T.G.I.F. Champagne and the like…Jean Louis Denois Brut “Tradition”

This week’s sparkling wine is a Crémant from Southern France, Jean Louis Denois Brut “Tradition”.  The region from which this sparkling wine hails is the Languedoc-Roussillon, which is considered by many to be to one of the most exciting and innovative in France.  It is also widely reputed to be among the most exciting for “bang for the buck” wines in France.

Part of the reason I enjoy doing this blog is that, as a student of wine, I’m continually learning new things.  For example, while doing the background for this blog, I learned that the Languedoc is the largest wine-producing region in France, with over 700,000 acres under vine.  In fact, more wine is produced in the Languedoc than in the entire United States!  I also discovered the Languedoc is one of the few wine regions where some of the wines are labeled according to the grape variety (as is our tradition here in the States), rather than where the grapes are from.

Jean Louis Denois Brut "Tradition" - Photo courtesy of K&L Wine Merchants

N.V. Jean Louis Denois Brut “Tradition”

Region: France; Languedoc Roussillon; Languedoc; Coteaux du Languedoc

Variety – 50% Chardonnay/50% Pinot Noir

Dosage – 6gr/Ltr

$15, 12.5% abv

Production method: Méthode Traditionnelle; Aged 18 months, sur lie

My tasting notes follow:

Appearance: Light straw color.

Aromas: Bread dough, and apples.

Body: A moderately creamy mousse with tiny, delicate, dispersed bubbles that dissipate somewhat quickly. On the palate – creamy, dry, and crisp, with good acidity. 

Taste: Pear, apple, hazelnuts, with a touch of minerals.

Finish: Medium

Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food. We enjoyed this with a variety of sushi. This one would be enjoyable both as an aperitif, and with food.  It would pair well with Mediterranean foods, especially Mediterranean seafood – I’m thinking of a seafood paella  with mussels, octopus, and white fish right now!

This wine is a very good value play. It’s unusual to fine a sparkling wine at this price point aged sur lie for 18 months.  Here, the sur lie aging adds creaminess, and nuttiness, along with a bit of complexity to the wine.  If this one is emblematic of wines from the Languedoc being among the most exciting best-value wine from France, then its reputation is well deserved.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for still wines from the Languedoc! I would buy again.  I recommend – 86pts