Monochrome Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV (Base 2019) Paul Launois
Les Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne
'Monochrome’ is considered the flagship wine of their tiny production. It is a blend of their best parcels in Le Mesnil, none of which are further than a stones throw from Krug's famous Clos du Mesnil. 'Monochrome’ is typically a single vintage dominant wine from a few sites so it captures Les Mesnil terroir and the vintage character, of which we have 2018 for this rendition. Dosage is minute, just 2 grams to still leave a purity of expression. The always hand-harvested fruit gets a cold, long and slow fermentation in stainless steel tanks over 10 weeks in which it also goes through full malolactic fermentation. It ages on lees in bottle for 24 months and is hand riddled by the Launois. Disgorgement is done by hand “à la volée” ("on the fly” in French), a painstakingly method to do so that few still practice. 'A wine of cold sun and chalk,’ Julien Launois.
My Tasting Note
The color is a crystalline light straw/gold with a frothy and heady mousse of very tiny and persistent bubbles. The nose is fresh, tense and invigorating - classic blanc de blancs - chalky and floral aromas of lemon citrus, pear, green apple, white flowers, and a touch of cream from the 24 months on the lees. On the palate the wine is texturally classic as well, tight and tiny bubbles and med+ acidity convey structure and tension in balance with the creaminess of the lees. The nose is confirmed by the med+ flavor intensity that adds a touch more minerality. Finishes long and fresh. Outstanding.
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