A Coupe de Coeur and an Abundance of Crémant

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I recently bought a couple of coupes. Wikipedia defines these as “a shallow, broad-bowled, stemmed glass, commonly used at wedding receptions, often stacked in layers to build a champagne tower.” It’s popular mythology that these sparkling wine vessels were modeled after Marie-Antoinette’s breast, but we learn that in fact they were devised in Britain, almost a century before her life. Quite popular in the post-prohibition frenzy of the 1930s, the coupe stayed en vogue through the 60s. (Who can forget Claudia Cardinale’s lost inhibitions — no match for David Niven’s powers of persuasion and a few coupes of Champagne in The Pink Panther?) The coupe’s tragic flaw is that is doesn’t work very well for Champagne because the broad bowl encourages the bubbles to dissipate quickly, and swirling the glass to release aromas is rendered impossible by its squat shape. Presently coupes are commonly used for cocktails, and I found them next to the aromatic bitters in my local kitchen store.

I don’t make cocktails, and pouring pricy Champagne into my brand new coupes seemed like a poor idea. (Anyone wishing to relish a fine Champagne should probably pour it into a wine glass.) I used the acquisition of this silly stemware as an excuse to drink basically every non-Champagne French sparkling wine we currently carry. And what a fabulous time I had doing so! As it turns out, we have an excess of great French sparkling wine in stock right now. (Also Prosecco, Lambrusco, Cava, and Sekt; those will be the subjects of other emails.) My exploration and coupe-testing began with François Pinon’s (2009) Brut Rosé - as fabulous a rendition of this as we’ve seen to date. I moved on to Vignes du Maynes’ and Tripoz’ Extra-Brut Crémants de Bourgogne, beautiful wines possessed of the vinous depth and mid-palate complexity of low and sulfur-less wine. As a special treat, we also have 2002 Crémant from Jullien Guillot of Vignes du Mayne, an intriguing bottle that shows interesting differences from — as well as similarities to — long lees-aged Champagne, and at a much lower price. Stéphane Tissot’s Crémant du Jura Extra-Brut has finally arrived and is tasting wonderful. This abundance of sparkles prompted me to put together a mixed six pack for your summer-time drinking enjoyment. I’m not necessarily advocating the purchase of a set of coupes, but I strongly suggest checking out some of these cheery and well-priced bottles. Salut! -Sophie   

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Non-Champagne Sparkling 6-pack

  • Tripoz NV Cremant de Bourgogne Nature
  • Vignes du Maynes (Julien Guillot) 2010 Bourgogne Ste. Genevieve Brut Rose
  • Vignes du Maynes 2002 Cremant de Bourgogne Ste. Genevieve "Nature"
  • Tissot NV Cremant du Jura Extra Brut
  • Pinon, Francois NV Touraine Brut Rose (Malbec/Grolleau)
  • Peillot NV Bugey VDQS Montagnieu Brut

  • Out of Stock
  • six-bottle assorted-wine box
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

Vignes du Maynes 2002 Crémant de Bourgogne Ste. Geneviève Ex Brut

Nine years on the lees! We are surprised and delighted at how Champagne-like this wine is, while retaining rich, generous, earthy Mâcon character. On the nose it shows umami notes: oyster mushroom, and a toasty, very lightly oxidative nuttiness. The palate is quite round and supple and the wine has clearly fleshed out and broadened with time the way that long lees-aged Champagnes do. The bubbles are lively and present. Given the prices of 2002 vintage Champagnes, we'd say this is a superb value! -msb 

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $29.99

  • Biodynamic

Vignes du Maynes (Julien Guillot) 2010 Bourgogne Extra-Brut Ste. Genevieve

A lovely extra-dry Cremant. Subtle pear, apple and citrus aromas with earth and briary notes. The palate is mineral with earthy flavors, a bit of honeysuckle and spice with good acidity and length. Not a casual petillant but a great accompaniment to goat cheese, shellfish, or some serious tapas... No added sulfites.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $19.99

Vignes du Maynes (Julien Guillot) 2010 Bourgogne Ste. Genevieve Brut Rose

Made from a selection of 40 to 50 year-old Pinot Noir and Gamay vines from the Domaine, which have been in organic agriculture since 1954. This is a very intriguing, extremely dry rosé, with hints of red currant, cranberry and citrus. Peach skin, red fruits and earthy flavors on the palate, with a very refreshing mineral finish. A subtle and fascinating sparkling wine that is a real wine of terroir and a great value. -DL

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $19.99

Pinon, François NV Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé (2011)

François Pinon's Vouvray Brut Non-Dosé is one of the finest non-Champagne sparkling wines you can find. Beautifully complex aromas of citrus, honey, herbs and earth, a creamy palate with great acidity and length. François' sparkling wines age beautifully and are better than many Champagnes at twice the price! DL

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $24.99

  • Organic

Pinon, François NV Touraine Brut Rose (Malbec/Grolleau)

For years we kept seeing small piles of sparkling rosé lining the walls of Francois' cellar. Finally we asked — is there enough for a small shipment to NY? And so this unpretentiously delicious blend of Malbec and Grolleau finally reached Chambers Street. The 2009 has lovely berry aromas with a well-structured palate and good acidity. Really a lovely sparkling rosé that will drink well this summer and will improve over the next five years or more. Don't hesitate to grab some before it disappears... Thank-you, Francois Pinon!

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Peillot NV Bugey Montagnieu Brut

This is a really lovely alternative to Champagne and a great value. Montagnieu is a village south of Cerdon, in the Jura, with premières côtes overlooking the Rhône valley. This wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Altesse and Mondeuse and has complex herbal aromas, nice lemony ripeness on the palate and a long, dry finish. Franck Peillot works well in the vineyard and naturally in the cellar. Well worth a try!

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $20.99

Louvetrie (Jo Landron) NV Vin Mousseux de Qualite Brut Atmospheres

 Gros Plant (Folle Blanche) and Pinot Noir, 2 years of aging, quite dry—about 5 grams of sugar per liter. A delicious and fun Champagne-method apéritif, with tart citrus and red fruit flavors and fine bubbles, grab some before it disappears.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $16.99

  • Organic

Lunotte (Christophe Foucher) 2010 Vin de France Bulottes

Foucher's sparkling Cabernet Franc has very pretty subtle aromas of strawberry/raspberry fruit. The palate is light and refreshing with creamy bubbles and hints of yeast and berries. Very dry and delightful this will create an instant party wherever it goes. Great label, big old-fashioned bottle and bottle-cap closure. Crazy value at $15.99!

 

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  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $15.99

Frick 2007 Crémant d'Alsace (Riesling, Pinot Blanc)

A lovely dry crémant of Riesling and Pinot Blanc with fine, lively bubbles and white fruit aromas with almond and mineral notes. The palate is full and creamy with a long finish marked by the limestone terroir. A great sparkling wine at a ridiculously low price....

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $17.99