The first decades of this century have really seen Pinot Meunier (also know more simply as Meunier), Champagne's long maligned grape, emerge from the shadows. This new found respect was brought about by the excellence achieved in Meunier-based bottlings like Chartogne-Taillet's "Les Barres", Egly-Ouriet's "Les Vignes de Vrigny" and perhaps most importantly by Mousse Fils Special Club. It was that wine's 2005 bottling that rocked the Champagne world by being the very first 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne to earn acceptance by the prestigious Club de Viticulteurs Champenois (a.k.a. Club Tresor and Special Club). In 1971, a group of the best small growers in Champagne banded together to create their own version of a prestige cuvee. While they didn't have the big houses' blending possibilities, they did have something else: perfectly tended vines in some of Champagne's finest individual terroirs. To make the most of this, they formed an exclusive association resolved to making the highest quality possible from their own vines and then releasing it in specially designed and labeled bottles, vintage-dated only. The standards that the group adopted are so demanding that there are currently only about two dozen members out of the approximately 5000 growers in Champagne.
Since his break through with the 2005 Special Club, Cedric Mousse has gone from strength to strength, and it is fair to say that no one has done more to put Meunier on the Champagne map than Monsieur Mousse. Cedric's estate is situated just an hour east of Paris in Champagne's Vallee de la Marne on the outskirts of the pastoral hamlet of Cuisles. In Cuisles Meunier is King, and local wine brokers refer to it as a "Grand Cru of Meunier". The vineyards here are exceptionally steep and are surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Champagne. The village is positioned between Chatillon-sur-Marne and Jonquery, where there is a vein of soil called Illite, a very special green clay that's quite rare in the Marne. The illite helps with water management, collecting moisture to prevent vines from becoming overly stressed in drought periods. Mousse Fils crafts an extensive line of worthy Champagnes but we have selected these two high-scorers as a fitting introduction to the Meunier Mastery of Cedric Mousse.
WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "A blend of 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir drawn from a solera established in 2003, the latest rendition of Moussé's NV Brut Blanc de Noirs L'Or d'Eugène was disgorged in June 2019 with four grams per liter dosage. Wafting from the glass with a deep and complex bouquet of golden orchard fruit, honeycomb, mirabelle plum, candied peel and fresh pastry, it's medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, with a rich and sapid core of fruit, lively acids and a delicate pinpoint mousse."
Disgorged 11/18/2019 with a dosage of 4 grams per liter.
IMPORTER'S NOTES - "I’m sure we’ll start referring to this as “Lord Eugene” at some point, we’re such wags. It replaces/updates the old NV (which was called “Noire Reserve); based on 2013 with a perpetual reserve going back to 2003, deg 12/2105, it’s 80% Meunier and 20% PN. The aroma is refined, friendly but not ingratiating; on the palate it’s a superb Blanc de Noirs, diligent, structured, fruity but not gushing, disciplined but not severe. I think and have always thought it’s the ideal for Meunier NV; thoroughly delicious but not an avalanche of chocolate and pumpernickel." —Terry Theise