December 2nd: Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura

philippe michel cremant du jura aldi wine review

Wine Advent Calendar December 2nd: Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura

Day 2 of this wine advent calendar for 2016 and I’m on the fizz already.  Give me fizz any day of the week …. but because today is Friday, and its an advent wine calendar theme, then Friday Fizz for a Festive Flourish is an absolutely brilliant get-out clause. I think.

Today I’m opening the calendar door on Aldi’s Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura.

High Five to this crémant which sits on the sparkling wine shelves comfortable and confident with its own attractiveness. Bit like a girlie on a bus who knows she looks perfect.

Anyway – so this wine I popped in a tasting for friends just the other week. I’ve reviewed it quite often in my print column; I was interested to hear what my girlies would say.  (I have my pals trained to perfection in the art of “concentrating” before “slurping”.)

Philippe Michel Cremant du Jura
There it is in the middle, with the red band, awaiting its fate with the label disguised

Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura

What is it: It’s a sparkling white fizz. I think I mentioned that.

Where’s it from: The clue is in the word Jura – it’s a crémant from Jura in the far east of France. Find out more about Jura wines with this guide by Wink Lorch.

Hang on then, what does this crémant thing mean? Is it Champagne? No – its not Champagne as only the Champagne region can make sparkling wine and call it Champagne.

Other parts of France can make sparkling wines using the same traditional method as Champagne producers and they will use the grapes native to their areas. They just can’t call it Champagne – it is known as crémant.Philippe Michel Cremant du Jura Aldi wine review

There’s only a handful of crémants in France. Possibly the  most well-known is crémant de Loire. Get the idea? Sparkling wine from the Loire valley.

The grapes:  This wine is 100 per cent chardonnay. Because it is made in the same way as Champagne, the fermented base wine will have been added to the bottle with yeast and sugar for a second fermentation, aged, then the spent yeast removed, and the wine topped up with a mixture of wine and sugar before bottling.

Never mind the techie stuff: Ok. What does it taste like.  If you want to know what Aldi says on the vin … Fantastically crisp and elegant with green apples, perfect acidity and persistent bubbles and it has  a sophisticated subtlety with stimulating fresh citrus notes and a lovely length.

Anything else?: Yes. This is what my girlie pals said  and they didn’t know anything about the wine, price or where it was from).

Vanilla. Makes me go woo-ah. Lots of flavour.
It’s like the open air, fresh clean and bright.
Loved it but don’t think I could drink alot of it!
Nice fizzy apples.
Lots of apples. Refreshing
Apple, vanilla, cleansing on the palate. Tastes lovely.

They liked it. I do too.

The small print: It is 12% abv and you can buy in-store at £7.49 a bottle or a case of six online here.
Oh, and my girlies thought it was worth about £17.


December 1st: Alma Cersius, a yummy red

Alma Cersius wine review

Sometimes I just want to give wine a hug.   A huge squeezy one – they’re not very good on giving hugs back but they’re quite good at toe tingles.

I remember the day I tried this wine. It had been Proper Horrible on two counts = the weather and feeling miserable. I’d started a diet but needed a wine hug because I felt low.

I’d cooked a MASSIVE dish of cottage pie, all properly allowed in my diet. Aha,  said the devil on my left shoulder. Wine. But nooooooo said the angel on my right shoulder.

From the picture you can tell which shoulder won.   I shrugged off the guilt and gave the wine a hug.

Alma Cersius 2014 wine review

Alma Cersius 2014

What is it: It’s a red. A bloomin’ lovely one too.

Where’s it from: It’s from the south of France, the Coteaux du Libron area  in Languedoc-Roussillon.

I’ll tell you some more: I love that the Cersius vineyards are “kissed by the wind of Cers”. Romans believed that Cersius the wind god brought beneficial qualities for maturing fruit.

The grapes:  It’s a blend of syrah (50per cent) and then equal measures of merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

It was aged for six months in oak and had some stirring of the lees.

Cersius Rouge 2014 wine review

Never mind the techie stuff: Ok, I’ll move on –  it has aromas of deep red fruit and spices that you can bury yourself in. The cushion softness of black fruits speckled with spice weren’t put off by my overdose of pepper on the pie and above all that a cloak of sweet vanilla comforts and softens.

Anything else?: Yes. It was selected as one of the Sud de France Top 100 wines after a blind tasting led by wine expert Tim Atkin.

The small print: It is 13.5% abv and is available at Avery’s at £10.99 –  You can buy here