Clairette de Die Wine
The picturesque town of Die in the heart of the Drôme river valley gives its name to the specialist appellation of Clairette de Die; an important enclave of sparkling wine production since medieval times. Indeed, the méthode dioise for inducing effervescence in and clarifying sparkling wine is thought to pre-date the more widespread méthode traditionnelle of Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy and the Loire. After a still wine is produced from a prescribed blend of Muscat and Clairette, it is chilled and filtered leaving enough active yeast cells to produce a delicate fizz whilst removing the fine lees. The finished wine typically has low alcohol by volume (around 7%), a touch of residual sugar, soft mousse and a lovely fresh, grapey taste. The Achard family's version, which we have listed for decades, has wonderfully pure orchard fruit flavours and is certified as organic to boot. They also produce a bottle-fermented Crémant de Die from a blend of Muscat, Clairette and Aligoté that is drier and weighty enough to stand up to canapés but still evokes an Alpine freshness that few wines manage to capture.