93 Points Wine Enthusiast
Lelarge-Pugeot NV Les Meuniers de Clémence Vrigny Premier Cru Extra Brut Sparkling (Champagne)
This beautifully balanced wine has dryness compensated by the intense fruitiness, the crisp mineral texture and a creamy mousse character. It is ripe, full of both apple fruits and lime juice with a tight aftertaste that will soften in the next months.— R.V. (12/1/2014)
Clemence is 100% Pinot Meunier. That is both unusual and magnificent! Eric Asimov said this in a NYT piece titled "Elevating Champagne's Unacknowledged Grape"...
Pinot meunier has often been described as a workhorse grape, useful for contributing fruity aromas and youthful suppleness to a blend, but somewhat rustic and uninteresting on its own, not age-worthy and most definitely not for serious wines.
Yet while the grape hierarchy is unlikely to change any time soon, a handful of small grower-producers in Champagne are demonstrating the very real potential of pinot meunier to produce wines that are not merely palatable but superb: distinctive, joyful and intriguing.
From Lelarge-Pugeot Website:
Blend: 100% Pinot Meunier from the harvest 2010 only. 2010 was the first organically certified harvest. This blend emanates from the selections of these blocks: Les Pierres, Les Fourgons, Le Jour, Sous la ville.
Flavor: First aroma; brioche, then it opens up on yellow fruits and plums with very subtle hints of orange peel. In the palate, crispy yellow fruits. Liveliness and mineral finish.
Aging:Aged for three years in the cellars.
We loved this wine. And we had the great pleasure of meeting the winemaker and namesake, Clemence. The wine is blended pursuant to "family secrets" and represents the "essence of natural winemaking." With all the tradition, style and "methode" of Champagne, this blend of 100% Pinot Meuniers is a world apart.
This is a REAL family business. Meet Dixie! Clemence says it
would be hard to imagine working the harvest without Dixie!