Haute Vallée, Toques et Clochers, Limoux 2012, Languedoc, France

Country: France

Colour / Style: White

Advent Calendar Day: December 9th

This Chardonnay comes from the Caves du Sieur d’Arques cooperative based in Limoux, just South of Carcassonne, in the Aude region of the Languedoc. The ‘Toques et Clochers’ Chardonnay was first produced in 1989 and takes its name from a dinner held every year. Each year, this charity dinner is cooked by a different celebrity chef (hence the chef’s hat – ‘toque’ in French) whilst the wine is auctioned and the proceeds used to restore the church bells of a different wine village (hence the ‘clochers’ which means church bell in French).

Limoux is a relatively new appellation (created in 2003), for red and white wines from the area around the town of Limoux, in the Pyrenean foothills of southern France. Historically this area has been better known for its sparkling wines, which are produced and sold under the Blanquette de Limouxand Cremant de Limoux appellation titles.

The Chardonnay “Toques et Clochers” is often called a baby Meursault.. And it’s no surprise: It’s a big, round Chardonnay with bright freshness that’s been aged in new oak barrels bearing many of the hallmarks of a lighter white Burgundy. Not really a wine to drink by itself.. this is a big, big wine to be enjoyed with food.

Food matching ideas for Haute Vallée include:

· Smoked Haddock Soufflet
· Butternut squash risotto (risotto alla zucca)
· Roast chicken with honey-sesame carrots