Limoux de Cremant

by Wendy VanHatten


This time of year is a great time to bring out the Champagnes and the sparkling wines. One of my favorites is from the Limoux region in France. We enjoyed when we traveled there and now enjoy it at home.

Limoux is a commune and subprefecture in the Aude department, a part of the ancient Languedoc province and the present-day Occitanie region in southern France. It lies on the river Aude about 30 km due south of Carcassonne. Limoux is famous for sparkling wines.

A current favorite is a delicate sparkling wine with a fresh bit of French elegance and finesse. A sixth-generation winemaker, Francoise Gazeau, says she likes to keep a beautiful acidity in all her wines. She is also convinced that it’s important to give wines time. That’s what makes bubbles so luscious and complex.

Wine terminology can get confusing. If you aren’t sure what Cremant means, a simplified way to think about Cremant is it’s like Champagne, but from parts of France other than Champagne. Champagne technically needs to be produced in the Champagne region or it can’t be called Champagne. Sparkling wine, made with the traditional method from other parts of France is called Cremant.

There’s more to it, but that’s an easy reference point.

Cremant de Limoux uses the Mauzac grape, which often gives an apple peel flavor. The use of 40 to 70% Chardonnay, 20 to 40% Chenin blanc, and 0 to 10% Pinot Noir round out the flavor.

For me, I love the nose with a slight yeasty aroma. There is enough lemon and floral notes as well as the minerality I like.

A couple of notes from the winemaker include:

Drink it now or age for only a couple of years. (I agree. I prefer to not age my Champagne or sparkling.)

Serve at 45 degrees.

Open carefully to keep in the gas as much as possible.

Drink with just about any food. (Again, I agree.)

A votre sante…Cheers