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Saint Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux
The famous story of Blanquette de Limoux dates back to 1531 when the monks of the Abbey of Saint Hilaire in the Languedoc made the world’s very first sparkling wine. Four centuries later a handful of local winemakers banded together to create their own enterprise, the Sieur d’Arques cooperative, which is dedicated to producing top quality sparkling wines as well as still red and white wines made with traditional local grape varieties.
Their classic Blanquette de Limoux is made using Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and the little-known aromatic Mauzac grape which is indigenous to the region and must be used in all Blanquette wines. Sieur d’Arques vinifies each of the varieties separately before deciding on the exact composition of the blend. The wine is then bottled and a second fermentation takes place inside the bottle to create the bubbles in the wine. After nine months this process is complete and the bottles are disgorged and released to the market.
The result is a refreshing dry sparkling wine with delicate aromas of apples, white peaches, flowers and freshly-cut grass. On the palate the bubbles are fine and soft and the rich fruity flavours are balanced by a crisp acidity that invites you to take another sip. It’s a perfect wine to drink on a hot summer’s day as an aperitif or to serve alongside creamy dishes like a gorgonzola risotto or elegant tarte tatin.
Antech Emotion Cremant de Limoux Rose 2018
Crafted using the same traditional method that is used to make Champagne, this gorgeous vintage Cremant de Limoux is an excellent choice for enjoying as an aperitif at casual family gatherings. The Antech family have been producing Cremant de Limoux for six generations. Operations are currently in the capable hands of brothers Georges and Roger along with Georges’ daughter Francoise who is widely regarded as one of France’s most talented female winemaker.
Composed of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac, and Pinot Noir grapes, this vibrant Cremant is matured on the lees for a total of 18 months to add complexity and richness to the finished wine. To add a subtle hint of sweetness to balance the intense freshness of the wine, the Antechs add a modest dosage of 8 grams per litre when the wines are disgorged.
On the nose there are delicate aromas of lemon zest, crushed red berries and rose petals, while the first sip reveals a smooth, persistent mousse and bright citrus notes. The vibrancy and elegance of this wine makes it an ideal aperitif and partner for dishes like spicy Asian curries, pan-seared salmon or tuna steaks, or decadent pasta dishes.
Sieur d'Arques Premiere Bulle Rose Cremant
The seductive jewel-like pink hue of this elegant bubbly immediately catches the eye, while the nose offers tempting aromas of peaches, nectarines and hints of toast and brioche which carry through onto the palate. The first sip reveals silky smooth bubbles, refreshing acidity levels and a long, clean finish. This is an easy-going, dry Cremant which is ideal to enjoy as an aperitif or to serve alongside pan-fried fish, fresh seafood or simply a generous platter of French cheeses.
Like most Cremant de Limoux wines, the base of this wine is Chardonnay which is grown on the Sieur d’Arques’ exceptional chalky vineyards close to the foothills of the Pyrenees. This helps to create an elegant, refined sparkling wine which displays a subtle chalky minerality on the palate. The winemakers also add a smaller amount of Chenin Blanc as well as a dash of Pinot Noir which gives the wine its distinctive hue.
The Sieur d’Arques cooperative make this wine according to the traditional method which is the same process used to create Champagne. The wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle and it is then left to age with the lees for 12 months which helps to create a rich, well-rounded texture and gentle notes of pastries, nuts and freshly-baked bread.
Louis Bouillot Perle de Vigne Cremant de Bourgogne
The Louis Bouillot house has been crafting elegant sparkling wines since 1877 and skilfully combine their noble heritage with the latest technology and winemaking knowledge to reinterpret the traditional Cremant de Bourgogne for a new age. Their Perle de Vigne or “Pearl of the Vine” is a perfect example of the Louis Bouillot style which blends complexity and refined structure from extended lees ageing with a light, fresh fruit character.
Designed to show drinkers the uniqueness of the Burgundian terroir and the Louis Bouillot estate’s skill in winemaking, this vibrant sparkling wine is made with the regions’ main four indigenous varietals; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Aligoté and Gamay. The nose offers enticing red berry aromas which carry through onto the palate where there is a bright acidity and smooth, small bubbles. The well-rounded structure and freshness make this an ideal gastronomic wine with potential for pairing with everything from salads and charcuterie to fresh seafood and grilled fish.
To ensure the winery only works with the best quality raw material, the grapes are hand picked and carefully fermented according to the traditional method which is the same as that used for Champagne. Following the second fermentation in the bottle, the wine is aged for 12 months on the lees to add extra complexity and character to the finished wine.
Antech Cuvee Eugenie Cremant de Limoux 2018
The Limoux region has been producing sparkling wines since 1544, long before Dom Perignon’s legendary discovery of the traditional method for making Champagne at the end of the 18th century. This elegant Cremant de Limoux is made by the Antech family who have been crafting spectacular sparkling wines here for six generations.
Composed of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac, the graceful Cuvee Eugenie Cremant is a vintage sparkling wine made as an hommage to Eugénie Limouzy. This noble lady was the great-aunt of brothers Georges and Roger who currently run the winery along with Georges’ talented winemaker daughter, Francoise.
Produced using the traditional method which is also used to make Champagne, the Cuvee Eugenie Cremant spends 12 months maturing on the lees which adds a charming toasty character. The result is a precise sparkling wine which exudes crisp lemon aromas and and mouthwatering acidity balanced by rich nutty and pastry flavours. There is a very gentle hint of sweetness thanks to the dosage of 8 grams per litre. The mousse is fine and persistent and the finish clean and pure, making this an ideal aperitif or partner for fish, light salads and chicken served in a creamy sauce.
Allimant Laugner Cremant d'Alsace Rose
Domaine Allimant-Laugner was born out of the marriage of Mariette Allimant and René Laugner in 1965 which joined together two of Alsace’s top winemaking families. The estate boasts 12 hectares of prime vineyards and is currently run by three generations of the Allimant-Laugner family who have been making wine for at least 11 generations.
The family’s Cremant d’Alsace Rosé is a style which is growing in popularity and it’s made using the traditional method which is the same winemaking approach used for Champagne. The Pinot Noir grapes are gently pressed after a short maceration to create the gorgeous pale pink colour and the must is then fermented twice. The second fermentation takes place inside the bottle and the wine is aged on the lees to add extra complexity and body.
As soon as you pour yourself a glass you’ll notice the delicate stream of tiny bubbles and inviting aromas of fresh strawberries, cherries and white flowers. The first sip reveals a bright acidity, smooth mousse from the bubbles, and enticing red berry flavours with a very clean and pure finish. The vibrant character of this Cremant makes it ideal as an aperitif or served alongside spicy Asian cuisine or fresh seafood.