NV Christophe Mignon Champagne Rosé, Extra Brut, Champagne, France
ABOUT THIS WINE
100% Meunier. Sourced from a vineyard located in the communes of Festigny and Le Breuil. Blend of parcels planted in 1976. Clay-limestone with traces of chalk. 60 cm of topsoil with layers of tuffe underneath. Hand harvested. 24 months in bottle. 6 g/L dosage.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Meunier specialist Christophe Mignon comes from a long line of farmers in the hamlet of Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier, 13 miles west of Epernay. His 6.3 hectares of vines were planted by his great-grandparents and are spread among thirty parcels between the villages of Le Breuil and Festigny in the Vallée de la Marne. This area south of the Marne River and along the Flagot tributary is known for its high percentage of Pinot Meunier, which is particularly well suited to the deep clay and chalky Tuffeaux soils that dominate the terrain.
Mignon’s unique approach to viticulture, referred to by us as the Mignon Method, combines natural practices including biodynamics, phytotherapy, homeopathy and geobiology. He likens nature to a rubik’s cube, always changing and offering up new challenges. He is constantly in search of the most subtle challenges and limiting factors in his work, and revels in finding inventive solutions. With the mind of an engineer and the heart and soul of a fifth generation farmer, Mignon’s ingenuity has led to creations such as special footing blades for his tractor to achieve the ideal width and depth when working soils in the vine rows, as well as a homeopathy machine that dilutes treatments of copper blended with valerian root and garlic to help regulate whatever Mother Nature throws his way.
Mignon has followed the lunar calendar for 20 years, allowing the moon’s cycles to dictate his work in the vineyards and in the cellar. He strives to follow the rhythm of nature and explains, “the moon for a vigneron is like a metronome for a musician.” In seeking harmony between the root system and everything that happens above ground, Mignon employs one person per hectare in his vineyards. This ambitious and costly ratio (something you might find at such regal estates as Dagueneau or Leroy) helps to obtain very low yields and directly contributes to the high quality of mature fruit at harvest.
In the cellar, everything related to water, oxygen and gas is done in accordance with the lunar calendar. Each of Mignon’s 30 terroirs is vinified and conserved separately in inox and apoxy-lined tanks. Fermentation is temperature controlled and lasts 15-30 days. Mignon prefers his wines on the drier side and picking at optimum ripeness allows for little to no dosage. Additionally, very minimal amounts of sulfur are used.