André Heucq "Héritage Blanc de Meunier" Extra Brut Champagne, MV
Pinot Meunier｜Cuisles, Champagne
Our clients rely on us as a steadfast purveyor of small, relatively-unheard-of “grower” Champagnes. André Heucq is just such a producer – his wines are biodynamic, all-natural, and amazing creations. This “Blanc de Meunier” needs to be in your cellar ASAP!
Of the three main grapes of Champagne, Pinot Meunier tends to be less seen than its cousins Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and typically considered a “blending” grape. Here, however, it takes center stage with Heucq’s 100% Pinot Meunier “Héritage" Blanc de Meunier bottling.
The nose is fresh and dynamic, with brisk, palate-tingling mousse. The palate comes on with yellow-fleshed apples, fresh ginger, Asian pear, and perfumed white flowers, while the red-skinned Pinot Meunier imparts a lovely yellow raspberry note. And what a spicy finish! The extra brut crackling dry, white-pepper, spicy ginger flavors come across bright and precise, lingering long afterwards.
Heucq’s goal is minimal intervention, and to allow one soil type and one grape to show. Here in the village of Cuisles (population 150) there’s a vein of green clay in the soils called “illite,” which is perfectly suited to Pinot Meunier. (Illite is also widely used in natural face creams and beauty products for its detoxifying properties and ability to remove impurities!) “Terroir” gets thrown around a lot these days, but this wine is a definitive reflection of where it's grown.
The farming is all biodynamic, a downright heroic effort in the unforgiving climate of Champagne. In this cold and rainy portion of northern France the weather doesn’t necessarily cooperate. Mold and disease pressures are high, which is why most growers don’t even attempt biodynamics – the attention to detail and need to constantly be in the vineyard is just too burdensome for most large-scale producers. From natural composts, herbal teas, and horse-plowed vineyards, André Heucq and his family do everything themselves, right down to bottling, labeling, and disgorging using old-school tools, entirely by hand.
Trust us when we say you’ll instantly fall in love. This is one of the finest Champagnes we’ve come across. Entirely unique, utterly delicious, 100% organic and natural. Cheers!