2011DehuMeunier2011 Benoit Dehu, Coteaux Champenois Rouge “La Rue des Noyers” Pinot Meunier, Champagne Still Red Wine, France.
This old Champagne house has been around since before the French Revolution, it started in 1787, and is now a leader in Pinot Meunier cult bubbly and still wine. Benoit, who is now the winemaker here, crafts about 300 cases of Champagne each vintage from his tiny single vineyard of 100% Pinot Meunier and does two still wines, a white and a red Pinot Meunier, the white is striking and totally unique, I’ve never had in my memory a blanc (white) Pinot Meunier, and it is lovely, as is Benoit’s fine organic Champagne, it is gorgeous, world class and vivid stuff, but I was totally geeked out by his 50 cases production, 2 barrel lot of Rouge. There are many Pinot Meunier reds out there, from California to Germany, some very good ones too, but I think this old vine Massale selection Pinot Meunier by Benoit Dehu is the most interesting version I’ve ever tasted, it is a fascinating wine of purity and terroir, an almost naked/transparent varietal wine of distinct character, this wine speaks of passion and place, graceful, lively and radiant. Dehu is in Fossoy, near the Valle de la Marne area and set on chalky soils, everything here is about openness and site expression, and the 2011 Dehu La Rue des Noyers Rouge shows it off to perfection, the nose is delicately perfumed with floral notes, loamy earth, spiced plum and red summer fruits leading to a medium weight palate of raspberry, cherry and cranberry fruits, candied and savory layers playing an aria in the mouth, there is added hints of mineral, game, truffle, mint, sweet and sour, anise and sappy red currant as well. This is a super rare, niche wine, with opulence and grace, not easily found or understood, but very intriguing and worth of that noble search, though you will be able to find the Champagne Benoit Dehu more readily and it is truly awesome bubbly and worth every penny, be sure to keep an eye out for these cool and fantastic wines, all single vintage, vineyard and varietal Pinot Meunier.
($53 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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