French sparkling wine.

Enjoy the great sparkling wines from France.

Sparkling wines and France have been two very closely associated words throughout history. It was the French who invented it and it is French sparkling wines that are the most famous across the world. However, not all French sparkling wine comes from the same denomination.

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There are 262 products.

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Brimoncourt Extra Brut

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Brimoncourt  Extra Brut
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93
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£43.22
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£44.48
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Brimoncourt Brut Rosé

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Brimoncourt Brut Rosé
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93
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90
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£37.92
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£38.99
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Taille aux Loups Brut Tradition

World class bubbles

France   AOC Mountlouis-sur-loire (Loire)

Taille aux Loups Brut...
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92
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Organic
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£20.56
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Delamotte Champagne Brut

A Blanc de Blancs made with one of the best chardonnays

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Delamotte Champagne Brut
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90
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91
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£35.88
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Georges Laval Garennes Extra Brut

Biodynamic Champagne reflecting the purity and elegance its surroundings

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Georges Laval Garennes...
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93
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Organic
Biodynamic
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£71.66
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Louis Roederer Cristal 2014

Symbol of luxury and prestige

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Louis Roederer Cristal 2014
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96
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97
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£235.47
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Nicolas Maillart Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé

One of France’s best sparkling wines to get your taste buds going

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Nicolas Maillart Champagne...
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92
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92
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Biodynamic
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£42.78
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Louis Roederer Collection 243

A very seductive modern classic

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Louis Roederer Collection 243
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92
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92
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94
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92
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£56.09
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Gosset Celebris Vintage Extra Brut 2008

The grandeur of the oldest house in France

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Gosset Celebris Vintage...
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95
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£170.79
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£174.22
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Pierre Moncuit Delos Grand Cru Extra Brut

A fresh and mineral sparkling wine that honours the Moncuit house

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Pierre Moncuit Delos Grand...
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£39.22
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£40.33
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Lanson Le Vintage 2009

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Lanson Le Vintage 2009
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93
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£63.25
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£64.81
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Gosset Grand Rosé Brut

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Gosset Grand Rosé Brut
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92
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84
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92
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£64.05
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£65.61
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Le Clos Lanson 2007

France   Champagne (Champagne)

Le Clos Lanson 2007
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93
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Biodynamic
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£243.57
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Champagne, the most famous of them all

So well known that when someone mentions French sparkling wine, we immediately think champagne. The name carries such weight that it has sometimes even been used for other types of sparkling wines. However, the term champagne is exclusively reserved for wines made in the Champagne area, the only wine region in the world where only sparkling wines are made. There they vinify using the champenoise or traditional method. The grapes that are most commonly used in production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Champagne is considered the highest quality sparkling wine and it is a benchmark for all sparkling wine producers in France and around the world.

Looking at the list of Champagne houses, you will find a list of names that make you think of luxury and perfection. Some of the most famous are Louis Roederer, Möet Chandon, Pol Roger, Bollinger, Laurent Perrier, Ruinart...

Other sparkling wines from France

Not all high-quality sparkling wines are made in Champagne. There are many others that have been produced with this same method and that come from other protected regions (AOC Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). These other sparkling wines are called Crémants. They tend to be cheaper than Champagne and their aging potential is also generally lower.

There are a total of six AOC Crémant. The top production region, accounting for almost half of all production, is the AOC Crémant d'Alsace. The most commonly used grapes here are Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Auxerrois and Chardonnay. Then there is Crémant de Bourgogne, a smaller region, where most of the sparkling wine comes from Côte Chalonnaise and is made mostly using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Then we have the Crémant de Loire made with Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Finally, and produced in smaller amounts, is the Crémant de Limoux, du Jura, Bordeaux, de Die and de Savoie.

There are some great Crémant makers like Kreydenweiss in Alsace, Beaufort Frères in Burgundy, and Domaine de la Taille aux Loups in the Loire Valley.

French sparkling wines can also be classified by production method, by sugar content and by the level of pressure from the carbon dioxide in the wine.

Classifications

The Traditional or Champenoise Method: for this method, the wine is first vinified in tanks and then undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle. This second fermentation and the time the wine spends aging on lees and stacked make these wines creamier and give them a well integrated bubble. Finally it is disgorged, the sediment is removed, and then expedition liqueur (mixture of wine and sugar) can be added, or not, and this will make it more or less sweet. The make up of the expedition liqueur is usually a closely guarded secret that gives the wines from each producer a unique touch. All champagne and Crémants are made in this way. It is considered the highest quality method. The Charmat or Granvas Method: for this method, the second fermentation takes place in closed tanks. It is not as delicate as the Champenoise method but it is cheaper.

The Ancient Method: this was the first method ever used to make sparkling wines. It involves bottling the must before it finishes alcoholic fermentation, allowing the process to finish in the bottle. Many producers, especially those dedicated to producing natural wines, are now reviving this method. These wines are usually made unfiltered, so they contain sediments and must be served carefully to keep them out of the glass.

Classification by amount of sugar added in the expedition liqueur:

-Brut nature: no expedition liqueur added.

-Extra-brut: contains up to 6 gr of sugar / litre.

-Brut: contains up to 15 gr of sugar / litre.

-Extra-sec: contains 12 gr to 20 gr of sugar / litre.

-Sec: contains 17 g to 35 gr of sugar / litre.

-Demi-sec: contains 33 gr to 50 gr of sugar / litre.

-Doux: contains more than 50 gr of sugar / litre.

By level of pressure from the carbon dioxide in the wine:

-Vin perlant: this is a very lightly sparkling wine. It contains more than one gram of carbon dioxide gas per litre of wine.

-Vin pétillant: the pressure of the CO2 in these wines is between 1 and 2.5 bars. This pressure is obtained by using the Ancient Method. This category also includes some cremants.

-Vin mousseux: sparkling wine. The pressure of the dissolved carbon dioxide gas is greater than 3 bars. This group of French sparkling wines is home to the most prestigious and high-quality wines: Champagne and Cremant.

As you can see, there is a wide range of French sparkling wines that are classified by production method or where they come from, from the glamorous champagne, through to the sharp crémant from Alsace to the curious ancient wines from small producers. Did you already know all about them? Which would you choose?