TN Meunier drama

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Rare occasion to taste together two expressions of Meunier modernists. Polar in style and each signed with its vintage character.

Mousse preferes the stainless steel tanks as opposed to Benoit Dehu who has affection towards the oak, which I suspect developed even stronger when he worked in Bollinger.

Also interesting to see how vintages speak and compliment the style.
warm 2015 making bigger body, rich wines and cool 2014 with stricter character.

However, both winemakers mastered the grape variety. Meunier pronounced aromatics full of red berries. Leaner version by Cedric and broad shouldered by Benoit.

2015 Benoit Dehu La Rue des Noyers Brut Nature
Rich, vinous. Dominated by new oak which defines its intense profile.
2015 vintage is powerful. Bitter aftertaste.

Fermented in 228l new oak barrels and kept on its lees for 11 months before bottling for the 2nd fermentation. Not a super long lees aging results in laser focus on a primary fruit aromas and purity. Always brut nature.

Pure Meunier comes from certified organic single vineyard managed with respect to nature and according to the lunar calendar.

93/100


2014 Mousse Terre d’Illite Extra Brut
Slightly reductive in style. Focus here is all on the red berries nicely wrapped in pastry which suggests the prolonged lees aging.
Vintage 2014 is strict and with accentuated acidity.

Assemblage of M/PN - 95/5. It rests impressive 50 months on lees and is dosed with tiny 1.5g/l after the disgorgement.

Blend of 23 plots in Cuisles, coming from the soils with layer of green clay, thus comes its name.

91/100
 
I don't think I've ever had a Champagne that was predominantly Pinot Meunier, certainly not knowingly, so I found this interesting. In fact the only Pinot Meunier wine I've ever tasted was from Best's in Australia and that was a long time ago.
 
Location
London
I don't think I've ever had a pure PM Champagne, but I have some Brochet Hauts Meuniers arriving on Tuesday - and also, at the other end of the spectrum, Lahaye's Jardin de la Grosse Pierre which has Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Fromenteau, Gros Plant, Teinturier + others!
 
I don't think I've ever had a Champagne that was predominantly Pinot Meunier, certainly not knowingly, so I found this interesting. In fact the only Pinot Meunier wine I've ever tasted was from Best's in Australia and that was a long time ago.
I’ve also had that wine. I thought it so good and interesting that I actually posted a note on these very pages.....

I have had several pure PM champagnes.
 
Meunier Champagnes are very easy to find these days. The fashion was certainly accelerated by Jérôme Prévost, whose white Meunier Cuvée was perhaps eclipsed by his amazing pink one.

One French winemaker (I’m not going to give it away) makes a super-rare but totally amazing Meunier in Hampshire (not every year). A real insider wine.

The real nutcases like me are after the still Meunier’s, like that from Keep Wines (Napa) or some of the Germans (where they oddly call it Schwarzriesling). In fact a Franken producer new to me this winter makes one he calls Meunier, using the French name.
 
We occasionally source (sic) Françoise Bedel from CPH.
  • NV Françoise Bedel Champagne Origin' elle - France, Champagne (30/08/2020)
    Deep straw; whole meal biscuits & brioche; full, weighty, crisp acidity; plenty on finish. now & next couple of years. (‘Disgorged in 2017, after 5 years on its lees’. 90% Meunier, 10% PN). (89 pts.)
  • NV Françoise Bedel Champagne Dis, "Vin Secret" Brut - France, Champagne (29/03/2020)
    Disgorged Apr ‘16. Base year 2008.
    Deep straw, steady mousse; mealy, Bramley apple, saline; dry, latent power, vitality, has a flat spot (mealy) then powers through to a broad finish. Drink now & next five years. (90 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
I understand the blends change. The latter was 100% Meunier.
 
Well I’d be surprised if it was past it!

My recollection is of a medium-bodied linear wine with a beautiful core of cranberry fruit and a glorious silky texture.
 
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I don't think I've ever had a pure PM Champagne, but I have some Brochet Hauts Meuniers arriving on Tuesday - and also, at the other end of the spectrum, Lahaye's Jardin de la Grosse Pierre which has Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Fromenteau, Gros Plant, Teinturier + others!

Lahaye's Jardin de la Grosse Pierre is peculiar cuvee, being the field blend of quite a number of different grape varieties most of which you have named already.
I have just found my tasting note for this one.

Benoit-Lahaye Brut Nature Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre 2010
Golden hue. Intense powerful aromas. Brut Nature. Lively, high acidity. Very vibrant. Low on a sulphur. Too sharp. Watermelon finish, but unfortunately quite short.
☝️This cuvee is a field blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Arbanne, Chasselas, Petit Meslier , Gros Plant, Teinturier and other varieties. Some of those are not longer allowed in the appellation. But this rule applies to the new plantings only. But in case of Benoit-Lahaye it’s not the issue as their vineyard was planted as early as in 1923 in Grand Cru village of Bouzy in the Montagne de Reims region. So some of the vines are 90+ years old which is a rarity in Champagne.
91/100

Another peculiar cuvee to further expand the horizons is monocepage Petit Meslier by Duval-Leroy

Duval-Leroy Petit Meslier 1998
It is the only Cuvée in Champagne produced with this extremely rare single variety. 1998 was their 1st vintage. Fruit comes from a vineyard in Venteuil in the Vallée de la Marne. Duval-Leroy produce less than 1K btls of this cuvee.
It showed developed amber color. Attack of ripe, even exotic fruits, floral and fully supported by fruity palate. Oxidative style develops with mature cheese and some mildew. Surprisingly sweet on the palate which is a signature of Petit Meslier. Not sure about the dosage. It is indicated as Brut. Honey and was final. Definitely a discovery of the night. It was very friendly and inviting. Maybe too much for me.
93/100
 
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