Comte de Laube is made by the Société des Vins Mousseux using the Charmat Method (Méthode Charmat) which was developed by the French scientist Jean Eugene Charmat at the University of Montpellier in 1907. Instead of using individual bottles to produce the secondary fermentation, he invented the glass-lined tank. He also founded two companies, Sorevi in Bordeaux and CFGV (Compagnie Française des Grands Vins) which have gone on to become leading sparkling wine producers. His son continued his work and created the wine Veuve de Vernay, named after the widow (Veuve) from Vernay, who helped his father start up in business.
The grapes that go into Comte de Laube are vinified separately and the still wines then go through a further selection process before being blended to produce the Cuvee. You may recognise Ugni Blanc as Trebbiano which is thought to have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and was grown in Italy in Roman times. Ugni Blanc made its way to France in the 14th century. This grape brings a floral bouquet, as well as the vivacity and balance to the wine. Airen is the dominant grape in the blend and comes from the Société’s vineyards in the Languedoc Roussillon. Airen is Spanish in origin and is used to make Cava. Languedoc Roussillon borders Spain and it’s not surprising that Airen has found a home there. Ancient Roussillon was once part of Spain. Prior to the Treaty of the Pyrénées in 1659, most of the Languedoc Roussillon was part of Catalonia and ruled from Barcelona. Roussillon is still sometimes referred to as Northern Catalonia.
Refreshing in its own right, Comte de Laube is a superb aperitif – great for relaxing with or enjoying with friends. It’s very versatile and will pair with all sorts of foods – from grilled sardines to creamy desserts like crème brulee. It’s particularly good with hot spicy food such as prawn curry or Thai tom yum soup.
Learn more about Vins Mousseux on Nick’s Blog: More Mousseux please – Searching for Sparkling Wines?