We renewed contact with this old estate at a sad point, shortly after the untimely death of young proprietor Jean-Marc Vergnes. His widow, Isabelle, wanted to carry on the domaine, but finally decided to take on new partners, as she has young children. We are optimistic that the quality-mindedness of this superb producer of sparkling wines will not change. Limoux is arguably the first place in France to have invented sparkling wine. Its limestone soils and markedly cooler climate make it apt for this category. The price-quality ratio is second to none.
(Mauzac) Mauzac is Limoux’s calling card. A variety essentially unique to the region that provides the essence of what makes this appellation different. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc have all made their mark in recent decades, but it is Mauzac that imparts its singular green apple tones to the aroma. This is an unpretentious but hugely satisfying sparkler, gentle, easy and suave, with perfectly judged dosage.
(Mauzac) As its name implies, this is the Big Bang of French sparkling wine! The wine is made by stopping fermentation via filtration with the third new moon of the year, in March. It is then bottled with added yeast and left to continue a gentle secondary fermentation in bottle – but there is no disgorgement. The result is a fascinating and delicious sweet sparkler (90 grammes of residual sugar) with just 7.5% of alcohol. It makes an original alternative to Moscato d’Asti.
(70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc, 10% Pinot Noir) This exceptionally elegant rosé has won a passel of awards for readily understandable reasons. As easy on the eye as Catherine Deneuve, it sports a fine mousse, a beautiful nose and a tender, subtle and fine palate.