Champagne Fleur de Miraval | Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
Inspired by the legend of Provence-born Countess Fleur de Miraval, who only drank rosé Champagne in honour of her southern French roots, Champagne Fleur de Miraval is a fusion of the skills and expertise of three families. The culmination of five years of work, research and tasting this is an exciting new collaboration between the Jolie-Pitts of Miraval, the Perrins of Beaucastel fame and the renowned Champagne grower and producer Rodolphe Péters of Pierre Péters.
Friends Marc Perrin and Rodolphe Péters wanted to create a Champagne that combined the complexity of Chardonnay and the vibrancy of a young Pinot Noir. Having struggled to find what they were looking for in a rosé Champagne, in 2015 “we created the wine we couldn’t buy" says Marc. ‘Fleur de Miraval’ has its cellars in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and is the only Champagne house to produce solely Rosé Champagne.
All the grapes for the 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir blend are sourced from Grand or Premier Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. Rodolphe expressly sought out Pinot Noir from younger vineyards in Vertus to add vivacity, freshness and a blood orange perfume to the final blend. “The tannins of Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims don’t work with the aromatics and bitterness of Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs,” explains Rodolphe. This is where the expertise of the Perrins came in, as their experience with Miraval has taught them how to use 'saignée' to manage phenolics.
The Chardonnay comes from three different sources. Twenty five percent of the base wine is Chardonnay from the 2016 harvest, made from vines with an average of 30 years old that are planted on chalk soils. For added complexity, 25% of the blend comes from Rodolphe’s ‘perpetual reserve’ system, which has wines dating back to 2007. The remaining 25% is made up of seven-year-old Blanc de Blancs purchased ‘sur latte’. This process, known as ‘remise en cercle’, involves uncorking the Blanc de Blancs and emptying all the bottles into a tank, where the wine is then de-gassed and added to the base wine. While extremely expensive, this process brings texture, complexity and richness to the blend. After blending, the base wines were bottled and aged on lees for three years.
“Rodolphe is a master of Chardonnay,” says Marc Perrin, “while we brought the knowledge of how to manage the tannins.” Rodolphe adds: “They pushed me to try new things, which is why this is such a unique wine. We wanted to create a bridge between Provence and Champagne and produce a Rosé for drinking young rather than ageing as we prize the beautiful aromatics of Pinot Noir from Vertus.”
As Champagne is particularly sensitive to ‘light strike’, the damage caused by the wine being exposed to ultraviolet rays, each Fleur de Miraval bottle is lacquered so the wine is protected and retains its delicate perfumes. Just 20,000 bottles were produced for the first edition of this impressive non-vintage rosé.