While Champagne gets much of the sparkling wine glory, with its established image of prestige, and Prosecco the lion’s share of attention at the more affordable end of the market, there is no French wine category more versatile and complex than its crémant sparkling wines.
Scroll down for tasting notes and scores on the 25 top-scoring crémants
This single designation comprises eight officially classified appellation regions within France, including Crémant de Alsace, de Bordeaux, de Bourgogne, de Loire and de Limoux, each with its own distinct style and unique blend of grapes best-suited to its region.
Indeed a glass of crémant could comprise 100% of varieties including Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Jacquère, a 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, or Champagne varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Unlike Prosecco, which undergoes fermentation in tank, these traditional-method French sparkling wines are made in the same labour-intensive way as Champagne, with a secondary bottle fermentation and ageing in bottle on lees for a minimum of nine months or longer, to develop body and complexity.