'...Through a cottage window an autumnal breeze blows with brisk, light, cool and slightly tight wisps, stringing along the zesty lemon sprig and hints of burnt rosemary and garden herbs, trapped in a sea salt glazing delicately brazing the loaf’s crust. Wrap it quickly in its thin leather blanket and hurry to your picnic…'
Vin-story: Although effervescence has been witnessed throughout Greek and Roman history, considered later in the Middle Ages to be a wine flaw, it wasn't until the early 1600s when the modern age of sparkling wine production can be said to have begun. Francesco Scacchi, an Italian doctor from Fabriano, wrote on the properties of sparkling wine. The Order of the Cistercians, a collection of monks and nuns, are credited with laying the foundations for the naming of Burgundy crus and the philosophy of terrior-- they noticed early on that different vineyard plots gave consistently different wines.
Politics: The 'Cremant' designation is given to eight appellations, seven of which are in France (the eighth is in Luxembourg and follows the same laws) and is given because of the lower CO2 pressures allowing a creamy rather than fizzy feel. In 1975 the designation was given to Bourgogne and by French law any wine using the 'Cremant' title must be made following the champagne method (or traditional method). The law also states that a Cremant must be hand harvested, not exceeding the amount dictated by their AOC, be at least 30% Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris, and then aged for a least one year.
Grapes and Growing: The Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut is a blend of Pinot Noir (60%), Chardonnay (20%), Gamay (10%), and Aligote (10%). The grapes are sourced from 430 winemakers/providers to make the wine; after being blended, racked, and mixed with added sugar and yeast in a process called malolactic fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then riddled on an automatic gyropalette that gently stirs the bottles so the yeast deposits can collect in the neck of the bottle, which are then frozen and removed leaving a little room to add the dosage dictating the type of sparkling it will become. The wines are left to age in caves 50 meters (164 feet) underground where the temperature is kept at 12C/53.6F an ideal temperature for maturation.
Geography: Cremant de Bourgogne lies within the Chatillonais in the northern part of Burgundy. Here the soil type is Oxfordian (late Jurassic) clay-limestone and the region is governed by a continental climate -- very cold winters and hot summers. Due to this weather type, vintages in Burgandy can vary.
Producer: Bailly Lapierre; http://bailly-lapierre.fr/
PoP: Vino En Wyckhoff, Brooklyn, NY – $15.99