2014 Vintage Champagne : Le Mesnillésime, Guy Charlemagne - understated elegance

2014 Vintage Champagne : Le Mesnillésime, Guy Charlemagne - understated elegance

2014 ‘Le Mesnillésime’, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs
Guy Charlemagne

£280 per six bottle case in bond

I am pleased to offer the latest release of one of our most avidly followed Champagnes, Le Mesnillésime from Guy Charlemagne.
Leaving issues of pronunciation aside (Le May-nil-lay-seem), many clients have commented on how much they have enjoyed this exceptional Grand Cru vintage Champagne, often identified as the ‘one with the gold and blue diamond-shaped label’ in place of its name! We have had some outstanding vintages since we started by offering the 2004 vintage back in 2015.
There is something hugely appealing about this classy Blanc de Blancs, but it is by no means a simple crowd-pleasing Champagne. I think what has impressed clients most is the soft texture and luxuriant mousse. There is a rounded, generous sense to Le Mesnillésime without it lacking direction. I haven’t opened a bottle that has left me thinking that it needs more time to be enjoyable and I am sure that accessibility is part of its success. Perhaps the other part of its success is its amazingly fair price, particularly for a vintage Champagne from a such a revered Grand Cru site. At £280 per 6 bottle case in bond, Le Mesnillésime compares favourably to a whole host of less interesting and more expensive non-vintage Champagnes.
The background:

Founded in 1892, Champagne Guy Charlemagne cultivates just 15 hectares of vineyard, principally in the villages of Oger and neighbouring Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Guy’s son, Philippe, inherited the estate from his father and continues the family tradition of producing Champagne with fine depth and precision. The pick of the range is undoubtedly ‘Le Mesnillésime’. This is an exquisite Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) for which all of the fruit comes from a Grand Cru classified site, with a markedly chalk/limestone soil, where the vines are more than 60 years of age. Partially fermented in old, oak barrels, this Champagne benefits from a low dosage of just 4 g/l in order to retain its natural elegance and poise. It is matured in the estate’s cool chalk cellars for between six to eight years before release.

And most importantly, the latest vintage and release:
The 2014 vintage was fairly irregular in Champagne, though there are some notable surprises. Chardonnay has by all accounts come through in finer form than Pinot Noir and it is interesting to note that Salon will release a 2014 Le Mesnil, having deemed quality to be sufficiently high. In short,  the vintage was characterised by dry, warm conditions at flowering, resulting in a higher yield than normal, but July and August were wetter and colder than the norm. Fortunately, more stable conditions returned in late August. That said, growers needed to be selective as ripeness wasn’t uniform and, given the higher yield, they needed to ensure only the best fruit was utilised. Those that delayed harvest would have seen acidity levels fall in the dry September conditions.   

bottle shot - Copy


2014 ‘Le Mesnillésime’, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Guy Charlemagne
£280 per six bottle case in bond

This vintage reveals classic Blanc de Blancs aromas with discreet notes of white flowers allied to juicy apple with creamy notes. This vintage is more about elegance and poise than breadth and power. That luxuriant mousse that we have come to associate with this Champagne is very much in evidence, as is the purity of fruit, all underscored by a bright acidity. There is a sense of soft, expansive, layered fruit here, with a gentle nutty, creamy touch. This pure, elegant example will drink beautifully upon shipment, and offer the scope for mid-term cellarage. Effortless and immensely appealing. (SL) Drink now to 2027.

Please let us know of your interest.
All the best,       
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