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New Prima Perla sparkling wine from Paul Mas

This year will see the release of a new addition to Domaines Paul Mas' collection of Prima Perla sparkling wines. Produced at the Domaines' prized Martinolles property in Saint Hilaire, the Grande Réserve Crémant de Limoux 2012 is a fitting testament to the unique terroir of the region; in the hills around the town of Limoux, cool hillside vineyards are gaining a formidable reputation as one of the best sparkling wine regions outside of Champagne.

According to owner Jean-Claude Mas: "We are very excited about extending our portfolio of high-quality, yet very affordable sparkling wines in the UK market. I have long believed that the market ‘sweet spot’ of a retail price of £15-18 for a premium sparkling wine is yet to be properly satisfied. The aim is to show British consumers that great bubbly does not begin and end with Champagne or Prosecco; I am convinced that the Languedoc is capable of producing sparkling wines that rival the best in the world, stylistically or from a value for money stand-point."

The latest vintage bubbly from Domaines Paul Mas is the producer’s most ambitious to date. A complex, lively and elegant sparkling wine, the 2012 Grande Reserve is a blend of the local Mauzac, Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc, selected from the finest vineyards in the Chateau Martinolles estate. Created using the legendary méthode traditionnelle of the Champenois, the base wines are partly fermented in French oak before being aged in bottle for 24 months. "We believe that all premium sparkling wines should be subject to at least two years lees contact," says Jean-Claude Mas.

Describing the 2012 vintage as "Possessing the delicious fruit of a new world sparkling, interposed with the finesse of a Grand Cru," Domaines Paul Mas is targeting the brand at today's younger, professional consumers who enjoy drinking bubbly with friends. "We wanted to offer the finesse of a Grand Cru but with a richer, softer texture and mouth feel." The lower-yielding 2012 vintage gave wines of real concentration and freshness: just 20,000 bottles of the 2012 vintage were produced, with a suggested retail price of under £20.

The Grande Réserve Crémant de Limoux joins an existing range of traditional method wines, underpinning the Jean-Claude Mas' Luxe Rural concept. Rural luxury is behind all the Domaines Paul Mas brands, driven by the philosophy that fine wine does not need to be expensive, and should be affordable for everybody. A recent addition to the Domaines' portfolio, Domaine Martinolles was acquired in 2011. It appropriately resides in the birthplace of sparkling wine production, the method of which was discovered in St-Hilaire in 1531. What better tribute to this tradition than the Grande Réserve? - A wine made to honour Limoux's heritage as both the birthplace and the centre of exceptional sparkling wines!

13 April 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor