N.V. Patrick Bottex, Bugey-Cerdon AOC, “La Cueille” Méthode Ancestral
As Tasted At Sepia Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois
“La Cueille” Méthode Ancestral
May 4, 2018
Very gamy-like with plenty of fizz. The flavors seem a bit suppressed. Yes, you can taste some red fruit flavor traditional to the gamay grape, but not a high level of intensity. Also, not an overly complex wine. That said, it was enjoyable as a dessert wine and was more structured than some sparkling wines and rosés I’ve tasted.
“Bugey is one of the best-kept secrets of France. As a geographical crossroads between the Savoie, the Jura, Burgundy, and the Rhône, it is one of the few regions where one can see both palm trees and snow within eyeshot. It is adjacent to the Savoie on its western side, located in between Lyon, Grenoble, and Geneva. The wines of Bugey were first cultivated here by the Romans and were later resuscitated by the medieval monks. Still, the region had to wait until 2009 before receiving its own A.O.C. status. Today, Cerdon is considered one of three crus within the appellation of Bugey, and the only one whose entire production consists of sparkling wine.
In La Cueille, one of seven high-altitude hamlets surrounding the historic medieval town of Ponsin, Patrick and Catherine Bottex are farming the 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. As a former part of the Duchy of Burgundy, it stands to reason that several Burgundian grape varietals have found a home here—not the least of which is Gamay. The Bottex’s blend consists of ninety percent Gamay and ten percent of the native Poulsard. They bottle this low-alcohol wine using the méthode ancestrale, a rare technique that experts believe predates the méthode champenoise. The wine first goes through a primary fermentation in cuve, but is then bottled before all of the residual sugar has converted to alcohol. After going through a secondary fermentation in the bottle for at least two months, the wine is ready—Champagne’s dosage is not permitted! The resulting wine is delightfully refreshing with bright fruit, a beautiful rosé hue, and a touch of sweetness.”
The Wine Web
Note: The goal of Cork and Social’s reviews/ratings is to provide characteristics of the wine and not to sway a wine drinker from trying any wine – even those that carry lower ratings. The ratings presented are those of the wine reviewer, thus it is THE WINE REVIEWER’S RATING – not your rating. You may have a completely different take on the wines that are reviewed.
Cork and Social bases its ratings primarily on 5 characteristics: balance, length, intensity, complexity and expressiveness. Cork and Social is independent in its evaluation of every wine. Ultimately, the Cork and Social wine rating scale is the same scale used by Robert Parker whereby:
80-89 Above Average to Excellent
60-69 Below Average
< 59 Appalling
The recommended drinking window is by no means absolute. It is based on the wine reviewer’s experience aging other, similarly structured wines. Ultimately, it is the wine drinker’s decision when to drink their wine. Some wines age well and others do not. The wine reviewer is merely trying to provide some guidance to the wine drinker.