Crémant de Limoux
Limoux is the birthplace of sparkling wine: in 1531, the Benedictine monks of Saint Hilaire abbey created the first méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine in the world. Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs from 55% Chardonnay, 35% Chenin, 10% Mauzac. The Toques et Clochers Crémant is made from carefully selected hand-harvested grapes from hillside plots, with south to southeast exposure for the “Haute Vallée” and “Océanique” terroirs and north exposure for the “Méditerranéen” and “Autan” terroirs. The age of the vines, which are at least 15 year old, and the cultivation methods, contribute to optimal ripening of the grapes and concentration of the different aromas. The relatively low yields (less than 50hl/ hectare) whole clusters are hand-picked, and put in boxes to preserve the integrity of the fruit.
After a slow and gentle pressing, only the heart of each wine from each of the four terroirs is selected and separately vinified to make this blend. Cold static settling of the juice and low temperature fermentation favor the extraction of primary aromas. Dosage 8 g/l. Bottle fermentation takes place under ideal conditions (12°C), favoring slow and regular fermentation and thus enhancing the delicacy of the crémant both in terms of aromas and bubbles. Prolonged aging on the lees for a minimum of 15 months allows development of the tertiary aromas. The wine is disgorged to order, and a special liquor is prepared to preserve the integrity of the original Cuvée. Dosage: 8 gr/l. 12.5% alcohol. This wine is vegan (the fining agent is bentonite). White flowers (hawthorn and acacia), pear and peach followed by toasted, brioche and fresh butter aromas make a harmonious bouquet. Delicate, long-lasting bubbles. The overall impression is fresh and lively. This harmonious and elegant Crémant is best served at 7°-8° (44-46F).
About the Producer
Limoux benefits from an exceptional situation in the Languedoc, symbolized by the Toques & Clochers gastronomy festival and auction, created in 1991 and sponsored by the Sieur d'Arques wine cooperative. It is hosted every year by a leading chef (a "toque”), and winemakers from all over the world are invited. The auction takes place on Palm Sunday, after a tasting held in the morning. The barrels are sold at prices that attest the quality of the wines and the widespread recognition of this unique AOC. A share of the proceeds is used to pay for the renovation of one of the forty bell towers ("clochers") of the appellation, giving back to the villages of the Upper Aude Valley their original character and architectural heritage.
The "Toques et Clochers” cuvées from Les Vignerons de Sieur d’Arques have consistently shown the quality of their terroir and growers. The coop has some 3800 plots on four specific terroirs: Méditerranéen, Autant, Océanique and Haute-Vallée, each of them giving birth to very distinctive wines.
Toques et Clochers