D4 Sparkling: Other French Traditional Method Flashcards Preview

WSET® Level 4 D4 Sparkling Wine > D4 Sparkling: Other French Traditional Method > Flashcards

Flashcards in D4 Sparkling: Other French Traditional Method Deck (76)
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What does the term 'Crémant' denote?

Traditional Method sparkling wines made in France outside the Champagne region.


What are the three largest Crémant appellations in France?

  1. Alsace
  2. Bourgogne
  3. Loire


The seven common features of all Crémants include:


  1. Hand harvested;
  2. Whole-bunch pressed;
  3. Maximum press yield 100L/150kg of grapes;
  4. Minimum 9 months sur lie during secondary fermentation in the bottle;
  5. Minimum 12 month maturation between tirage + release;
    • includes the 9 months sur lie above;
  6. Maximum 13% abv;
  7. Minimum 4 atmospheres of pressure.


Crémant d'Alsace accounts for ___% of the total wine production in Alsace.



What are the permissible grape varieties that can go into Crémant d'Alsace?

Which one is the most important?

  • Pinot Blanc
  • Auxerrois
  • Chardonnay
  • Riesling
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir


What percentage of Alsace's total vineyard area is planted to Pinot Blanc?



Give a brief description of a Pinot Blanc-based Crémant d'Alsace.

  • Medium intensity;
  • Ripe apple and pear, delicate florals;
  • Medium+ to high acidity;
  • Light to medium body.

If a wine has been aged longer sur lie, it will have medium-intense biscuity, autolytic notes.


Crémant d'Alsace is typically made in what style?

The majority of Crémant d'Alsace wines typically have dosage levels of ____ g/L to counterbalance their higher acidity.


8-10 g/L


What is the climate of Alsace?

Semi-continental and sunny, and it can be dry and hot during the growing season


What is the typical elevation of vineyards in Alsace?

200-400m above sea level


Is irrigation permitted in Alsace?

No, irrigation is not permitted in Alsace.


What is a concerning pattern that is arising for Crémant d'Alsace producers in recent years due to climate change?

Warmer and earlier springs which result in earlier budbreak, making buds susceptible to spring frost which can lead to yield reduction.

Pinot Blanc is early budding, so it is very vulnerable to spring frost.


What are the two grapes NOT allowed in Crémant d'Alsace?

  1. Gewurztraminer
  2. Muscat


What is the only appellation in Alsace in which Chardonnay is permitted?

Crémant d'Alsace


Rosé Crémant d'Alsace can be made only from this grape.

Pinot Noir


Usually, the first grape to be harvested in Alsace is ______ for Crémant d'Alsace.

Pinot Blanc; harvest starts late August to early September.

It's an early ripener, too -- combine that with the early harvest necessary to retain acidity for sparkling wines, and producers can spread out their harvest across all other varieties.

Remember: harvest is done by hand and whole-bunch pressing is mandatory!



What is the maximum yield in Alsace, and how does that compare to the maximum yield in Champagne?

  • 80 hL/ha
  • vs. Champagne's 65-75 hL/ha


How is rosé Crémant d'Alsace made?

Short skin maceration, between 12-24 hours


In what month does a winemaker in Alsace have to declare if they are going to make a single vineyard Crémant that year?

Must declare in July


Why is Crémant d'Alsace is often chaptalized?

Because of low potential alcohol (8.5%)


Is Crémant d'Alsace usually a blend of vintages or from a single vintage?

Single vintage


What is the typical time Crémant d'Alsace spends sur lie?

12 months, resulting in more primary fruit generally

  • However, some producers will leave their wines sur lie for 2 years, e.g. Cave de Turkheim


What is Crémant d'Alsace Emotion?

A prestige category of Crémant d'Alsace that was launched in 2012:

  • Must be minimum 75% Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (separately or together);
  • Minimum 24 months sur lie.



By percentage, how is the production of Crémant d'Alsace broken down between co-ops, merchant houses, and independent growers?

  • 43% co-ops
  • 37% merchant houses
  • 20% independent growers


What is the largest co-op of Crémant d'Alsace?

Maison Bestheim

  • they make still + sparkling wine from 1400 ha



What are the three main grape varieties in Crémant de Bourgogne?

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Gamay, up to 20%


Why are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir the dominant grapes used in Crémant de Bourgogne production?

Because they display autolytic notes so well (much like Champagne)


What are the other grapes allowed in Crémant de Bourgogne besides Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay?

  • Aligoté
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Blanc
  • Melon


Crémant de Bourgogne accounts for how much of the total wine produced in Burgundy?



What is the flavor profile range for Crémant de Bourgogne?

Lightly fruity with green apple and citrus notes to more intense apricot with rich toasty, brioche, autolytic notes.