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.
The theme is international wine this week — if you’ve been hanging out reading about Languedoc and New Zealand, then you know what I’m talking about. I have one wine that doesn’t quite fall into any of the designated “regional” themes, so this one-off review is just a celebration of my first Muscadet.
About the Wine: As I mentioned in my brief Languedob-Roussillon synopsis, some French wines prefer to stay mysterious. Or, maybe it’s that they decide to maintain and Old World etiquette, not boasting the exact grape varieties, winemaking methods, and percentages of each varietal used. It does seem to be a “New World” fascination, telling a wine’s story on the back of the bottle, swaying drinkers’ opinions by the choice of words used. Why not, instead, taste the wine and figure it out yourself.
Such is the case with this Domaine Sainte Croix Cuvee Montures 2015 Rosé. I can tell you very little except what I saw, smelled, and tasted. I’ve drawn the conclusion that it is a purposeful rosé created in classic Rhône-style. But, read my notes — or better yet taste it for yourself — and tell me what you think.