Robert Moncuit "Les Grands Blancs" Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru a Les Mesnil-Sur-Oger NV - Champagne, France
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Les Grands Blancs is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes gathered from select parcels in the family’s Le Mesnil-sur-Oger vineyards. Generally, it is composed of 80% of its base vintage, and 20% from the preceding vintage. Neutral oak and stainless steel are used in ageing, so as to limit any oak character. The result is a delightfully refreshing Champagne. It sings with minerality, and calls for celebration.
The Moncuit family has a long history of farming some of the best vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. They began purchasing land in 1889 and by 1928 were bottling at the domaine.
The current winemaker, Pierre Amillet, is the fourth generation to lead the winery. He took over in 2000. Before Pierre and If you spend any time with him you quickly realize he is obsessed with Chardonnay grown in the chalky terroirs of Le Mesnil.
The estate has 8 hectares planted in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
Fermentation is done entirely in barrel (228 liter and 350 liter) and the wine sits on its lees undisturbed till at least June or July, the goal being the preservation of Mesnil’s ability to yield wines with pronounced minerality and precision. All the wine go through a natural malo, and they don't filter or chapitalize. All the stainless steel you see in the winery is either just for assemblage or where the perpetual reserve is kept.
Previously named Brut Blanc de Blancs NV, the name was changed because the wine is not “Brut.” (All of Pierre’s wines are <6g/l of dosage so they are all Extra Brut.) With having to label it as Extra Brut, they took the opportunity to rename it to reflect that the vineyards are both Grand Cru and in the Cote des Blancs. (Les Grand Blancs) The change started with the 12/2018 disgorgement, ’14 base.
Les Grand Blancs is always a blend of Chardonnay from two villages: Mesnil and Oger. The base vintage is around 80% of the blend with the remainder being reserve wine from the previous vintage. Around eighty percent of the total blend is aged in old casks, with the remainder in stainless steel.
Dosage ranges depending on the disgorgment but is usually around 3 grams per liter