The Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux is a French Sparkling wine consisting of 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc and 10% Mauzac (Mauzac is the local white grape that goes into all Limoux Bubbly) sourced from vineyards located in the Limoux AOC of the Languedoc in southern France. Limoux is where Sparkling wine was first produced in 1531, the Champagne region has dominated people’s perception concerning French Bubbly, but Limoux has a longer history of producing Bubbly and produce Sparkling wines of great quality and at a fraction of the price of comparable Champagne. This wine is made in the methode traditionnelle style, known in the Champagne AOC as the Methode Champenoise even though they didn’t invent it. This is where the wine is fermented like regular still white wine and then fermented a second time in the bottle (sugar and yeast is added to each bottle, this adds the bubbles). This is designated a Brut wine which indicates that this is a dry, not sweet Sparkling wine. The alcohol content is 11.49% to be precise. Note: A Sparkling wine cannot be called Champagne, unless it is grown and produced in the Champagne AOC. Cremant is the general French term for Sparkling wine, the same as Cava in Spain, Spumante in Italy and Sekt in Germany.
The color is pale golden wheat yellow, with tons of tight, tiny bubbles. The nose is green apple, apple core (seeds and all) and apple blossom, with a slight whiff of baking bread. This is a light, crisp, clean Sparkling wine. It starts with a jolt of very tart Granny Smith apple, followed by fresh lemon and fresh lime and crusty baked bread. The Mauzac grape can add a pronounced apple core taste to the wine, but here it is very subdued. There is a touch of minerality along with a good measure of balanced acidity on the mid palate. There is a long tart apple finish.
The Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Brut is a solid, sophisticated, balanced French Sparkling wine. I love the wines of Champagne, they are renown for very good reason, but the wines of Limoux can give you the same experience as non vintage Champagne for less than half the price.