This month’s #WinePW is about pet-nat wines or wines that are pétillant-naturel. Since I love sparkling wines of all kinds I was excited. What I didn’t realize was how hard it would be to find a Blanquette de Limoux méthode ancestrale from Languedoc. I did find one made in the traditional method. Blanquette di Limoux wines are made mostly from the Mauzac grape which can be blended with Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay in one of the appellations but must be made with 100% Mauzac for the méthode ancestrale.
The wine I found was nicely priced and had zippy white fruit aromas and some honeyed and creamy undertones. Mauzac is a late ripener and needs a long growing season to reach its full potential. It has nice acidity and makes for a lovely sparkler.
This photo is of the town of Saint-Hilaire, where Blanquette de Limoux wines were born. The soils are a mixture of clay and calcareous matter. Wines are made under four denominations or as they are called in France Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC). Blanquette de Limoux, Blanquette méthode ancestrale, Crémant de Limoux and Limoux.
The area is in the Languedoc where the climate is hot and windy. This particular area though is located near the Pyrénées and therefore is more a cool climate wine region than what one would expect in Southern France. This allows for the grapes to reach phenolic ripeness and retain good acidity with warm days and cooler nights. Limoux has both Mediterranean and Atlantic influences.
The estate that produces the wine has been owned by the same family since 1926 and has been producing Mauzac sparkling wine in the same way the monks of St. Hilaire produced the world’s first sparkling wines in 1531. The winery is a member of Terra Vitis, an organization that certifies the practice of sustainable agriculture. They farm organically and biodynamically. While the wine I had was dry, the true Blanquette méthode ancestrale is a sweetish wine made without using disgorgement.
That wine is made with natural fermentation and it is bottled under the full moon in March. It is cloudy in the glass and not very alcoholic. When bottled it still has yeast in it and unfermented sugar, the sugars turn into bubbles in the bottle. When finished it usually has less than 10% alcohol, around 7%.
The Salmon and Orzo seemed like a perfect pairing dish because the sweetness and fatty notes in Salmon would be offset by this sparkler. I found this amazing recipe on a website, The Creative Bite. I didn’t have time to make it yet but will do so next week when hopefully I will finally find a bottle of méthode ancestrale. In the meantime, I tried the wine I did find with Smoked Salmon. It was delicious. I think Salmon has all the savory, sweet and creamy notes that are perfect with sparklers. I am so excited to see what others have found.
JOIN US At #WinePW Tomorrow, December 14th, 2019
Meet the group on Twitter at 11am Eastern/10am Central/8am Pacific on Saturday, December 14 with the hashtag #WinePW. My fellow bloggers will be dishing about their wines and pairing choices tomorrow. Please join us, the more the merrier.
Deanna from Asian Test Kitchen explores “Pet Nat Food Pairings Made Easy with Glibert Wines”
Linda from My Full Wine Glass shares “A Fresh, Fruity Zweigelt Pet-Nat Perfect for Fish”
Jane of Always Ravenous discovers that she enjoys “Tasting and Pairing Pet-Nat Sparkling Wine”
Susannah at Avvinare shares “Blanquette de Limoux Paired with Salmon over Orzo”
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Unexpected Pairings for a Pet-Nat Duo from Donkey & Goat: Coconut Beef Curry and Holiday Cookies”
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator pairs “2 Biodynamic Loire Pet Nats: Free Mousse and Bulle Nature #WinePW”
Nicole from Nibbling Gypsy has an “Around the World Pet Nat Party”
Lauren from Swirling Dervish explains “Pairings for Pet-Nat from Here (NY) and There (Czech Republic)”
I’m introducing on Grape Experiences “Soalheiro Espumante Bruto Nature 2016: A Versatile, Complex Pét-Nat of Alvarinho”
I look forward to “seeing” you on Saturday!