Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru Brut NV

Grower Champagne... it sounds fancy. It's not. Terry Theise (champagne aficionado) calls it "farmer-fizz". That certainly says less fancy to me. In fact, he goes on to say, "...you should drink 'farmer-fizz' if you'd rather buy Champagne from a farmer than a factory."  And yes, Moet et Chandon is made not by a champagne house but by a luxury goods conglomerate called Moet-Hennesey. It's big business, not great champagne. So what are you paying for? Marketing...PR...ad budgets (hot chicks, white Rolls Royces).

So, lets not forget champagne is wine, not something just for a hot tub or a private jet. Most importantly, it is awesome with food. And so, we jump from our soap box to tell you about a little farm growing just 20 hectares of all chardonnay vines on Grand Cru soil in le Mesnil sur Oger. The wine is produced by the daughter of Pierre Moncuit, Nicole, who lovingly never blends vintages - so while it is NV, it is not from anything but 2007 fruit. That, she says, is how you maintain terroir! 

How's it taste you wonder? Well...with a 91 rating from Wine Advocate, saying it is a "gorgeous wine full of Mesnil character in its grapefruit, flowers, mint and minerals. The wine offers superb length and a long, refreshing close, where crisp apples and lemon zest add complexity to the finish. This is a wonderful, classy effort from Moncuit that is highly representative of Mesnil." Okay, we'll take two.

Moncuit Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru Brut   $47 /bottle

meet the winemaker

Nicole Moncuit
Pierre Moncuit began bottling wines on his own back in the early 1950s, and since 1977, the day to day operations of this fine estate have been under the direction of his daughter, Nicole Moncuit, who oversees the viticulture and vinification of the wines, and her brother, Yves Moncuit, who runs the commercial side of the family business. However, the Moncuit family can trace their origins as grape growers in Mesnil-sur-Oger much further back than the 1950s, as the family has resided in this village and been involved in the viticultural side of the Champagne business since the last decades of the nineteenth century. Champagne Pierre Moncuit is a Blanc de Blancs house par excellence based almost entirely on chardonnay, and the house now produces three distinct Blanc de Blancs cuvées.

Like many of the smaller houses and the Grower-Récoltant producers, the wines of Champagne Pierre Moncuit are produced each year from a single vintage, with no reserve wines blended into the non-vintage bottlings. As Nicole Moncuit likes to point out, this practice allows each wine to more precisely express its particular growing season and makes their evolutions in the cellar more fascinating to follow as the years unfold.