A robust bubbly for true gourmets, the Vitteaut-Alberti Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Noirs in March’s Bubble Box is truly exquisite. Here are the 5 things you’ve simply got to know about this sparkler.
1. How it’s made
This beautiful bottle of sparkling wine is made using the traditional method, the same method used by winemakers in the famous French region of Champagne.
The winemakers at Vitteaut-Alberti make this wine from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, a red grape. That makes this wine a blanc de noirs – white wine from a black grape.
The grapes are pressed 50 hectolitres – about 5,000 litres – at a time and the skin is removed immediately, leaving it no time to transfer any purple colour to the juice. The freshly-pressed juice, called must, is allowed to settle for 24 hours before being transferred into vats and fermented at a steady temperature of 20 Celsius.
The wine is then transferred into bottles and undergoes a second round of fermentation, which results in the wine’s beautiful bubbles. The Crémant is then aged for a minimum of 16 months in the bottle, where it develops all of the amazing gourmand flavours that make it such a special fizz.
2. Where it’s from
The vineyards of Vitteaut-Alberti are in Burgundy, a region of western France that produces some of the country’s best wines. Once a vast, tropical sea, the soil in the region is scattered with chunks of limestone and marl – limestone mixed with clay. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes thrive in this region.
Wine has been made here since at least the second century AD, though quite possibly longer.
When you hear a wine referred to as a ‘Burgundy’, typically the speaker is discussing a dry red wine from Pinot Noir grapes, or a white wine made from Chardonnay grapes. Sparkling wines from this beautiful part of the world, which are made with red and white grapes alike, are called Crémants de Bourgogne.
3. How it tastes
With a brilliant, pale hue and fine, satiny bubbles, this wine is described by Vitteaut-Alberti’s Sandie Deboissy as ‘gourmand’, meaning it’s a robust and flavourful wine worthy of a gourmet.
This wine has a powerful nose and a refined palate, with the richness of Mirabelle plums and the freshness of white peach at the finish. It’s a perfect combination of Pinot Noir’s moreish elegance and Vitteaut-Alberti’s characteristic freshness.
Just a year since the first bottle of this blanc de noirs was first released, it has won multiple prestigious awards in France, including a gold at the Concours de Mondial Femininas – the World Cup for female winemakers.
4. How to drink it
This robust wine is beautiful as an aperitif, but it can stand up well to flavourful food. Anything bland will be lost to this powerful wine, but flavourful fish and poultry dishes – and especially red berry or chocolate desserts and apple pie – will enhance the gourmet bubbles in this bottle.
5. Who’s behind it
Vitteaut-Alberti was founded in Rully, 20km south of the city of Beaune, in 1951. Originally run by Gérard Vitteaut, it’s his daughter Agnès who runs the show now. Since joining the family business in 2004, Agnès has been working to modernise the winery and change the perception Crémant de Bourgogne as a stuffy sparkler for serious winos only. She’s done this by planting 23 hectares of her own vines, encouraging her winemakers to experiment and even producing the winery’s first ever expression of a Pinot Noir blanc de noirs – the beautiful bottle in this month’s box.