Most wines made from Pinot Noir are red, whether light and elegant or rich and fruity. But in fact the juice of Pinot Noir grapes is clear. The color of Pinot Noir rouge comes from soaking the grape skins in the juice — press the juice off the skins and ferment it without them, and you get a wine that’s much closer to a white.
In France this is called a Blanc de Noirs (white from black), and it’s most often sparkling. The Champenois often include uncolored Pinot Noir juice in their Champagnes, and today’s example from Burgundy borrows this idea. Made from a small plot of 100% Pinot Noir, the Maison Picamelot’s “Terroir de Chazot” is an exceptional and unusual example of terroir-based, single-varietal sparkling wine.
Most crémant in Burgundy and Alsace is a blend of several varietals from different locations, and the winemaker composes a mixture of notes and flavors. For “Terroir de Chazot,” Picamelot decided to isolate a single grape from a single plot and bottle it unblended.
The result is a finer, more intense and earthy sparkling wine, with notes of roasted apples and herbs. The bubbles are fine, and the finish is elegant and dry. It’s perhaps not as refined as Champagne, but it’s far more flavorful and interesting. And next to most mass-market Champagnes starting around $90, it’s less than a third of the price.
Serve it at a fancy backyard soiree, or dress up your next barbecue with a bit of celebration — you guests will assume you dug much deeper in your wallet.
Picamelot Crémant Chazot NV
bottle price : $28
FREE EAST COAST SHIPPING ON ANY 12 BOTTLES