Day Two

Charles Mignon, Epernay

The house of Charles Mignon is one of our favorites having visited now for the fifth time. We import 3 cuvees:  Premium Reserve Brut, Blanc de Noirs Brut and Cuvée Comte de Marne Brut Grand Cru.

Charles Mignon, headed by Bruno and Laurence Mignon, comes from a long family line of wine-growers originating from Mesnil-le-Huttier, a hamlet of Festigny.  Vineyards include those in Grand Cru Chouilly.  Vinification is in stainless steel tanks with care to maintain the essence of the terroir.

We were pleased to tour, taste and “blend” with Guillaume Mignon.

“Blending” is a critical step in the champagne process as most champagnes are made from blended wines. Usually in February / March, “vin clairs,” the still wines which have undergone their first fermentation transforming the grape juice into wine are blended or assembled (“Assemblage”). These vin clairs, typically from individual vineyards are separately stored and vinified in vessels (tanks or barrels of varying sizes). These wines are periodically tasted from these vessels in preparation for the blending process.

We visited the tank room with Guillaume and tasted wines from several tanks, selected 6 and filled bottles. We then tasted ( Degustation de Vins Clairs ) and critically assessed the wines noting: grape variety / vineyard, appearance, nose and mouth / palate. We discussed our findings and then proposed combinations and ratios of  various  wines to create blended wines. We “blended” and tasted our new cuvees! Some were better than others but importantly, Guillaume reminded us that the Chef de Cave or cellarmaster who guides this process would have the experience to know how these new cuvees will develop in the champagne process towards the final taste.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Colors
  • Premium Reserve Brut Premier Cru
  • Cuvée Comte de Marne Millésimé 2012

Visit What’s Open to learn more about these cuvées.

Continue the tour with Day Three!