25-07-2018

Tasty value a go-go: Lidl Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV

I don’t frequent the Lidl wine selection as much as I used to. It’s not as tight as it is in the UK and seems to have cozied up to the fact that Spaniards largely buy shit 3€ wines from unknown places and are happy with that.

That’s why on a recent shopping outing, I was very much not tempted by their non-vintage Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, at least initially. There was however only one bottle left, it was “on sale” and I thought to myself, “I really don’t drink that much Crémant de Bourgogne, so… why not?” Unfortunately, choosing this wine made me “that guy” holding up the line as it took three staff members to finally figure out the 12€ price and send me on my way.

Crémant de Bourgogne is perhaps a sparkling wine that most are unfamiliar with unless you’re from Burgundy. There are in fact eight Crémant regions throughout France and they offer up varying alternatives to the much more famous, Champagne. Of these eight, if you’re looking for something that’s closest to Champagne, then Crémant de Bourgogne is probably going to be the most friendly. As it’s Burgundy, they allow the grapes of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and those are two of three in Champagne. But there are however a few more including: Gamay, Pinot Gris/Blanc, Aligoté, Melon de Bourgogne (the Muscadet grape), and Sacy (a rather unremarkable grape of low acid and alcohol that seems to be mostly filler).

Otherwise, it’s similar to Champagne using the Traditional Method but with a different growing climate. Also, the wines can have a pressure starting at 4 bars instead of Champagne’s 6 bars thus the mouthfeel can be a bit different. The Crémant de Bourgogne wines are perhaps a bit more open and forward than Champagne as a region but I’m sure this has more to do with producer than anything else.

This wine from Lidl is apparently something unique though. While buying it, I’d completely forgotten about this news. Last year, this was named one of the best sparkling wines in the world which of course made headlines in the UK where it retails for about £8 a bottle. We don’t seem to get those prices here in Spain where everything French seems to get a premium tossed upon it but I have to admit, it still is a damned fine wine a year later. It’s significantly better than Champagnes that cost 4x as much and it goes great lengths to show that Crémant could very well be taking on Champagne. As it’s an own brand wine however, I just hope they’re able to maintain the quality in the future.

Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV
Sweet lemon curd, subdued green apples, touch of leesy brioche notes, clean limestone mineral notes. High acidity, lemon citrus quite direct on the palate, fine mousse, medium finish. Overall, crisp, lively, quite driven.
Chardonnay, Aligoté, Pinot Noir, Gamay 9-12€ 12%
** Q 90