Champagne Jose Michel
José Michel made his first vintage in 1955 and thanks in part to his cellar of very old bottles of Pinot Meunier, he has developed a cult following for his Champagnes. This “Maison de Tradition” began in 1847 and five generations later, José and Nicole carry forward a wonderfully artisanal sensibility to their craft. They are a founding member of the group, “Tresors de Champagne” known as the “Special Club”. José Michel is located in Moussy, a small village just south of Epernay. The 11 hectares of vineyards are spread throughout a number of villages, mostly along the Cotes D’Epernay. The vineyard sights with a richer clay soil are planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The lower slopes which have a calcareous soil are planted to Chardonnay. José Michel was the first in his family to plant Chardonnay which he did beginning in 1958. Fermentations are carried out in old oak casks or enameled steel vats and the wines go through a malolactic fermentation. José Michel is certified “Level 3” the top level of certification in Haute Valeur Environmentale.
Pinot Meunier NV
Although historically Jose Michel made many “mono-cépage” bottlings of Pinot Meunier, he never advertised the fact on the label and when some west coast customers visited him around 2007 and suggested that he do just that, his response was to ask if anyone would buy it. The small cadre of west coast enthusiasts all said that they would and the rest is history. The Pinot Meunier is produced from a single vintage but does not state the vintage on the label because the Champagne does not necessarily spend the requisite minimum of three years “sur lattes”. The style highlights the unique aromatics and fruit flavors of Champagne’s indigenous grape. The level of dosage is 8g/l.
“The two great exceptions that prove the rule about the maturing potential of Pinot Meunier are Krug and José Michel.”
- Richard Juhlin, 2000 Champagnes
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