Champagne 2008 growers assess a great vintage by Peter Liem
…Today, some of the finest meunier –based Champagnes in the Vallée de la Marne are made by Michel Loriot, in the village of Festigny. Loriot considers 2008 to be an exceptional vintage, and “an excellent year for meunier”, he says. … …Among the vins clairs in Loriot’s cellars, a 2008 meunier from Festigny was ripe and zesty at the same time, showing an uncommon purity and finesse. … As usual at this estate, the old vines in the vineyard of L’Arpent -used to make Loriot’s vintage-dated Pinot Meunier Vieilles Vignes- produced the standout wines of the cellar, with greater complexity and character already apparent at this early stage. …
Year’s best Champagne by Joshua Greene
94 / Michel Loriot – Millésimé Brut 2002
A red-fruited Champagne, this is mainly pinot meunier blended with chardonnay. The wine has clean lines and a tight middle, where the earthiness runs parallel with the fruit. Citrus notes refresh the finish, with Kaffir lime and grapefruit pith building out of the smoky acidity. Decant this for roast chicken witn pancetta and fingerling potatoes.
92 / Michel Loriot – Pinot Meunier Vieilles Vignes 2004
The pale gold color and deep, resonant fruit character of this wine had our panelists crossbreeding citrus and berries to describe it : “golden raspberry,” or “a cross between lemon and raspberry.” Peter Liem said, “If there were such a thing as a blood lemon, this would be it.” Loriot’s old-vine meunier created a concentrated ’04, unusually rich for the vintage. It’s a funky, artisanal wine with a beauty all its own.