From: Limoux, Langedouc, France
Taste: A hazy straw color in the glass. On the palate, "Carnaval" dances with vibrant
notes of orchard fruits, gracefully intertwining with subtle yeast undertones. Its finish is
a masterpiece of crispness, driven by a distinct minerality that is both refreshing and
invigorating. The finish is of spiced grapefruit rind and lightly yeasted toast notes.
Pairing: Pet-Nat wines have a generous give when it comes to pairing. Try these with
appetizers like fried clams or cheese croquettes. Its light and fruity essence pairs
splendidly with delicate seafood like oysters or grilled white fish, enhancing the meal's
natural flavors. For those preferring vegetarian options, a crisp, green salad adorned
with fresh fruits or a soft, creamy goat cheese would beautifully complement the wine's
effervescence and fruit notes.
By Molly O'Neill
About. The history and operations of the Antech family winery, spanning six generations, present a rich tapestry of dedication, innovation, and evolution in the realm of winemaking. The journey began in the late 19th century with Zélie and Jules, marking the onset of a deep-rooted passion for wine in the family.
In the early 20th century, Eugénie, a dynamic and courageous figure, played a pivotal
role in guiding the winery through challenging times, including wars, and securing its
future. The 1930s saw the union of Edmond and Marguerite, linking two winemaking
families and further strengthening the Antech legacy.
The 1960s were significant, with Georges and Roger, the sons of Edmond and
Marguerite, taking charge of the estate. They made a crucial decision in the 1970s to
focus exclusively on sparkling wines, a move that shaped the winery's future direction.
Françoise Antech, representing the sixth generation, joined the winery in 1996. Her
arrival heralded a new era, marked by her bold and fiery approach, elevating Antech to
new heights in sparkling wine production. As the current leader, Françoise embodies the strong character of her predecessors, being a guardian of heritage while actively
engaging in social and cultural initiatives in her region.
The winery's success is also rooted in its deep understanding and utilization of the
terroir. The unique character of their sparkling wines comes from the wise blend of
three distinct terroirs in Limoux: the freshness of the Pyrenees, the vinousness from the
ocean influence, and the roundness from the Mediterranean climate. At 400 meters
above sea level, on the south-facing rocky slopes, four grapes are grown: Mauzac,
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Noir, from which cremants and blanquettes are
made using the traditional method. All grapes come from the winery's estates and are
exclusively hand-picked. The grapes are immediately pressed using a pneumatic
press. The first fermentation takes place in thermoregulated steel tanks.
In their vineyard, innovative experiments are conducted to enhance the finesse and
elegance of their wines. These experiments occur in the highest parts of their
appellation, using old vine stocks on stony, south-facing hillsides.
Sustainable development is a core principle at Antech. The winery is dedicated to
integrated winemaking, adopting the Terra Vitis approach, demonstrating their
commitment to producing high-quality, authentic wines in harmony with the
environment. Their sustainable practices extend beyond viticulture, encompassing
waste recycling, energy conservation, and sourcing from environmentally responsible
Antech's technical prowess is evident in their production methods and the historical
significance of Limoux as the birthplace of sparkling wine. The family has expanded
their estate, integrating their own estate grapes and those from select high-altitude
vineyards to add freshness to their wines. Their Cremant and Blanquette bottlings
undergo extended aging, contributing to their distinct quality.
The strong presence of women in the winery's leadership across three generations,
particularly the influential role of Francoise Antech, highlights the winery's progressive
approach and its significant place in the French winemaking landscape.
Mauzac is a unique grape variety indigenous to the Limoux region, renowned for its
resilience and optimal adaptation to local climate conditions. The expert winemaker
Francoise crafted an excellent sparkling wine from this indiginous grape, Blanquette de
Limoux M le Mauzac 3.0. The "3.0" signifies a no-sugar-added approach throughout
three crucial stages of winemaking: fermentation, tirage (the onset of secondary, or
bottle fermentation), and dosage (the conclusion of bottle fermentation). This method
allows the wine to mature on lees for 36 months, enhancing its strength, structure, and
versatility while gaining elegance.
Antech's "Carnaval" Pet-Nat emerges as an exquisite addition to the sparkling wine
realm, crafted meticulously by a cherished producer. Originating from ancient 50-year-
old Mauzac vines nestled in select limestone soils, this Petillant Naturel wine exudes a
harmonious blend of tradition and modern winemaking. The fermentation,
commencing in tanks and culminating in the bottle with 21 grams of residual sugar,
bestows upon it a beautifully dry character, free from any dosage or disgorgement.
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