Philippe Collin, a native of Champagne, moved to Limoux in 1980 to establish his own domaine. Though his family has made Champagne for generations, the opportunities in this sought after, and extremely expensive area, were very limited. With a deep understanding of terroir, and technical expertise he decided to try his luck in the South of France. The area of Limoux offered Philippe a unique opportunity. First, vineyard land in Limoux is just a fraction of the cost of vineyard land in Champagne. Second, and most importantly, the microclimate in Limoux is especially well suited to white wine and sparkling wine production. Located a couple of hours inland from the Mediterranean, it is the coolest area in the Languedoc.
Limoux is among the earliest areas in the world to be known for producing sparkling wine. Records show sparkling wine being produced in the area as early as 1531. The primary grape for sparkling wine in Limoux is Mauzac. Though, at its best Mauzac can produce a nice sparkling wine, the bulk of wine made from Mauzac can be very green and uninteresting. Since Philippe is more interested in quality than in bulk production, he planted the majority of his vineyards with the traditional grapes of Champagne: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition, he planted quite a bit of Chenin Blanc in his vineyards, which in this climate, serves to balance the wine.
50% Chardonnay, 40% Chenin Blanc, 10% Pinot Noir.
Technical Notes: This wine is produced in a traditional method with a second fermentation taking place in the bottle. This wine has a low, 6 grams of residual sugar per liter, in comparison to Brut champagne which generally ranges from 9 to 14 grams per liter.
Tasting Notes: This is a balanced, elegant, Crémant de Limoux, with no rough edges. The Chardonnay gives the wine brightness and a lively acidity, the Chenin Blanc adds richness and texture, while the Pinot Noir adds depth to the wine. Given that this is Collin’s entry level sparkling wine, this is an impressively balanced and complex wine. It is truly a testament to what this relatively obscure vineyard area is capable of producing.