Wine - Sparkling - Bottex
In La Cueille, one of seven high-altitude hamlets surrounding the historic medieval town of Poncin, Patrick and Catherine Bottex—recently joined by their son, Carl—farm the rocky limestone slopes above the Ain River. They have been working five hectares of land since 1991 and produce only a small quantity of their beautiful, intriguing sparkling wine. While a number of grape varieties are permitted in the Bugey, including Altesse, Chardonnay, and Mondeuse, the wines of Cerdon are dominated by Gamay. Chez Bottex, ten percent Poulsard, imported from the Jura just to the north, fills out the blend as a secondary cépage.
They craft this irresistible low-alcohol rosé using the méthode ancestrale, a rare technique that predates the méthode champenoise. In the cellar, the grapes are pressed directly after harvest, and the must begins a natural fermentation in cuve. When roughly 60 grams of sugar remain, the tanks are cooled down to halt fermentation, and the wine is bottled under crown cap. A secondary fermentation begins spontaneously as the bottles are laid to rest for the winter, until the rising pressure causes fermentation to stop once again, having consumed roughly 20 additional grams of sugar. The bottles are then disgorged and filtered to avoid unwanted refermentations, and bottled under cork. The resulting wine is delightfully refreshing with bright fruit, crisp acidity, a beautiful deep pink hue, and a tantalizing touch of sweetness.