Champagne Pierre Moncuit

Moncuit Vielles Vignes

who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Champagne Pierre Moncuit? who makes the wines?

Nicole Moncuit oversees all work in the family’s Grand Cru parcels on the slopes of Mesnil and everything that happens in the winery.  She is a focused, precise woman whose vision of Champagne is one of purity and cleanliness.  Pickers are required to fully wash their bins between each load so as to limit any contamination and prevent the start of fermentation before the grapes arrive at the winery.  This one small detail is indicative of her approach throughout – there is a right way and a wrong way to work with Grand Cru fruit, and she gets it right year in and year out.
Champagne Pierre Moncuit Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs

Yves and Nicole Moncuit and Champagne Pierre Moncuit

what wines do they make at Champagne Pierre Moncuit?

Moncuit’s lineup starts with their exceptional Grand Cru NV Blanc de Blancs and climbs literally and figuratively to the top of Mesnil, with the “Cuvée Nicole Moncuit – Vielles Vignes” made only in the very best vintages from a tiny parcel of 100 year old Chardonnay vines.   In between, three vintage wines might be declared, a standard vintage and when possible an Extra Brut and a Zero-Dosage.

Moncuit’s NV comes from just one vintage as opposed to being a blend to a house style, and you will notice a difference in the wine year in and year out, something we look forward to with each shipment.

Grand Cru Chardonnay from Le Mesnil in Champagne
All of the wines come from older vines than most of their neighbors, thirty years on average, and will in general be fermented in stainless steel and encouraged to undergo malolactic fermentation as the natural acidity in Le Mesnil, especially with old vines, is quite high. The vintage wines will be released four to ten years after harvest, depending on the wine.

In addition to the Blanc de Blancs, we also carry the very unique Rosé that blends 20% of Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Ambonnay into 80% Chardonnay from Mesnil, resulting in a wine unlike many we have tasted.
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when did Champagne Pierre Moncuit start? when might you open a bottle?

We propose treating fine Champagne like fine wine, and opening the bottle in response to food one might prepare or the mood of an evening.  We encourage wine lovers to liberate themselves from the idea that Champagne, and Grand Cru Champagne in particular, is only for celebrations. Moncuit’s NV bottling is high toned and matches with many of the same sorts of foods that we associate with Chablis: semi-soft cow’s milk cheeses, white seafood prepared with herbs instead of heavy sauces, or something as simple as a homemade quesadilla.

Champagne Pierre Moncuit

Where the vintage wines are concerned, there are myriad possibilities that change as the wines age. Think of accompaniments that will compliment the best Chardonnays including Bay Scallops, Lobster and Halibut, or slow poached / roasted chicken. Older vintages will lean towards toasted-brioche flavors and some of the softer years pair gloriously with Foie Gras. Whichever direction you chose, don’t wait exclusively for a special occasion to open the bottle.

The history of this estate goes back to Nicole Moncuit’s grandfather.   A tour of the “Memory Cave” in Moncuit’s cellars shows the family collection of wines going back to the 1930’s.  As Nicole Moncuit explained, at this age the wines are intellectual pursuits, connecting to past generations.  They may have fewer bubbles, but they still have quite a lot to say.

where is Champagne Pierre Moncuit?

Le Mesnil sur Oger is in the heart of Champagne’s “Côtes de Blancs” or “White Slopes”.  The town gives its name to the Le Mesnil vineyard, a Grand Cru site.  The largest city nearby is Epernay, which is a few kilometers to the north.  The Champagne region is in the north east of France, roughly a two hour drive from Paris.

In Chicago, you can find Champagne Pierre Moncuit at many of the finest restaurants and small retailers including spots like Alinea, Knightsbridge, the Bristol, Nico and many, many more.

Map of Champagne Region

Candid Wines’ partners in Champagne

why might you want to try a bottle?

Champagne Pierre Moncuit is one of the leaders of the grower-producer movement that has swept this country in the past decade and exemplifies the quality and the heights that can be attained when one family oversees the vineyard and the winery. We find that the most exprienced critics and the greenest of wine lovers often say the exact same thing when tasting Nicole Moncuit’s wines : “That’s so clean”. It is a compliment that is born of far too many bad bottles of manipulated sparkling wines.
Nicole Moncuit's cellar

The cellar in Mesnil, under Champagne Pierre Moncuit.

Moncuit’s wines are pure expressions of Le Mesnil, one of the finest places on earth to grow grapes destined to be bubbles. In spite of the remarkable real-estate from which the grapes come (think of Le Mesnil as the Beverly Hills of Champagne), Moncuit’s wines are a fraction of the cost of most of their neighbors. This price to quality ratio seduces national wine writers and local Sommeliers alike.

Videos on Champagne Pierre Moncuit

Pierre Moncuit CUVEE PIERRE MONCUIT-DELOS Brut NV

Moncuit Delos Brut Tasting

Pierre Moncuit ROSE Brut NV

Moncuit Rose Brut Tasting

how is wine made at Champagne Pierre Moncuit?

Grapes from the Moncuit’s twenty parcels in Le Mesnil are harvested manually, that goes without saying, and every picker must wash his or her tub before returning to the vines to refill.  This ensures that the grapes that arrive in the winery are as clean as can be at the start of the process and oxidized juice plays no part in the final blend.
Millesime 1928 in the "Memory Cave" at Champagne Pierre Moncuit

In the winery, stainless steel tanks are favored over oak to further preserve purity and malolactic fermentation is encouraged thanks to the natural acid present in most every harvest of these older vines at Le Mesnil.

Dosage – or the addition of sugar to round out Champagne, is minimal, and the house style is decidely drier than many. In special vintages, Moncuit releases a Vintage, a Brut, and an Extra Brut / Non-Dosage. This final wine is possible only in years when the grapes have a rare combination of body and acidity that allows for the vinification of a balanced wine without additional sugars.