Classic aromas of Pinot Meunier are Black Cherry, Black Plums, Raspberry, Boysenberry and Almonds
Pinot Meunier is one of the lesser known ‘Pinot’ grapes. It is however quite a widely used and important grape varietal largely in the production of sparkling wines. If you have ever sipped a glass of Champagne before, unless it was a Blanc de Blancs, chances are that you have tried Pinot Meunier. Though always second fiddle to Pinot Noir in the Champagne blend, it is used for its fruity appeal and zingy acidity. Though best known for its contribution to sparkling wines around the world it is now featuring in straight red wines where it will produce lighter, fresher, ‘summer reds’ which have a fruit forward nature and a slightly higher acidity than Pinot Noir.
France is still the home to the major global share of Pinot Meunier with over 11,000 ha as of 2009. As you can guess, the fair majority of this is found up in the Champagne region of northern France. There are a few notable producers who sing the praises of the lesser known Meunier, such as; Krug, Egly-Ouriet, Clos de la Chapelle and Michel Loriot.
After France, the second largest home is in Germany, surprisingly enough. More surprising is the fact that only a handful of the 2,361ha of it’s juice goes towards sparkling wine. The Pinot Meunier grown here goes towards bulking up Pinot Noir wines or other red wine blends, often for the lower end of the wine spectrum.
Back on the sparkling road to success, Pinot Meunier is to be found en masse in practically any country that has regions devoted to sparkling wine production. It is for this reason that California, New York, Washington, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and England all have plantings of the stuff.
Pinot Meunier produces wines which are fruity forward and with ample acidity. They are often found to have strawberry, mulberry and red plum fruits. Pinot Meunier-heavy Champagnes will often have a charming black doris plum tart character too them.