NV Maison Vergnes, Blanquette de Limoux Brut "Le Berceau"
Made along nearly the same latitude as Veneto, Italy, this sparkling wine from Languedoc, France resembles great prosecco. On first taste, it was bright and edgy enough to remind me of NV blanc de blancs champagne. This comes as close to Champagne as any region does for crisp, character-rich sparkling wine. The aroma is yeasty, acidic, lemony, and complex with the slightest hint of fennel seed. Blanc de blancs. The flavors are lean like green apples and unsweetened 7-Up; the structure, similarly dry and sharp, brings an overwhelmingly edgy finish. That said, I've paid more than twice as much for young wines from Champagne that were nearly identical to this blanquette.