Badet Clement has been steadily increasing its empire in the Languedoc to complement the wines it supplies from Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, and it believes Limoux could be the star of the region.
In September it purchased the 25ha Domaine de la Métairie d’Alon from Jean-Louis Denois and the first wines are now ready, having been made at the producer's new £5 million winery at Monze Cave.
The Limoux estate is 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir and Badet Clement owner Laurent Delaunay – a fifth generation Burgundy winemaker – believes the wines can rival those of his home region.
He told OLN: “We only grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Burgundy. When we came to the Languedoc we learned to work with many different varieties. With Les Jamelles [one of Badet Clement’s brands] we use 23 or 24 different varieties.
“But our challenge was to make high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Chardonnay is not the most difficult because it is very versatile, and there are many places in the Languedoc where you can produce good Chardonnay.
“Pinot Noir is a different challenge. There are only a few places in the world where you can make high quality Pinot Noir – Burgundy, Champagne, Oregon, Central Otago.
“We are absolutely convinced that Limoux is one of those places. We feel we have a mission to prove it and make it better known.”
After a quest that lasted many years Badet Clement was able to buy Domaine de la Métairie d’Alon, where Delaunay said Denois was making top notch Pinot Noirs for 30 years.
It produces two levels of wine from the vineyard, a Villages tier and a single vineyard range called Solaire, the French word for sunny, both of which have just been released.