Andrew Guard

2016 Bugey Cerdon "Methode Ancestrale", Renardat-Fâche

What a treat! This is a demi-sec, sparkling rosé from one of France's great winemakers. It shows remarkable purity of flavor and perfect balance of sweetness and lightness. Bright and pristine - its effervescence charms with raspberries and cherries, fresh acidity and it's perfect balance make this a perfect aperitif, an easygoing partner to fresh summer desserts or the perfect refreshment post meal. One glass is never enough !

 Alain Renardat is a respected vigneron in Cerdon, and, among others, he has been a long-time supplier of Alain Chapel's restaurant, in the Dombes. The Dombes, which, like the Bugey, is in the Ain department, is an area of ponds and marshes, known for its fish and birds. Alain Chapel, of his eponymous Restaurant, was a chef beloved among chefs, and famous for his love of wine and winemakers. A winemaker and his wines selected by Chapel are guaranteed to have great personality. Currently, cult Parisian Chef Yves Camdeborde (La Régalade, Le Comptoir) serves Renardat-Fâche Cerdon as a ‘pick me up’ at his restaurants after the meal.

Alain and his son Elie make their Cerdon from Gamay (90%) and Poulsard (10%), and follow the technique called "ancestral method." The grapes are picked by hand, pressed and fermented in cold vats until the alcohol reaches about 6 degrees. After a light filtration that leaves most of the active yeast in the unfinished wine, it is bottled and continues its fermentation in the bottle, reaching about 7.5 or 8 degrees of alcohol and retaining a fair quantity of its original sugar. It is more vinous (with grapey primary aromas) than most Champagne. What a treat! this very unusual but totally pleasurable wine is delicate, berry-scented and refreshing—there is no bad time to enjoy it.