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Hello! Welcome to As Drunk by Exotic Wine Travel, a weekly column where we feature interesting wines that we encourage you to seek out. The reviews featured in this series may be written by either one or the both of us. The featured wines can be from obscure or well-known wine regions. We hope that these wine recommendations will keep you gastronomically curious and your palate invigorated!
Sieur D’Arques, Toques et Clochers (Crémant de Limoux) 2013
The sparklers from Limoux are a big eye-opener for me. I came across them during a weeklong trip through the Languedoc-Roussillon. The sparkling wines from Limoux are the oldest in France, dating back to 1531. These wines are heavily exported around the world and make for affordable, fun, and fruity bubbles.
There are three types of appellation level (AOC) sparklers from Limoux. The Blanquette de Limoux (which is made mostly of the local grape Mauzac), Blanquette Méthode Ancestrale (made with only one fermentation and slightly sweet), and Crémant de Limoux (can contain Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Mauzac). The Blanquette de Limoux and Crémant de Limoux are both made with the Champagne méthode.
Our weeklong press trip through Languedoc-Roussillon included daily lunches and dinners with winemakers. One of the evenings, I found myself sitting next to the director of a large co-op in Limoux – Sieur D’Arques. We tasted through several Limoux offerings from Sieur D’Arques and one caught my attention.
Most of the wines we tasted that evening were non-vintage sparklers. The vintage sparkler impressed nearly everyone at the table. The director of Sieur D’Arques saw my excitement and passed me a bottle to take with me and let Charine taste. She is a huge fan of sparkling wines and I knew this offering would hit her palate perfectly.
When I brought the wine back to our temporary apartment (remember we travel full-time), Charine cracked it open. It turns out that I was right. Here are her notes.
“Sieur d’Arques is a cooperative in Limou, Languedoc-Roussillon. Its Toques & Clochers Crémant de Limoux 2013 is a blend of 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc, and 10% Mauzac. It’s made via the traditional method with 30 months of aging before disgorgement.
Matt said when he tasted this wine on-site, he knew instantly that this wine would appeal to me. Damn right. The bouquet is a stunning breeze of ladyfinger biscuit, vanilla cream, pear, and lemon. The palate is driven by more acidic fruit flavors like pineapple and more grapefruit.
The treat here is the mouthfeel. Seriously creamy with absolutely fine, soft bubbles that one can expect from the finest méthode champenoise. The finish is long and nice enough to be noteworthy. Love it and can’t stop drinking it!”
4.1/5 (You can find out more about our scoring system on the Wine Rating page.)
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