n.v. Moussé Fils “L’Or d’Eugene Perpétuelle” Blanc de Noirs, Brut Champagne, France.
Happy New Year! The best way to finish off such a difficult and dark year is to celebrate life and small mercies, which I did with this gorgeous grower fizz by the sublimely talented Cedric Mousse, who’s Champagnes are under the radar masterpieces with incredible depth and terroir intensity, like his multi vintage L’Or d’Eugene Perpétuelle Blanc de Noirs. This deep Champagne Mousse Fils L’Or d’Eugene Perpétuelle Brut Blanc de Noirs, which was disgorged with low sugar (4 Grams per Liter) on 11/18/2019 and was crafted from a perpetual selection of reserve wine that started with 2003 that gives this bottling its fabulous range of flavors and complexity, it has a cepage of 80% Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir that gives a rich and structured palate. This L’Or d’Eugene Perpétuelle handed the evening with a flourish, going wonderful with everything I was doing, drinking great as a aperitif by the warm fire and still being a graceful partner with spicy curried shrimp over fettuccini pasta. This bubbly performed with serious quality and character with a rewarding layers of lemony citrus, apple and nectarine fruits along with hazelnut, clove, wet stones, leesy/yeasty brioche and an underlying mineral current in a dry and vivid Meunier driven medium bodied palate. With air and food the delicate aromatic detail comes alive, the refined mousse adding a sense of luxurious class with a compelling white flower element and the mouth feel takes this Champagne to the next level. The maturity that the reserve component brings adds to the thrill of this seductive and rewarding Blanc de Noirs that showcases Mousse’s skills in blending his cuvees, which all have their own personalities and are vibrantly soulful in the glass, these are some of the best Champagnes for the money you can find.
I’ve been following the Mousse Fils Champagnes for a few years now after being turned on them by importer Terry Theise and his team at one of his fabled grower producer trade tastings and these hand crafted efforts really impressed me, especially the Meunier based versions, like this one, and Cedric’s awesome Special Club Brut and 100% Meunier Brut Rosé (the first all Meunier Rosé being accepted in a Special Club bottling) along with the vintage dated Terre d’Illite Brut, which also an exceptional value. Mousse, who’s family goes back in 1750 in the region, was established as a Champagne house in 1923, which uses all organic grapes, is based in the Vallée de la Marne area with its unique soils that include a mineral rich schist subsoil under the classic clay. Mousse relies on Meunier, a grape that is now very much in fashion, even though Meunier (or Pinot Meunier if you like) has struggled until recently to be taken seriously in Champagne, but, as the winery notes, at Moussé the Pinot Meunier is celebrated. Cedric has 80% of his vines planted to Meunier with 16% Pinot Noir and just 4% of Chardonnay all of which are carefully farmed by hand using holistic viticulture methods that leads to a more expressive finished product here. Cedric, who’s modern cellars are powered by mainly solar panels, is trying to minimize the estate’s carbon footprint and make the production as environment friendly as possible and his wines are almost all exclusively stainless steel fermented and aged with extended lees contact for two years and see full malolactic conversion for opulence, while still being lively and laser focused. This limited offering, that saw 50% of latest vintage blended with 50% of the reserve selection with the original base, as noted, from 2003 to 2017 and is sourced from distinct parcels in Cuisles, Jonquery, Olizy and Châtillon-sur-Marne where Meunier really thrives.
($45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive