

Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava
Made from the plainly memorable grapes of parellada, macabre and xarel-lo, this wine has a medium intensity aroma of white nectarines, cedar, bruised apples and dried herbs.


The bottle tasted was somewhat marred by some volatile acidity, with acetone and rubber aromas jostling with the primary aromas.  The palate was balanced with medium-high acid, a creamy mousse, short length, and an aspirin or perhaps even soda water like finish.  Overall, though, pleasant .  80 points (good)

Abv: 12%
Price: $13.99
Vendors: try http://danmurphys.com.au
Website: http://www.freixenet.com.au
Tasted: April 2012

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