Devigne Wines is a new, independent UK company, importing wines
from the Jura, high in northeastern France, and from Limoux and Gaillac, in the southwest. The thing they have in common is that Devigne Wines specialise in Crémant and
Rosé wines, for which these regions are renowned. Crémant are sparkling wines made by a similar method to that used in Champagne. Sometimes the grape
varieties used are similar to Champagne too, but interest in many of these wines is raised by the fact that local varieties are often used.
|Devigne Wines contacted me when they launched their business and asked if I'd like to sample a
small selection of what they do. Subsequently they sent me three from their sparkling range to taste. I must say these are impressive wines generally, but the barrel-fermented Cuvée Exception 1996 from Antech goes down as an absolute eye-opener; a stunningly good, rich and complex
fizz that belies its very modest price tag. The fizzing red Cabernet Franc from the Loire was also a fun, and deliciously unusual wine.
Domaine de Montgilet (Loire) Ardoisier Rouge Demi-Sec
What a delightfully different wine this is; 100% Cabernet Franc, deep red fizz, made by the Champagne method. The nose is deep and powerful, with wafting aromas of chocolaty, dark red fruits; loganberry and mulberry, with a little hint of jammy raspberry too. On the palate the mousse is generous and persistent, and there is a sweetness on the attack that is soon overtaken by lots of savoury, quite plummy flavours, with a base of cassis and raspberry fruit. Like a supercharged kir royale, this would be great fun for a summer garden party or, with chocolate dessert. Very good indeed. £9.30.
Antech (Limoux) Blanquette de Limoux Cuvée Exception 1996
What a fine, fine wine this is. Like all Blanquette de Limoux, the major part of the blend is Mauzac, a native grape of Limoux and neighbouring Gaillac. It is joined here by a small proportion of Chardonnay, which is fermented in oak barrels before spending several years in the cellar prior to release. The nose offers up a wonderful melange of nutty, leesy, toasted brioche aromas with dried green apple and pear fruit. There's a leafy, slightly nettly quality, but the broad, generous aromas are toffeed, fine and inviting. The rich, rolling mousse adds to the sense of fullness and toasty complexity, and this utterly delicious wine really does come across like a mini-Krug, with no sign of rusticity, and plenty of crisp, elegant length. Excellent and serious stuff. £11.50.