Entries from December 2014

On a whole Antech's wines, 12 sparkling, one still, are superbly elegant. Clean, nothing overlying clear aromas ranging from floral to fruity. The mousse perfect and the fine perlage (the bubbles) of a persistent quality reminding me of a good Champagne. Especially their creation Pure Emotion caught my attention. A Crémant de Limoux Rosé, Brut Nature: very dry, a crisp freshness combined with some flavours of red berries and ever so elegant. The acidity perfectly integrated with a beautifully lingering after taste, a delicate hint of bitter almonds. The Blanquette de Limoux shows notes of apple and with flowers, typical for Mauzac; mousse and perlage convince yet again. “Apples, baked apples at that”, I am thinking when I inhale the scent of Blanquette Méthode Ancestrale, But there is also a very grapy smell, fresh white grapes, remarkable this fruitiness. Its sweetness, mind you it contains 90 g/l of residual sugar, is extremely well balanced by its freshness. You nearly want to chew this wine, it is so mouth filling. The finish is as lush and fruity as the nose and one starts dreaming of cheeses and cakes that could be enjoyed with this delicacy. I am making a mental note to find a patisserie on my way back to get dessert for our dinner at what we later will be calling Restaurant La Vielle Bergerie.

Cement tanks at Antech
Cement tanks at Antech

Thus charmed by the wines' unique characters we enter the large cellar area where we first stumble on the amazing process of dégorgement and bottling. I have always wanted to see this. How they freeze the bottlenecks in order to create a firm frozen blob of yeast, that can easily be removed, without loosing too much of the precious elixir. Check the Vino Vistas fb site for pics. We see old cement tanks still in use to create the base wine, fibreglass tanks with cooling elements inside, and an infinite number of metal crates filled with bottles. Those are resting, inside them the famous “prise de mousse” happening along with the development of complex flavours thanks to a prolonged contact with the yeast of at least 9 months. A wall of Gyropalettes waiting to go into action helping the yeast to slide into the bottleneck before dégorgement.

After this generous tasting and tour I purchase some bottles, one for our dinner at La Prade Mari and leave in search for a patisserie. On the way back past the most impressive Cité de Carcassonne, where numerous medieval battles have been fought, I witness a unique spectacle. Not that unique the spectacle of a huge rainbow, unusual though that it should form its perfect arc right over the massive expanse of towers and turrets which define this ancient so-much-more-than-a-castle structure. But truly remarkable, quite amusing in fact, is the association it evokes: the Disney Logo. Just so much much bigger and of course real, right there next to me driving on the rainy motorway, unable to stop and take a picture.

For the exact rules Syndicat De Vins Aoc de Limoux. And if you happen to research Blanquette de Limoux on Wikipedia, funnily enough, you will come across a picture of some Antech wines with the old labels. It wasn't me …

Moonrise over Minervois
Moonrise over Minervois


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