Corney & Barrow’s sparkling wine selection includes a range of styles and regions. From traditional brut and rosé to more unusual blends made with grapes grown in different regions, it supplies from a variety of producers, including well-known houses such as Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, as well as smaller, artisanal producers.
This year, however, if you’re looking for something special that has a bucket full of flavour and complexity but not the Champagne price tag then Crémant could be the answer.
Champagne and Crémant are both sparkling wines, but they differ in terms of where they are produced, and the methods used to produce them. Champagne is produced only in the Champagne region of France, which is located about 100 miles northeast of Paris. It is made using the traditional method of sparkling wine production, which involves a second fermentation process that takes place in the bottle. Champagne is made from three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Crémant, on the other hand, is produced in several regions of France outside of Champagne, using the same traditional method. It can be made from different grape varieties, depending on the region where it is produced. Crémant de Loire, for example, is made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc, while Crémant de Bourgogne is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Corney & Barrow chose Tissot-Maire Blanc de Noirs Crémant du Jura Brut non-vintage, made exclusively from Pinot Noir. The term “Blanc de Noirs” literally means “white from blacks,” and refers to the fact that the wine is white despite being made from dark-coloured Pinot Noir grapes. To make Blanc de Noirs Champagne, the grapes are pressed, and the juice is separated from the skins and seeds. The juice is then fermented in barrels or stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, the wine is aged in the bottle for at least 15 months before being released for sale.
The Jura region hosts a corridor of vineyards, squeezed between Burgundy and Switzerland and sheltered by its mountain range. With its pastoral landscape and characteristic limestone plateau, it shares a similar continental climate to Burgundy and is often referred to as the fifth Côte of Burgundy.
As the name suggests, Maison Tissot-Maire brings together two exceptional winemaking families from the Jura region – Maison Tissot and Domaine Maire & Fils. Both are located in Arbois – the beating heart of Jura’s wine scene – and are highly praised for their quality; the Crémants from Tissot-Maire demonstrate Jura’s characteristic profile combining structure and freshness. Appealing on the nose with notes of crushed strawberries and prune, well-structured and complex, with a mineral core and subtle redcurrant and spiced fig characters. Richly textured with fine bubbles and a lingering finish. Blanc de noirs tends to be fuller-bodied and more complex than other types of champagne – this is a wine for food.