French Sparkling Wine ProductionDecember 20, 2022
French sparkling wine, what is it? How does it taste? We’re giving you the quickest wine lesson by covering the basics with simplification. Because all you need are three fun facts to be the wine connoisseur of the friend group.
Sparkling wine is a carbonated, fizzy wine that we can make from red or white grapes. Carbonation is a natural occurrence and the result that comes from the second fermentation process. To get an idea of how French sparkling wine is made, we’ll walk you through our production method to how our French sparkling wine at Le Grand Courtage is made, and the winemaking notes produced from that.
For our French sparkling wine production, we wanted something crisp, light, and refreshing with a perfect balance of dryness and acidity to offset the yeast and classic attributes of French champagne. Our goal was something approachable, affordable, and versatile.
HARVEST – We then strategically pick our grapes earlier in the season to yield higher acid and lower sugar, which provide more fruit components.
- We take the initial base wines and the clear juices to ferment in steel tanks separately.
- We blend the base wines for the ‘assemblage” to produce the final “Cuvee”
- We then assemble the cuvée using wines from various vineyards.
- The wine must be contained at a constant 51 degrees to slow fermentation and produce a clean, crisp finish.
- The blended base wine has yeast and a small amount of sugar, called the liqueur de tirage.
- Yeast converts the added sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2) bubbles.
- The amount of added sugar determines the pressure – ours is 5-6 atmosphere. (equals 4 car tires or 100 mi/hr).
- Dosage added before the cork, the liquid level is topped up with liqueur d’expédition – a mixture of the base wine and sucrose.
- The amount of sugar in the liqueur d’expédition
determines the sweetness, the sugar previously in the wine having been consumed in the second fermentation.
- Generally, we add sugar to balance the high acidity of sparkling, rather than to produce a sweet taste.
Chardonnay imparts depth and complexity for the overall balance while Colombard’s higher acidity provides structure, length and a pleasant minerality that is supplemented by the Ugni Blanc’s fruit profile. The Chenin Blanc lends citrus and hints of honey for a creamy texture.
FLAVOR PROFILE – Crisp, light, refreshing with baby bubbles & a hint of Meyer lemon, honeydew & soft floral notes on the finish to balance the dryness, yeast, and acidity. This affordable sparkler is cuisine, cocktail, and consumer-friendly.
AROMAS – Hints of green apple, honeysuckle, and toasted brioche.
TECHNICAL NOTES – Alcohol: 11.5%; Residual Sugar: 10 g/liter; Ferment: Steel Tank at 51° F; pH: 3.3Acidity: 4 g/100mL
APPELLATION – France: Le Grand Courtâge offers a Vin Mousseux sourced from notable terroirs such as Burgundy, Languedoc and Loire Valley. Produced in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Chardonnay provides depth and structure to the wine, while the Ugni Blanc offers natural acidity and freshness. The light bodied Gamay provides vibrant youthful fruit expressions reminiscent of wild berries and flowers amongst the French countryside on a warm summer day.
FLAVOR PROFILE – A delicate balance of dryness and acidity lingers with flavors of wild berries and pomegranate alongside soft floral notes. Crisp, light, refreshing with delicate bubbles.
AROMAS – Bright aromas of fresh strawberry and raspberry combine with notes of lilac and violet.
TECHNICAL NOTES – Alcohol: 11.5%; Residual Sugar: 12 g/liter; Ferment: Steel Tank at 51° F; pH: 3.25Acidity: 3.7 g/100mL
APPELLATION – France: Le Grand Courtâge offers a Vin Mousseux sourced from notable terroirs such as Burgundy, Languedoc and Beaujolais. Produced in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
We created a Vin Mousseux as we believe this allows for more consistency in the style that is cuisine, cocktail, and consumer-friendly and offers an affordable price for French bubbles. LGC is not as light & sweet as prosecco nor as dry & yeasty as champagne – ultimately, we believe our wine style is very quaffable and consumer-friendly.
Use code (LGCPROMO) for 15% your first purchase of Sparkling Wine from us.