Burgundy producers have approved a new ranking system for sparkling wine Crémant de Bourgogne, to include 'Eminent' and 'Grand Eminent' levels.

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Around one in 10 bottles of wine produced in Burgundy is Crémant de Bourgogne and the local producers’ union (UPECB) has agreed a new classification system.

Alongside the standard Crémant de Bourgogne, producers following certain rules will be able to add ‘Eminent’ or ‘Grand Eminent’ to their bottle labels.

Crémant de Bourgogne Eminent wines must be aged on lees for at least 24 months, the Burgundy wine bureau (BIVB) said this week. The standard version of the sparkling Burgundy wine requires nine months minimum ageing on lees.

Grand Eminent wines must adhere to several rules, according to a posting by French website Vitisphere, including:

  • Grape varieties can only be Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for white crémants, but up to 20% of Gamay can be used for rosé wines.
  • 36 months of ageing on lees
  • Mininum alcohol content of 10 degrees
  • At least three months between disgorgement and commercial release
  • Dosage, or residual sugar, must be below 15g per litre (Brut)
  • Only the first 75% of juice extracted during pressing can be used

An ‘independent’ body will oversee the classification, the BIVB said.

There are 3,284 members of the Crémant de Bourgogne producers’ union, including growers, winemakers and merchants.

Seventeen million bottles of the Burgundy sparkling wine was sold globally in 2015, of which around one third was exported.

Production area is around 2,000 hectares and the wines are produced using the traditional method.

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  • Richard Bampfield

    Vraiment fou…..