Novel Summer Sparkling Wines from the Languedoc in the South of France

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One of the many things I love about wine is that you are never done discovering. We are back in Languedoc again this year, on vacation, and I have made all sorts of new delicious bubbly discoveries. 

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On arriving our friends poured us a welcome glass of sparkling Picpoul de Pinet from Côte Mas (Domaines Paul Mas) just outside Montagnac. A first for me! Who would have thought – that the light-bodied, crisp, lemony Picpoul white wine could transform into such a delicious sparkler?

Now I say ‘why did someone not think of this years ago?’ It was absolutely delicious and a delightful way to start our summer vacation. While many of the wines from Domaines Paul Mas are widely available in the U.S. I am not sure whether this gently sparkling (frizzante) is imported. 

Next up, following an afternoon of family swimming fun at Pont du Diable (a bridge constructed by the Benedictine monks in the 11th century), we kicked off the evening with a deliciously fruity and vividly pink frizzante style sparkling wine from the well known and very highly regarded Domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac. This 2012 Mas de Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizant, packed with perky bright fruit and gently sparkling, is the perfect way to kick off any summer picnic or afternoon gathering. It is made from predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and about 10% Petit Mensang.

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Our third tasty find was the non-vintage Bulles de Chenin from Domaine de Conquêtes. It is made using the traditional method. This sparkling wine is a beautifully structured and elegant Blanc de Blanc. Crisp and deliciously refreshing, it is mouth filling with delicate orchard and citrus fruit aromas and flavors and just the perfect touch of yeasty autolysis. Definitely a wine with lots of finesse.

While I try to focus on wines available in the United States, so that interested readers have some chance of buying them, it is also fun to discover what new things are trending in other countries. These finds, all between €12 and  €14, are just another example of how much sparkling wine has and continues to evolve and expand, and the exciting diversity of bubbly wines being produced around the winegrowing world.

I would love to hear from readers on the exciting wine discoveries made by on vacation this year. 

(Images: Faith Durand; Mary Gorman McAdams)

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Main, Drinks, Beverages, Wine

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

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