How do you get the flagship vintage sparkling wine from a top french estate for less than $20 in December? Buy it in October. By mistake.
For 2 years now, we’ve been on the trail of the champagne-method sparkling wines from J. Laurens, a domaine named by the Financial Times of London as one of Limoux’s top 3 sparkling wine producers. In the US, Laurens offers two sparkling wines. An affordable non-vintage ‘Cremant de Limoux’ brut and a vintage ‘tete de cuvee’, Les Graimenous 2008 from Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc grapes with a touch of Mauzac and Pinot Noir. The estate’s showcase wine, Les Graimenous received the top rating of three stars and a ‘coup de coeur’ (meaning the tasters fell in love at first sip) from the french Hachette guide in 2011.
In October we thought we’d be pleased to have the non-vintage brut on our shelves under $20 so we made a reasonable offer, which much to our delight was accepted by the importer.
When the wine arrived, we opened it for the staff and immediately wished we had bought twice as much. The verdict was unanimous: notes of toast, apricot and green apple in a full mousse made for a “yummy” wine. And no one could believe the price. Turning the bottle around, we realized with a sinking feeling why the wine far exceeded our expectations. Instead of the entry-level nonvintage, we had been sent the 2008. Still gripping our champagne glass, we picked up the phone to confess the mistake and disgorge our ill-gotten gains. Good news, the importer said. We thought you were buying the top cuvee, not the nonvintage – so we’ll honor the price and you can keep the wine. In that same spirit of generosity, we’re putting the 2008 on the shelf at the same price the non-vintage was going to be.
We don’t expect to be able to recreate this happy accident (we already asked and got a ‘let’s talk in the New Year’) so get the 2008 Les Graimenous Cremant de Limoux from Domaine J. Laurens $17.50 ($14.88 a bottle for 12 bottles or more) while you can. The price is 20% off the normal price and lower than you can find the brut non-vintage wine in New York. To order, call us at (718) 797-9463 or order online.