Cramant is a Grand Cru village on the Cote de Blanc, two miles south of Epernay. The limestone rock and Chardonnay grape help produce wines of delicacy and finesse and this was no exception. Part of Richard’s mixed case of growers’ champagnes from the Wine Society, it was a pleasure to try, made even more pleasurable by my relatively abstemious Christmas.
Suenen a Cramant (12% ABV) was an intense lemon yellow, with maybe a touch of green, in colour with a fine mousse. An elegant nose of bruised, rather than stewed, apple was easily spotted as was the yeasty notes that it seems only Champagne can give.
The palate was certainly dry and high in acidity but also with a richness underlying a lemon-sherbet taste. This richness wasn’t allowed to wallow self-indulgently but rather ended in a minerally, chalky flavour which gave it some pleasing firmness. This was full of character, distinctive and, for the host “the quintessential aperitif to stimulate the taste-buds”.
Technically interesting, the label proclaimed a base wine from 2012 (richness), degorgement in March 2015 and a dosage of 3 grams of sugar per litre, giving it the Extra Brut classification (between 0 – 6g/l).
I prefer this Blanc de Blanc style to the Blanc de Noir because of its finesse but think that it has to be well-made otherwise it can be unforgiving and aggressive. This was certainly neither of those.
[Richard: from a WS ‘growers mixed case’, about £25. We’ve being working through these over Christmas and I think this is probably the best. Unfortunately, now out of stock. Pure and very drinkable, and, even though the acidity is high, the accompanying balancing richness makes for a lovely drink.]