“Crémant should never try to be Champagne.” That’s how winemaker Philippe Chautard answered when one of our guests asked him to compare the two. “Crémant is from Burgundy, and should act like it.”
What does he mean by that? Well, if Champagne is about maintaining a consistent taste and brand over millions of bottles, Crémant de Bourgogne should be an expression of grape and place and vintage. To Chautard, crémant is just as Burgundian as Vosne or Puligny.
Chautard’s beliefs and efforts speak for themselves. His Extra Brut “Terriors” cuvée is a magnificent value — gorgeous, tension filled sparkling wine that doesn’t even crack $25.
We’ve been fans of Picamelot for years now, but we were pleased to see the Wine Advocate’s resident Champagne expert William Kelley visit last year. After tasting Kelley wrote that “Picamelot produces some of the best sparkling wines in Burgundy,” calling them “elegant,” “excellent,” and “superb.”
This latest vintage of Terroirs from the 2016 harvest is delightful. It’s clean and honest, with notes of almond, pineapple, and cream. The mouth is very dry, quite lively, and crisply refreshing, with apple fruit and a long vinous finish.
Whether you think of crémant as wannabe Champagne, or as an expression of Burgundy in its own right, there’s no denying this is a delicious glass of wine.
Picamelot Crémant Brut “Terroirs” NV
bottle price: $22
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