Champagne may be made from seven grape varieties. Sometimes the winemaker uses just one, but more often he chooses the mix of chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier. Of these, the latter is the least known. Yet meunier, especially when it dominates, makes for a distinctive style. That is why these sparkling wines are on our tasting table and why the duo Rice & Nadien selected de Visser from Le Club des Vins the fizzle out.
- TEXT MAGDA VAN DER RIJST | IMAGE EDITORS
16x sparkling Meunier
It was about seven or eight years ago when I was offered a glass of champagne as an aperitif at FG restaurant, then in Rotterdam's Lloyd Quarter. The slightly plump champagne suited the chilly January weather perfectly. It was Les Murgiers by Francis Boulard & Fille - available at SMARAGDWIJNEN.NL and elsewhere - which at the time was still 100 per cent meunier. I loved it and in the years since, I have continued to follow meunier-dominated champagnes because they seem to represent a style in their own right. That's why our Champagne issue focuses on this type of bubble.
And yes, concluded guest taster Nadien de Visser and I, champagnes made mainly from meunier are generally fruitier with a pleasant ripe warmth in the aroma and flavour. As a result, compared to, say, a Blanc de Blancs made from chardonnay, these champagnes come across as somewhat softer. But it's still really champagne, so the cool, dynamic acidity is thankfully also plentiful. Furthermore, one can imagine that a champagne made from only meunier is less complex than one made from several varieties.
Curious about more sparkling Meunier? You can read about it in WINELIFE Magazine 74. Order this one here!
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