Top 10 Champagne trends for 2012

13th January, 2012 by Rupert Millar

5. Pinot Meunier will receive greater attention

It is the variety that dominates Champagne’s growing area but not its cuvées. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have been granted their chance to shine by themselves but Pinot Meunier is yet to be given the Cinderella treatment.

However, the increase in grower Champagnes and single vineyard wines suggests a degree of experimentation and demonstrates a sense of ownership taking place in the region which could work in Pinot Meunier’s favour.

As Field asserts, the broad consensus is still that “it’s soft and only suitable for non-vintage”.

But could the coming year, or years, be a chance for Pinot Meunier to be given some proper attention? Is it full of untapped potential? “Unless research proves otherwise,” thinks Field, “then no.” On the other hand, as he points out: “Krug, famously, are big fans of Pinot Meunier and though it is unproven so far, it can have attractive fruit and brioche characteristics. Given the number of single cru for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay coming through at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before someone tries it with Pinot Meunier.”

Sure enough, a recent release from Champagne importer French Bubbles was advertising a new Champagne from the grower Lacroix, Cuvée Anthony – a 100% Pinot Meunier wine from the Marne and Aisne valleys.

2 Responses to “Top 10 Champagne trends for 2012”

  1. This is a very exciting time for the Champagne industry!

  2. I’m delighted to see confirmation of the increasing interest in what are called Grower Champagnes but a little surprised that seems the on-trade is lagging behind the off-trade in the take up of these wonderful champagnes. To any on-trade outlets that are looking to differentiate themselves Grower Champagnes offer the lot: diversity of styles, wonderful food matching opportunities, fascinating stories to delight the customer, a chance for the sommelier to show his/her knowledge and last and certainly not least, a good margin. These champagnes don’t have to be sold at a huge discount and the quality of what’s in the bottle will not only please the consumer, but more than justify a price point that yields an attractive profit

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