Most Admired Champagne Brands 2017: 16-30

03 February, 2017

21. LE MESNIL

Some commentators consider Le Mesnil-sur-Oger to be the finest cru in the Côte des Blancs. In the right hands, it certainly produces some of the most impressive, long-lived wines in Champagne. This is a cru where all the major négociant merchants want to buy grapes to incorporate into their best cuvées. One of the best sources of material is the Le Mesnil co-operative, whose 500 or so grower members own a considerable chunk of the land.

You can tell this is a successful operation simply by driving through the village. It’s located bang in the centre with very impressive-looking state-of-the art premises. You expect its own wines to be decent and they really are. If you want to experience top Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs styles of fizz, without taking out a bank loan, this is probably the best address to visit there. Head winemaker Gilles Marguet has some fabulous material to select for his wines, even though they represent only around 10% of production. The regular Le Mesnil Grand Cru, last tasted in a very impressive line-up of champagne in London at Berry Bros & Rudd in October, still scored my highest mark, despite being beside wines more than twice the price.





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Nick Strangeway

Sustainability: No more excuses

COP26 littered newspaper headlines throughout November. The focus was supposed to be on resolving the climate change crisis, but predictably turned into a game of political chess. In the absence of any authoritative leadership, our industry needs to set an example.

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