This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Sparkling Languedoc-Rousillon under £15 went to Tesco Finest, 1531, Blanquette de Limoux 2011 (12%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category

This trophy-winner is named 1531 in honour of the year that sparkling wine was stumbled upon in limoux. The story goes that it was in this year that the Benedictine monks in the St-hilaire abbey noticed something unusual going on inside the bottles of their initially still wine: secondary fermentation.

The Sieur d’Arques cooperative makes this wine for Tesco. it was established just after World War ii, when the vast proportion of limoux growers joined forces to guarantee their collective future. Since 2003 its winemaker has been Gilles Tremeges and its consultant is the famed Denis Dubourdieu.

The aim of Sieur d’Arques has always been for its wines to speak of limoux’s unique terroir and of its local grapes; fitting then, that this Trophy-winner is dominated by the region’s main grape, Mauzac, which makes up 90% of the blend, the remainder being an equal split of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.

Limoux’s vineyards get lots of sunshine, but this is countered by the Pyrenean altitude, which ensures the grapes ripen slowly and evenly. The soil has a large proportion of chalk, which ideally suits white grapes. The aim with 1531 is to retain Mauzac’s distinct aromatics while bolstering it with bottle-aged autolytic notes.

Written by Decanter