Le Berceau – Picpoul – Chardonnay – Blanc De Blancs – Brut – Jean Claude Mas – Majestic
Champagne is the most commonly associated sparkling wine with France. However, there are others, in fact there are almost as many as there are regions in France, which at the last count was 13, before 2014 there were in fact 22.
In simple terms each region produces its own type of sparkling wine, only wines produced in Champagne can bear the famous name. Therefore, anything outside of this must be called sparkling wine- although in France generally this is not the case and the Sparkling wine usually carries the name of the producer or place or something similar…
Thankfully Le Berceau is not as complicated, produced once again in the area around the Etang de Thau in Southwest France, and blending two famous grapes of the area, Jean Claude Mas has produced something pretty special.
The Etang, as those of you who read this blog regularly will know is famous for Oysters. It’s also famous for the Picpoul grape, something of an obsession of mine!
The saline tang from the inland lakes imparts itself unmistakably on Jean Claude Mas’s vines, coming through very clearly on the nose, this is offset beautifully with the out of fashion yet unmistakable Chardonnay, so loved in the Languedoc. The Chardonnay grape produces a beautifully citrus counterpoint to the Picpoul. This blend is both fresh and zingy, citrus and saline all rolled into one. Perhaps the perfect accompaniment to a dish of fresh seafood or my personal favourite, oysters.
This wine is something special indeed, a perfect alternative to the over hyped Prosecco, and the often over-priced Champagne, perhaps the only critism I can find is the bubble stream. It was slightly short lived, perhaps an indication of manmade fizz as opposed to the traditional bottle fermentation of champagne. Although, on a positive note this wine is so good that it’s unlikely to hang around long enough to flatten.
Once more a cracking addition to the Languedoc’s already bulging portfolio of wines.