Grape: 100% Pinot Meunier
Region: Champagne, France
Ageing Potential: Drink now - 2018
Perfect with: Rock Oysters
Why You’ll Love It?
Of the 3 grapes that produce most Champagne, Pinot Meunier is the humble afterthought (if any thought is given to it at all), overshadowed by the glamorous super stars Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Pinot meunier has often been described as a workhorse grape, useful for contributing fruity aromas and youthful suppleness to a blend, but somewhat rustic and uninteresting on its own, not age-worthy and most definitely not for serious wines. But a handful of grower producers, with the likes of Provost, Laherte Frères and Christophe Mignon are going against stereotypes and proving the potential for this variety to achieve greatness.
Christophe Mignon is unmistakably the king Pinot Meunier of Champagne with 90% of his vineyards planted with this grape. Like many winemaking 'specialist' they do not choose to become specialists of a variety but are simply dictated by what's most suited to the land. Coming from a long heritage of winemakers, his 6.5ha of vines stretching across Le Breuil and Festigny were originally planted by his great grandparents. His viticultural method isn't limited to the compounds of biodynamic or organic certification. He refuses to be restricted by such labels. Instead his practice is a combination of biodynamics, phytotherapy, homeopathy and geobiology. He is constantly inventing new creative ways to improve his farming techniques the natural way, without resorting to harmful synthetics. He has followed the lunar calendar for over 20 years allowing the moon cycles to dictate the activities in his vineyard. The purpose of his alternative methods is to promote deep rooting of the vine in the soil in order to extract that sense of terroir in each grape. He even employs a costly quota of 1 person per hectare to ensure only the best grapes are picked at harvest! He only makes vintage Champagne in exceptional years and 2008 was one of them! Quiet finesse, vibrant acidity and lovely drive and length. For lovers of purity and grace.
Christophe Mignon's NV Brut Rosé Pur Meunier is tremendous. Sweet rose petal, tobacco, dried cherry, star anise and cranberry are beautifully delineated in a vinous, beautifully textured Champagne that hits all the right notes. Intense, but also light on its feet, the Brut Rosé Pur Meunier is a wine readers will want to follow over several hours. The current release is equal parts 2013 and 2012 vintages, bottled with 6 grams of dosage. Disgorged: February 24, 2015. Anthony Galloni 94pts