Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Maudac, Pinot Noir * 75cl * 12% ABV * Limoux, France
The sparkling wine on which the very successful Domaine J Laurens has built its reputation. This is Chardonnay-based Cremant de Limoux (as opposed to Mauzac-dominant Blanquette de Limoux) and is made using the traditional (i.e. Champagne) method. First fermentation is in stainless steel vats to control the temperature with the secondary fermentation in bottle. The wine is then allowed to rest on lees for a minimum of 12 months before being aged a further 15 months in bottle before release. You'll first notice that this has a particularly lively fizz, with bright and citrussy aromas and just a hint of yeasty savouriness overlaying the lovely ripe fruit. This makes for a serious and cost-effective alternative to Champagne - the ideal aperitif before a meal or a fitting accompaniment to anything fried or breaded.