Miniere F & R
After an hour of tasting fairly average Champagnes, it was refreshing to come across this producer and find wines that showed such lovely balance, intensity and a superb level of salinity.
So as always I set about organising a trip to visit the house in the very north of the Champagne region…
Run by Rodolph and Frederic in the village of Hermonville, Miniere F & R produce four cuvees at present with a vintage cuvee (the fantastic 2008) looking to come on the market in 2018. They started production in 2007 and work with 8 hectares mostly in the village of Hermonville with some small plots of Meunier in Trigny and Cauroy les Hermonville. There production at present is relatively modest given the estate, selling a significant proportion of their harvest to a handful negociants, but they plan to increase their bottling over the next few years by developing new cuvees. The vines are, on average, 40-45 years old, they are not organic but try incorporate some of the ideas. All cuvees undergo oak vinification with 10% new oak. This addition of new oak is really felt. All wines are vinified in plots, batonnage is used and no malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur. The land is limestone and sand, no chalk in site and you feel this on the palate. A number of wines were tasted in barrel on my visit including an exciting Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir held in 200, 400 and 600 litre barrels.
Brut Zero is a wonderfully expressive wine. Peach laced with oak. It is expansive on the palate without being overbearing. A surprisingly balanced wine and my favourite from this producer (awaiting the 2008 vintage of course!).
Blanc Absolu, as the names suggests, is 100% Blanc de Blancs. It shows much more smoke on the nose and a touch of coconut. There is a lovely line of fruit down the middle. Wonderfully elegant.
Influence Brut, a blend of 25/30/30 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir/Meunier, is a wonderfully aromatic wine with a fascinating fleshy palate. The fruit a lot brighter than the other cuvees. The balance takes a while in the glass to be reached as the fruit and oak don’t quite sit right but I sense this will come with their next release or so.
Their Influence Rose shows a faint orange tinged rose. Notes of clay, dried fruits and is extremely smokey the fruit piling on right at the end. It is a wine that demands some food!
If you like them smokey, rich and intense you can’t go wrong with this new producer from Hermonville!
Region: La Montagne de Reims
Contact: Frederic and Rodolphe Miniere
Cuvée De Prestige:
Year Founded: 2005
Bottles produced: 15000
Style: Smokey, aromatic, intense.
Terroir: Hermonville, Trigny, Cauroy les Hermonville
Vinification: 100% oak, no malolactic
Recent Tasting Notes from Miniere F & R