This is a new cuvée for Philippe, from a single vineyard (the lieu dit les Pommiers) massale selection of Pinot Meunier planted by his grandfather Daniel in 1968 overlooking Epernay; it is a tiny plot of just .22 hectares. It is aged both in barrel and in tank. From the opening whiff of this one, I was rapt with attention. In the mouth, its purity, depth, power, and complexity had my eyes bugging out of my head…..this is mindbogglingly good. Every time that I came back to it, its purity and complexity had me in fits, doing a “hot damn!” double take….This is as complex and refined of a Pinot Meunier as I have ever encountered. Without any question whatsoever, I wholeheartedly encourage those of you prize outstanding Champagne of any ilk to get what you can justify and thank me later. This is truly benchmark level stuff, and a wine that will convince you with unflinching authority that Philippe’s wines are the real deal and then some…..a little * awarded here. I think that if you read Donald’s prose below, it will only reinforce what I’m attempting to convey…..!! The label is curious, almost a metallic shiny badge of sorts with an apple on it (Pommier means apple tree). It’s aesthetics are not so much my thing, but what is on the inside certainly is…..!! Just 80 cases or so made…..get this!
“The Les Pommiers 2018 from Philippe Lancelot is new in the selection. The nose is redolent with aromas, including floral aspects and ripe peaches. When it comes to the aroma, this champagne possesses one of the most beautiful bouquets I have encountered in a champagne.
In terms of palate authority, this champagne has it all – red fruits leaning towards red currants and raspberries, complex agrume notes of blood orange, kumquat, bergamot, grapefruit, ripe peaches, a light saline-driven acidity, and gently yeasty brioche aromas. One could easily get carried away while tasting this champagne. It’s better to shut off the analytical side and simply revel in how decadent and beautiful this champagne is.
I was of the opinion that this was a Chardonnay, but it turned out to be 100% Meunier. In my mind, this is a seminal Meunier. I have never tasted a Meunier quite like this, and to be honest, I didn’t believe Meunier from the south had such potential. Over the past weeks, I have enjoyed Leclapart’s L’Aphrodisiaque, Emanuel Brochet’s Haut Meunier, and Agrapart’s Venus. This champagne easily belongs in that league. If points have any meaning for me, this is a 98 to 100 point candidate. I’m not sure about its ageability, but does it even matter? It’s so good right now; how could it possibly get any better?
In my eyes, Philippe Lancelot is the most promising talent in Champagne at the moment.” – Donald Pennet