Gosset has launched its first 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne in the UK, releasing 5,000 bottles, and Decanter expert Michael Edwards was among the first to taste it.

Champagne Gosset presented its first 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne, named Grand Blanc de Meunier Extra Brut, at the Oxford & Cambridge Club in London on 5 September 2018.

At the event, Bertrand Verduzier, Gosset’s director of international business, stood-in for the Champagne house’s esteemed winemaker Odilon de Varine.

He gave an admirable clear and detailed account of why Gosset, the oldest wine house in Champagne, has launched its first cuvée made solely from Pinot Meunier — long regarded as the Cinderella of Champagne.

‘We wanted to show the ageing potential of fine Meunier, which until recently was an underrated grape,’ said Verduzier.


Premium members can see Edwards’ tasting note below


Pinot Meunier has always been part of Champagne’s DNA and currently accounts for 31% of plantings in the region, equalling Chardonnay, according to Comité Champagne. However, it commonly plays a junior role in blends, behind both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

For larger Champagne houses, Meunier acts as a freshener, a palate-filling element in their entry-level blends.


 

 


Bijou houses like Gosset can take a more tightly focused approach in selecting the natural, chalkier ground around Épernay and the Cubry valley for their Meunier plantings, creating better structured and less earthy wines from villages like Mardeuil, Chavot, Pierry or Moussy.

Gosset’s Grand Blanc de Meunier is officially a non-vintage Champagne, although this release is predominantly made from the 2007 harvest.

However it’s more interestingly made than many non-vintage blends, spending nine years on the lees and with an extra brut dosage of 3g/l. The result is a well-aged premium Champagne.


See full results of Decanter’s vintage Champagne panel tasting

Published online exclusively for Premium members in December 2017