Pinot Meunier a grape varietal widely planted and used in Champagne and other Sparkling wines, however its not a grape that one often sees, as a name’s sake, on a label. Of recent, French producers in Champagne generally didn’t really acknowledge Pinot Meunier, preferring to accentuate the use of the other noble varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This workhorse grape, of the grape world deserves to shine and be more prominent. It’s a grape that can be grown where no others will grow and is known for its hardiness, it ripens sooner than Chardonnay or Pinot Noir making it an insurance policy grape in those seasons of hard vintages. Yet this workhorse doesn’t receive the accolades it should!
Showing some love...
However, the New World, has seen its worth for decades now. In California, since the 1980’s producers wanting to emulate the Champagne method have planted and used Pinot Meunier in their sparkling wines. In Australia, Pinot Meunier, has had a long history of being used in still and sparkling wines. The grape has been so long standing, that at one time it was even know as ‘Miller's Burgundy’ in the Grampians region of Victoria. Of recent, the wine industry in New Zealand have been heroing this grape in both still and sparkling wines. One such producer heroing this grape is non-other than our producer Middle Earth, who producer a refreshingly fruit forward, petal pink rosé Pinot Meunier.
The grapes name
Known globally by many names such as Blanc Meunier, Pinot negro, Dusty Miller, Muller-Traube, Riesling noir, Wrotham Pinot …and many many others! Pinot Meunier’s name can be derived from its close relation to Pinot Noir, being it’s a mutation from cloning. And the Meunier from the distinct characteristic white power (that resembles flour) that appears on the underside of the vine leaves. Its this flour-like dusty white down that invoked the name, ‘Meunier’ in French or ‘Müller’ in German, both of which mean ‘miller’.
So lets raise a glass to this little workhorse, it is found in so many Champagnes and other sparkling’s you can’t miss it. Some of our other producers heroing this grape includes Court Garden, we recommend trying their 2018 Rosé Brut, a lovely accompanist with canapés for those Christmas parties. Or how about toasting in the new year with a glass of bubbly from Champagne Corbon. Any which way, you choose to enjoy this grape, its sure to be a celebration.
Seasons Greetings. Cheers!