Warning: This introduction contains a bit of personal information. I was never a huge fans of rosés until I started writing about wine. Through my studies and various opportunities to taste rosés made from different varietals, made in different styles, and — of course — from different regions, I can now edit that fact to state that I am quite picky about rosés. Similar are my feelings about bubbles. I rarely had opportunity in the past to have them; when I did, they all pretty much tasted the same. I’ve hesitated to write about them because they are, in fact, a whole different wine-making game.
But here I am working an a sparkling wine series, and lo, here is a wine that combines two things I’ve been iffy about in the past — a sparkling rosé. Spoiler alert: the Parigot Crémant Rosé past this skeptics taste test…
Limoux is an appellation of southern France’s Languedoc region. In an area that’s primarily focused on the production of red wine, Limoux is considered somewhat of a “sparkling wine oasis.” Here, bubbles are crafted using the methode traditionelle or methode champenoise (aka the traditional Champagne method), but this Antech-Limoux Cuvée Brut Nature is an interesting take on that sparkling wine tradition, blending together a few non-traditional varietals…
While the name of J.L. Denois may be one for the modern day masses, Jean-Louis (the J.L. in the name) started out as a humble grape-grower and winemaker. He purchased his first Pinot Noir vineyard in 1988 and shortly thereafter Chardonnay in 1989. In 1991 this innovative man planted the first Pinot Champagne clones: a softer skinned relative of an already thin-skinned grape — delicate is a mild description here.
His estate vineyards are located in the Aude Valley, just in the Pyrenees foothills on the Languedoc’s southwestern edge. With Atlantic breezes that swoop through the Valley throughout the day, this is the ideal cool-climate for picking crisp grapes, ripe with acidity — perfect for crafting sparkling wine.
Sparkling wine — a popular choice surrounding parties, celebrations, and most certainly the holiday season. I use the term “sparkling wine,” because it is frowned upon (no, not illegal) to call a wine Champagne unless it comes from the actual Champagne region in France. But before we pop the cork on a few sparkling wine (and, yes, a few Champagne) reviews, let’s talk about what makes bubbles so special.
I don’t often write about sparkling wines because I feel like they live in a world all their own. But when I popped the cork on this J Cuvée 20 Brut, I seemed to have entered the realm in which they live. Beautifully light and refreshing, yet profoundly complex and structured. A sip of this sparkle simultaneously released me and engaged me. Cheers to that.