2008 Pierre Moncuit Extra Brut Grand Cru, Champagne, France (750ml)

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Winemaker Nicole Moncuit is the daughter of founder, Pierre Moncuit, and she achieves the impeccable house style in part because she ferments only in stainless steel (there are no oak barrels in the winery) and doesn't use any reserve wine in any of her cuvees (meaning only grapes from the current harvest go into each bottling). That is fairly rare in Champagne. But she can also control the style because she manages and knows so intimately their 15 hectares of mostly old vine Grand Gru vineyards on east facing slopes in Le Mesnil Sur Oger. Moncuit's Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Millesimé 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 intoxicating. Lower dosage seems to exalt the minerality and bright acids of the year, while pushing the fruit a bit into the background.

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