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Pierre Moncuit's Grand Cru BdB (from the Incredible '08 Vintage) is Back

Pierre Moncuit bottle on ice

Just as we resigned ourselves to the fact that Champagnes from the stupendous 2008 vintage were totally gone from the market, Mr. Pierre Moncuit (and his importer, Polaner Selections) pulled through and surprised us with a late release.

And Moncuit’s 2008 Champagne isn’t just any Champagne — it’s from the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (this Côte des Blancs hamlet is also home to, among others, Krug, Salon, Pierre Péters and Selosse). In short, it’s one of the world’s best sites for Chardonnay; the holy trio of great terroir, old vines, and judicious work in the cellar ensure a complex, age-worthy sparkling wine with virtually no parallel.

Nicole and Valérie Moncuit, the mother and daughter team running the estate today, know how to preserve their family’s unique legacy. Every wine they make (but one, a rosé) is a single vintage, single village snapshot — they want you to feel the chalk and the ideal vintage conditions when you take a sip. And while we’ve enjoyed many vintages of Moncuit, there’s no arguing that 2008 was the best vintage we’ve seen yet this century.

It has all the racy, laser sharp acidity of the vintage, and the delicate richness we can attribute to élévage — the wine ferments in stainless steel, to preserve fruit purity, and is allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, converting crisp, apple-y malic acid into rounder, softer lactic. There’s no oak aging, but this latest shipment of the wine spent nearly 15 years aging in the bottle, a time during which flavors meld and become something rich, toasty and deeply mineral.

Any sharp edges this wine may have had on release have softened and relaxed, leaving a complex wine with great depth. And while some 2008 vintage Champagnes (ahem, Krug, Cristal) are selling for hundreds of dollars, Moncuit’s can be yours for much less.

Pierre Moncuit, Champagne Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, 2008 $94.99
“Moncuit's Extra Brut …shows a different facet of its personality in this version, with lower dosage vis-à-vis the Brut version. Here the flavors are brighter and more sculpted throughout. Hints of toastiness, almond and tangerine oil add an exotic flair that makes the Extra Brut absolutely beguiling. Lower dosage seems to exalt the minerality and bright acids of the year, while pushing the fruit a bit into the background. Both Brut and Extra Brut bottlings are terrific; choosing among them comes down to personal preference. 94 points” Antonio Galloni, Vinous


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