n.v. Christophe Mignon, Brut Nature Champagne, France.
One of Champagne’s many new generation of natural/biodynamic winegrowers, Christophe Mignon is one of my favorite grower producers and his latest Brut Nature is a gorgeous sparkler, it comes from a blend of 2013 and 2014 vintages with no dosage. Christophe Mignon is an absolute Pinot Meunier specialist, he comes from a long line of family farmers in the Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier area, just 13 miles west of Epernay, he owns and farms 6.3 hectares of vines that were planted by his great-grandparents and are spread among thirty tiny organic parcels set on deep clay and chalky Tuffeaux soils, between the villages of Le Breuil and Festigny (where his cellar is) in the Vallee de la Marne. These terroir suits the Meunier and allows for complex ripe flavors, which makes it easier for him to use almost non dosage on all of his dry offerings, and these are beautiful and detailed Champagnes with finesse, elegance and yeasty brioche notes that are not severe in style, they are wonderfully pleasing examples and shows Pinot Meunier at it’s finest. Mignon is guided by holistic farming and follows the lunar cycle in working the vines and in the cellar, he ferments in temperature controlled epoxy lined vats, each terroir parcel is vilified separately at each’s sites perfect ripeness in a fermentation that lasts up to 30 days with this Brut Nature being aged 24 months in bottle, raised with lees, and as mentioned with no dosage. This bottling was disgorged on April 18, 2017, 100% Pinot Meunier and is drinking great right now with lovely white flowers, subtle red berry aromas and toasty notes along with layers of lemon, golden figs, hazelnut and white cherry elements all lifted by vital acidity and a luxurious, but vigorous mousse that delivers a divine textural or vinous mouth feel and lingering finish. This is brilliant grower fizz with a perfectly balanced sense of density/body and vibrancy, it finishes with a grip of dry extract making this an enthusiast all Meunier bubbly that is sublime with cuisine, but also opulent and easy to love on it’s own, very impressive again from Christophe Mignon.
($48 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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