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Mignon's ADN de Meunier: Get to Know Champagne's Hottest Variety

Stylized image of Mignon ADN de Meunier

Pinot Meunier is the Champagne grape equivalent of Superman. By day, it’s Clark Kent: a humble blending grape, used to add fruit or savory nuttiness. Its more famous cousins, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, tend to hog the spotlight. It won’t be found growing in Champagne’s most famous villages.

But by night, it’s the medium through which some of Champagne’s most exciting growers are transmitting talent and terroir. Take off those nerdy glasses, add a bit of spandex, and you’ve got a wide selection of dynamic, exciting wines from winemakers like Jérôme Prévost, Raphaël and Vincent Bérêche, Alexandre Chartogne and Benoît Déhu. They’re championing Meunier (and those lesser-known terroirs where it grows) by crafting expressive, mineral-driven, thought-provoking wines.

The growers listed above are beloved by the wine cognoscenti, and for good reason. What has us scratching our heads, though, is why Christophe Mignon’s wines haven’t caught fire. We’ve reliably stocked them from Flatiron Wines’ genesis, and they’re some of our favorite bottles to pop at the end of a shift or when a celebratory toast is called for. He’s a true Meunier specialist, and has spent the past several decades elevating what was once a humble blending grape to superstar status.

‘ADN’ is French for DNA, and Mignon’s ADN de Meunier couldn’t be better titled. He comes from a long line of vignerons in the village of Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier, in the Vallée de la Marne, but what sets him apart from his forebears is his fastidious approach to organic, biodynamic (and sometimes beyond) farming. Soil health and vibrancy is of the utmost importance. He carefully vinifies each of his tiny plots (30 spread over 6.3 hectares!) separately, in either stainless steel or epoxy-lined vats (no wood is used, as it may interfere with the purity of his fruit and terroir). It’s bottled as a Brut Nature, without any dosage.

Many of our long-term readers will be familiar with Mignon, but for the uninitiated, or the Meunier-curious among us, there’s no better foray into this dynamic grape than ‘ADN de Meunier’. Get straight to the heart — the very DNA — of one of Champagne’s most exciting movement, and grab a bottle or two.

Christophe Mignon, Champagne Blanc de Noirs ADN De Meunier Brut Nature, NV [2019/2020] $72.99


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