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PINOT MEUNIER

There is a good chance you haven’t heard of Pinot Meunier (if you have, you have our permission to feel a tad smug), it’s a wily varietal. Like a John Le Carré character; never operating in the open yet secretly pulling all sorts of strings. You are highly unlikely to see Pinot Meunier written on a bottle label, yet it is essential for Champagne production. The highest percentage of vine plantings in the appellation is of Pinot Meunier and it is the only varietal that can happily ripen in all regions of Champagne.

Pinot Meunier, also known as simply Meunier or Schwarzriesling, is a black grape that is one of the three main varietals in Champagne. Champagnes with a substantial proportion of Pinot Meunier tend not to have as much significant aging potential as Champagnes that are composed primarily of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. It is therefore most commonly used for Champagnes that are intended to be consumed young, when the soft fruit of the Pinot Meunier is at its peak. A notable exception is the Champagne house of Krug which makes liberal use of Pinot Meunier in its long-lived prestige cuvees.

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