AG Pick: Jaillance Cuvee de l’Abbaye Cremant de Bordeaux

If you love French sparkling wine but are turned off by the high price of Champagne, make Crémant your celebratory bubbly.

Crémant is the name for the sparkling wine produced in France outside of the Champagne region. Made in the same method as Champagne but typically costing much less, Crémant is the perfect blend of the finesse and flavors you look for in a sparkling wine.

The great thing about Crémant is that it is not limited to the three grapes of Champagne (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). Crémant is made from each region’s native grapes, which can mean a wider variety of flavors than what you find in Champagne.

For a wonderful taste of Crémant in general and Crémant de Bordeaux in particular, try the Jaillance Cuvée de l’Abbaye Brut, AOC Crémant de Bordeaux. Made entirely from Semillon grapes, this wine has mouth-filling fruit flavors that will make you a Crémant devotee.

Semillon is one of the two main white wine grapes in Bordeaux, along with Sauvignon Blanc. The sparkling wine is produced by méthode Champenoise (also called the traditional method), with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle. The Cuvée de l’Abbaye is aged on the lees for 24 months.

Right away you’ll notice how pale the Jaillance Cuvée de l’Abbaye is — extremely light yellow, almost without any color. This seems in contrast with the round and fresh flavors you get in each sip. Ripe lemon, white grapefruit, white raspberries, almond and a touch of brioche are enhanced by small bubbles. Dry, crisp and elegant, the Jaillance Cuvée de l’Abbaye has all the desirable characteristics you look for in a brut sparkling wine.

A bottle of the Jaillance Cuvée de l’Abbaye Brut Crémant de Bordeaux costs $19.

12% alcohol by volume