cheeky labels

arrogant frogOld world wine with a new world attitude, Arrogant Frog has to be the cheekiest label around. Grown in the gravely, clay limestone hills of the Herault Valley in Languedoc, these eminently drinkable wines have a personality that tastes of their distinctive terroir. Good marketing only goes so far towards establishing a brand, but these are good value everyday wines that will have you coming back to the barrel in spite of the clever labeling.

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mauzac de limoux

IMG_2321Following a little dirt road along the Martinollet River as it winds its way through vineyards, olive trees, and garrigue in the shade of the Pyrenees, it eventually ends at the modest estate of Chateau Martinolles, part of Domaines Paul Mas. This part of Languedoc is rich in heritage. In Medieval times Cathars settled in the area to escape – ever so briefly – persecution by the Catholic Church. Nearby is the Abbey St. Hilaire, where in 1531 the method for creating sparkling wine was discovered and Prima Perla, the first bubble, was born. The rugged climate and topography together create a superb terroir for chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, but it’s Mauzac that stands out. A local varietal, it’s the key to Blanquette de Limoux and Cremant de Limoux, two effervescent AOC sparkling wines redolent with apples and freshly cut grass.

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