Grower Champagne Club – December 2018

Champagne Duménil, Amour de Cuvée, $71.50
Champagne Duménil was founded in 1874 by Emile-Paul Duménil who, in addition to tending his vineyards, owned a small grocery and café in the village of Chigny-Les-Roses in the Montagne de Reims. Today his great granddaughter, Frédérique and her husband Hugues, who also comes from a long line of vignerons (in the Premier Cru village of Sacy), head the estate. As they describe it, she “provides the creative inspiration behind the blending,” while he “brings out the best of each plot of vines so that each reveals its own individual character.”

All of their wines are Premier Cru, from their vineyards in Chigny-les-Roses, Rilly-la-Montagne, and Ludes. In order to preserve the character of the soil in each site, they farm by hand as much as possible, even using horses in their oldest vineyards. Their Amour de Cuvée is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from all three vineyards. It is aged five years on the lees, then cellared another six months after disgorgement. It is a beautiful combination of the inviting aromas of Pinot Meunier and the elegance of the Pinot Noir, with fine delicate bubbles and rich texture. Aromas of dried fruit and almonds are followed by flavors of fresh fruit and delicate biscuity notes. As for food pairings, the winery says: “the toasty notes go marvellously with foie gras, whilst the body and substance make it a worthy partner for game, either casseroled or in a pâté.”