STORY BEHIND THIS WINE
Many think of sparkling wines from the Loire, especially Saumur, as the go to affordable alternative to Champagne, and it fulfils that role well, but it’s well worth discovering for its own innate excellent qualities. Like Champagne, it comes from a coolish northern climate with limestone rich soils and the bubbles are created during a second fermentation in bottle. The main grape variety is Chenin Blanc plus a little Chardonnay with Cabernet Franc for the rosés.
Bouvet-Ladubay is one of the great historic names in Loire sparkling wines and began, you could say, with a love story when it was founded in 1851 by Etienne Bouvet, just 23 and his youthful bride Celestine Ladubay when they bought 8km of underground galleries in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent. They were originally excavated by monks 1000 years previously and are now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lucky visitors can explore them on a cycling tour.
Today the business is owned by the Monmousseau family, who purchased it in 1933 and is run by the fourth and fifth generations. The family don’t own vineyards but buy grapes from about 100 growers. The estate has a contemporary art gallery and theatre dedicated to the art of wine, the art of living and the contemporary arts. Read more.
A vintage selection that is made from a blend of mostly Chenin Blanc and a little Chardonnay that is aged in oak for six months before second fermentation in bottle and then spends 18 months ageing on lees prior to disgorgement. This combination adds richness and weight to the wine so that there are aromas of brioche and nut allied to white flowers and apple with a creamy texture but with a clean fresh citrus finish.
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