Pierre Moncuit, Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit"
Pierre Moncuit, Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit"

Pierre Moncuit, Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit"

Champagne, France 2006 (750mL)
Regular price$145.00

Pierre Moncuit, Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit"

Folks, if you are a fan of the most textural, complex, mineral-drenched Champagnes made, then we have an end of the year offer you simply can’t refuse: We’ve secured exactly 100 bottles of Pierre Moncuit’s super-limited, late-release “Cuvée Nicole Moncuit.” The stats on this wine alone blow almost all competition out of the water (and there’s very, very good competition in this corner of Champagne). Century-old Chardonnay vines, grown on a small patch of “Les Chétillons”—widely regarded as the finest parcel in all of Mesnil-Sur-Oger—in the heart of the holy land of Blanc de Blancs, then aged in bottle for a whopping 15 years prior to disgorgement. I can think of just two wines that are in the same league: Pierre Peters’ bottling of “Les Chétillons” and Champagne Salon. Peters now fetches upwards of a thousand dollars, and Salon is three to four times that, if you can find it! The “Cuvée Nicole” clocks in at less than $150, which is precisely why this discovery really is an offer you cannot refuse.

In the mid-1950s, when Pierre Moncuit took over the family estate, he began bottling the family’s wine rather than selling the fruit to the big houses. That makes them one of the pioneers of the grower-producer movement that’s taken over the region. Pierre’s daughter Nicole has been in charge since 1977, and she’s preparing to hand the reins off to the next generation. Regardless of who’s in charge, the family’s commitment to the village and its Chardonnay runs profoundly deep. They bottle no fewer than four single-village, single-vintage Blanc des Blancs, with no reserve wine ever added. Even their “standard” bottling, technically labeled as non-vintage, is a single vintage wine. These are rarefied terroir-driven Champagnes, profoundly pure looks into a special corner of Champagne at a single point in time, and when the Moncuits declare a vintage on a bottle’s label, you can be confident it’s in celebration of a special year.

The Pierre Moncuit estate is smack-dab in the center of some of the world’s greatest Chardonnay vineyards, in the Grand Cru village Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Mesnil’s limestone soils are famed for the tension and chalky presence they bring to a wine. The Moncuits have called Mesnil home since the late 19th century, and to this day the village’s vines make up three-quarters of their holdings. And their vines are some of the oldest in the area; whereas it’s commonplace for many Champagne growers to replant vines after they reach about 25 years of age and their yield starts dropping, the Moncuits haven’t replanted in over three decades. As a result, the wines have a vinous depth uncommon in even a lot of grower Champagne, the perfect contrast to Mesnil’s signature mineral rigor. And this devotion to older, low-yielding vines reaches its apogée with today’s limited offer of “Cuvée Nicole Moncuit.”

This rarefied cuvée is Nicole’s passion project, and she only produces it when the perfect vintage conditions are met. The family’s 100 year old vines in “Les Chétillons” are a treasure, and she treats them with the utmost respect. Mesnil-Sur-Oger is famous for having soils that are completely dominated by pure limestone chalk, but in “Les Chétillons” there is basically only chalk, with a just tiny skiff of clay on the surface that could blow away in a strong wind. These old vines have spent decades pushing deep into the rock to find water, and that produces a wine of unparalleled mineral complexity and depth. To best capture that white gold terroir, Nicole ages her special cuvée for at least nine years on the fine lees before disgorgement, and today’s bottling spent over 15 years aging. We’re talking about mind bending bubbles now.

I think this rarefied gem is best served in a Burgundy bowl, at about 50 degrees, to show off its full vinous splendor. The shimmering, white-gold hue will show the finest perlage, and the rich, heady texture has a balancing tension that underpins the super fine, ephemeral mousse. Aromas of lemon curd, apple tart, citrus blossom, toasted almonds, fresh hay, acacia, and hints of wild honey and fleur de sal all lead to a luxuriously rich, yet bone-dry palate that possesses a super-long, mineral-drenched finish. Serve with the very freshest seafood and shellfish you can find, and get ready for a truly next level Champagne adventure.

Pierre Moncuit, Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit"

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