100% Pinot Meunier – a rarity in Champagne as this grape is mainly used as a component of blends. The base of this wine (50%) is from the 2007 vintage.
This spent approximately 36 months on the lees. At most domaines, this extended lees aging would only be employed in a prestige cuvee. For Egly, this is a minimum. The dosage is 2-3 g/l which is incredibly low and only possible with perfectly ripe grapes.
The 2ha of Pinot Meunier vines come from Francis's wife, Annick. They were planted in the 1960s and are located in Vrigny, part of the Petite Montagne de Reims (a continuation of the Montagne de Reims). The hillside has east/south exposition.
The Pinot Meunier grape, planted south-westward from Champagne all the way to Orleans (Eastern Loire), tends to be a little herbaceous. The advantage it has for growing in this cooler region is a shorter cycle of maturation due to later flowering (therefore warmer months) and earlier ripening than most grapes. Therefore it tends to be good right away. With Egly’s low yields and late harvesting (picking only ripe grapes), there is no herbaceous-ness in this Pinot Meunier. This is what Pinot Meunier can and should taste like, but rarely does. Hardly anybody picks it ripe, but more and more growers are getting there!