Parigot & Richard, Crémant de Bourgogne "La Sentinelle"
Parigot & Richard, Crémant de Bourgogne "La Sentinelle"

Parigot & Richard, Crémant de Bourgogne "La Sentinelle"

Burgundy, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$45.00
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Parigot & Richard, Crémant de Bourgogne "La Sentinelle"

Crémant de Bourgogne is arguably the most prestigious sparkling wine appellation outside of Champagne, and Parigot & Richard is one of its premier interpreters.

You’ve heard it before: “All Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne.” That’s from French Champagne Houses and their marketing departments, in response to others around the world co-opting the word “Champagne.” Champagne is a specific place, in northern France, where the world’s most famous sparkling wines are made—so its producers rightly want their “brand” to belong only to them. This sparkling wine from Parigot & Richard is not a Champagne, but it’s as close as one can hope to get—literally and figuratively—at a fraction of the price. Qualitatively, it cedes nothing to its neighbors to the north. It’s Burgundy, after all!

Although the Parigot & Richard winery is based in Savigny-lès-Beaune, in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune, it sources fruit from vineyards in the Côte de Nuits as well. Cooler, higher-elevation sites in the “Hautes-Côtes” are also prized for the perfumed, high-acid raw material they provide. The soils, of course, are Burgundy’s trademark mixture of clay and often-chalky limestone, which strongly resembles the soil composition in Champagne. While Burgundy is a relatively cool climate, it is situated near the 47th Parallel, whereas Champagne sits at the 49th.

Although the production of sparkling wine in Burgundy dates to the beginning of the 19th century, it is not usually treated with the same reverence as Champagne. But Parigot & Richard has specialized in sparklers from the start, and it shows: Émile Parigot founded the winery as a sparkling wine house in 1907 (back when they were referred to in Burgundy as vins mousseux), and successive descendants have maintained the tradition. Fifth-generation proprietor Grégory Georger now helms an estate known for its impeccable range of “traditional method” sparklers.

Crémant is the term applied to Champagne-style sparklers made in French regions other than Champagne. “Sentinelle” is a blanc de blancs crafted from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Aligoté. Fruit comes from old vines in the Côte de Beaune and Hautes-Côtes, and, after the secondary fermentation is completed (in the bottle, of course), the wine rests for about 36 months on its lees (spent yeasts). The bottles are hand-riddled during that time, and the finished wine is given a four gram/liter dosage (qualifying it as “Extra Brut”).

The wine is a star-bright straw-gold in the glass, with a fine and persistent mousse. The aromas are citrusy and floral, with subtle hints of rising bread dough and crushed stones complementing the lemony fruit. Bone-dry and well-structured, it has the crystalline quality blanc de blancs wines are known for, albeit with some significant palate weight. Pair it with fried chicken (seriously!) for a decadent dinner.

Parigot & Richard, Crémant de Bourgogne "La Sentinelle"

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