Hello to you! I am hoping that your January is moving along nicely. I am successfully sticking to my guns and not drinking until after I complete my Master Level Champagne exam February 8th – two weeks away!
In keeping with the sparkling wine category, my post today features an intriguing champagne I tried at the annual IVSA tasting I attended on January 23rd.
Michel Loriot is a ‘Récoltant-manipulant’ which means he is a grape grower who makes his own champagne from the grapes of the family owned 7-acre vineyard located in Vallée de la Marne terroir – due west of Epernay. Loriot is an innovator with a slightly different philosophy on grape growing and ageing wine than most producers. For example, Loriot believes deeply in music and feels that his vines and wines respond to musical vibrations from composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi. He plays music for the vines in the vineyard as well he has music playing in the cellar while the champagne is fermenting.
A bit of grape backstory – champagne is usually a blended wine made up of three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the star grapes of the region but Pinot Meunier shines in its’ own right. It brings fruitiness to a champagne blend and a moderate amount of acid.
All this being said, it is not common to see a 100% Pinot Meunier champagne let alone taste one. I am delighted I tried Michel Loriot’s Blanc de Noirs Authentic Meunier. In the glass, the bubbles were small and elegant and delivered a nice mousse at the top. I loved the fruity flavour that flirted with an undercurrent of pumpernickel bread and almond skin – such a cool flavour. As it is classified as a ‘Brut’, this means that the champagne can contain up to 12 grams/litre of sugar. Loriot’s Meunier has 10 g/l of residual sugar and it benefits from being a bit more on the dry side – this is one excellent biodynamic wine!
Happily, this bottle of champagne is available at select B.C.L.D.B. stores and retails for $55.99 + tax. I enjoyed this wine and would pair it with a charcuterie board filled with meats and a selection of blue cheese.