Grower Champagne Club – December 2015

Moutard Père et Fils, Cuvée 6 Cépages, 2007
Here’s a new vintage of a Champagne we featured in the club several years ago. It comes from the southern Côte des Bar region and is produced by the Moutard family, whose history there dates back to the mid 17th century. They are particularly noteworthy because they continue to grow all six of the authorized Champagne grapes. That is, of course, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, plus three additional grapes that, while still permitted, are rarely grown today: Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, and Arbane (of which there are just a few acres remaining in cultivation). As we noted before, the brief Wikipedia entries for both Arbane and Petit Meslier mention Moutard’s Cuvée Six Cépages as one of the very few Champagnes that continue to grow and vinify these often difficult grape varietals. Intriguing, yes, but once again we did not select this wine for the club simply for its eccentricity. It’s an utterly charming wine and a truly special treat for the holiday season. Moutard is based in the commune of Buxeuil, where the clay and limestone soil imparts rich, fruity aromas and stony minerality to the wines. The estate ferments in used Burgundy barrels adding further complexity to their Champagnes. The wonderfully expressive 2007 vintage has alluring depth and elegance, balanced by a clean freshness and a nutty finish that goes on forever. Like the 2004, it is $75 and was made in very limited quantity (1250 cases). Enjoy it now or over the next few years on its own, or with delicate fish such as sea bream or lobster, or lighter chicken dishes.