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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.