Champagne’s Energy and Complexity at a Modest Price
At this festive time of year, the Domaine Michel Sarrazin et Fils Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne might not last the day. The Sarrazin clan has been growing grapes in Burgundy since the 17th century. Their 80+ acres in the Côte Chalonnaise include vines in the top appellations of Givry 1er Cru, Givry, and Mercurey, and produce reds that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with wines from the Côte d’Or. The same grapes used for these reds go into the Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne, which delivers Champagne-like energy and complexity at a modest price. Composed of 100% Pinot Noir, this Crémant exceeds even Champagne’s stringent standards by resting on the lees for 16 months, resulting in a bright rosé Crémant bursting with wild strawberry, brioche, and white pepper. Don’t delay: Sarrazin tends to go by the case, and we only have 35.
Savvy wine drinkers who aren’t on a Champagne-every-day budget are wise to be well-versed in Crémant, the traditional-method sparkling wine authorized in only seven French winegrowing regions. Crémant is governed by slightly relaxed versions of the vinification and élevage standards that guard Champagne’s quality, and represents the cream of France’s non-Champagne sparklers.
Tradition and quality are paramount at Sarrazin, where they still eschew the use of pesticides or herbicides in the vineyard, and harvest every grape bunch by hand. The color is extracted through pressurage direct, and the 16 months that Sarrazin’s Rosé Crémant spends on the lees exceeds not only the requirements of Crémant, but the full year required in Champagne. This extended exposure to the expired yeast cells is responsible for the complex toasted notes that are a hallmark of fine, traditional-method sparkling wines. A fantastic alternative for those who love rosé Champagne for its gorgeous vivacity and depth.