Champagne Moussé Fils

Champagne • France

  • Sub RegionCuisles
  • RegionChampagne
  • CountryFrance
  • ProducerChampagne Moussé Fils

Introduction

The Vallee de la Marne has never been thought of as the pinnacle of champagne vineyards, however, the Moussé family have been growing grapes there since 1750. While they started producing champagne in 1923, it wasn't until the current generation's management that the house has become a serious force in champagne.

“The quality here is extremely high across the board.”

Today, Cedric Moussé farms roughly 5.5 hectares, mostly planted to Meunier, largely centered around the village of Cuisles. In the cellar, Cedric employs stainless steel for fermentation to keeps the wines bright despite the power and fruit that Meunier can produce. The wines generally spend somewhere between two to four years on the lees prior to disgorgement and are bottled with a lower dosage. The quality here is extremely high across the board, but highlights include their “Anecdote.” Atypically based on chardonnay from a single vineyard called Varosses, the wine is a unique expression of Cedric’s approach: generous body and ripe fruit with restrained acidity. They also make an amazing “special club” bottling of Meunier (they were actually the first to do it). This wine has quickly become their most sought-after bottling, though the price is still very reasonable for the quality of wine produced.

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Wines by Champagne Moussé Fils

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Trying to reconcile the fame of Aubert de Villaine and the humble beginnings of Domaine de Villaine is a difficult thing to do. As the co-director of Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Aubert oversees production of arguably the most sought after wines on the planet. At the same time, he chooses to make his home a domaine in the unassuming village of Bouzeron in the sleepy Cote Chalonnaise. His choice of Bouzeron only reinforces his desire to be known as a vigneron, while his focus around the unpretentious grape Aligote makes him a true advocate for the appellation. The domaine also produces chardonnay and pinot noir from single vineyards in the area, the wines representing an amazing level of quality. The vineyard work is intensive, followinog biodynamic principles. The winery uses wood tanks for fermentation, with minimal batonnage for the whites and elevage lasting roughly 12-14 months.

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Piedmont • Italy

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Georges Mugneret Gibourg

Burgundy • France

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Gerard Mugneret

Burgundy • France

Pascal Mugneret spent the better part of the last decade working to better understand the subtleties of the terroir that his father farmed before him. He has made significant changes in the vineyards in an effort to produce with as minimal intervention as possible. He has moved to biodynamics, tills only minimally, uses cover crops, hedges high and leaves many of the apical buds. His vines stand out compared to his neighbors, and his methodology has been admired by many of the younger vignerons in the village. In the cellar, he generally uses between 50-100% stem inclusion with very low sulfur at all points during winemaking. The wines are aged in barrels ranging from zero to 100% new oak, for between 12-18 months depending on the vintage and parcel. The wines have an amazing honesty and purity of expression, but also have significant structure. These wines are coming from some of the most sought after terroirs in the Cote d’Or making this is a domaine to follow.

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Giacomo Conterno

Piedmont • Italy

Long regarded as the most important estate in modern day Piedmont, the house of Conterno first bottled their Barolo in 1920. At that time, it was common practice for Barolo to be sold in cask and was generally consumed early. With the choice of bottling, the Conterno name became synonymous with quality, ageability, and Barolo itself. The Monfortino bottling followed shortly after, and the rest is history. The estate was then guided by Giacomo and his son Giovanni for the following 80 years with an eye to quality, vineyard management, and wines that speak to place.

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Giulia Negri

Piedmont • Italy

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Giuseppe Mascarello

Piedmont • Italy

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Hubert Lamy

Burgundy • France

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Hudelot Noellat

Burgundy • France

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J.L. Chave

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Jean Foillard

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Laurent Tribut

Burgundy • France

For many years the wines of Laurent Tribut were a well-kept secret among Chablis enthusiasts, often in the shadow of his father-in-law, Rene Dauvissat. The wines were even originally made in the cellar at Dauvissat. When Laurent married Marie Clotilde Dauvissat, they were gifted top Chablis AOC sites as a means to start their own domaine. Over the years, they have acquired more vineyards and moved to a new cellar located in Poinchy just outside the village of Chablis.

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Lionel Faury

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Many producers in the Northern Rhone have been at the forefront of the wine world for decades. Domaine Faury, however, is not one of them. They have always operated very quietly, letting their wines do the talking. It wasn’t that long ago that Domaine Faury mixed agriculture, with the family growing grapes, peaches, cherries, and vegetables, with the majority of wine produced sold locally.

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Luciano Sandrone

Piedmont • Italy

The wines of Luciano Sandrone are often compared with Burgundy because of their lift, elegance and silky texture coupled with polished tannins. In a relatively short period of time, Sandrone has grown to be one of the more respected producers in Piedmont. Having started in 1978, he now produces roughly 8,000 cases. He is certainly a “modernist” but has refined his ability to reflect site while implementing winemaking techniques like new oak and shorter fermentations. However, he also employs many “traditional” techniques like open top fermentations, even though they ferment longer than many traditional wineries.

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Marcel Lapierre

Beaujolais • France

Marcel took over his family domaine in 1973 but his true “father” in terms of his winemaking career was the now infamous Jules Chauvet. In 1981, Chauvet began teaching Marcel the traditional ways of winemaking that had persisted in Beaujolais for hundreds of years before modern viticulture arrived. Along with his friends and fellow vignerons Guy Breton, Jean Paul Thevenet, and Jean Foillard, the “Gang of Four” was formed, all following the guidance of Chauvet. Their methods were a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification of their forefathers, focusing on old vines, organic and biodynamic farming, late harvests, and rigorous sorting which resulted in grapes that had the potential to produce world class wines.

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Meo Camuzet

Burgundy • France

Founded by Etienne Camuzet in the 1920s, the domaine acquired vineyards but didn’t come into its current form until Etienne’s daughter died without any direct heirs. In 1959, she passed the holdings to a distant relative, Jean Meo, and thus the estate was born Meo Camuzet. Jean had a successful career in politics in Paris which meant that the holdings were looked after under a number of metayage agreements, the most famous of which was with Henri Jayer. The wines were always sold to negociants under Jean Meo until 1985 when the domaine bottled its first eponymous wine. In 1988 under Jean’s son, Jean-Nicolas, the domaine started managing its own vineyards. He worked closely with Henri Jayer during this time to understand the vineyards and winemaking style that Jayer was known for.

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Montevertine

Tuscany • Italy

First inhabited in the 11th century as a rural defense fortress, the hilltop Montevertine was purchased in 1967 as a vacation home by Sergio Manetti. In an effort to produce wines for friends and family, he decided to plant two hectares of vineyards and build a small winery on the estate. With its first vintage, in 1971, the potential of Montevertine became clear, prompting Manetti to devote himself to producing wine full time. Manetti grew Sangiovese almost exclusively; he even left the Chianti Classico consortium due to their requirement of using Trebbiano. His wines, from then on, were simply labeled Rosso di Toscana, although they are the farthest thing from a Super Tuscan. The Montevertine wines are shining examples of the great heights that Sangiovese can reach when grown in Chianti Classico.

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Mount Eden Vineyards

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Ornellaia

Tuscany • Italy

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Poderi Colla

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Prieler

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Rene & Vincent Dauvissat

Burgundy • France

The Dauvissat domaine was established in the 1970s by Robert Dauvissat, but his son Rene pushed the reputation and holdings of the domaine to where they are today. Rene’s son Vincent started working at the domaine in the late 70s and still oversees production. Despite the current challenges of the climate in Chablis, the domaine's old vines and significant holdings in the best sites in Chablis result in extraordinary quality on a consistent basis.

As a collector of these wines for two decades, it has been interesting to observe perception versus reality. Raveneau is often given an edge over Dauvissat when discussing great producers in Chablis, although most agree that they are the best producers in the region. In reality, numerous blind side-by-sides over the years have revealed much more of an even match. Especially considering the meteoric rise in prices for Raveneau, I hope that collectors look to Dauvissat and understand that while different, the wines deserve to be on an equal footing with Raveneau.

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Rene Rostaing

Rhone Valley • France

Based on the current level of respect for the Rostaing wines, one would assume that they have been around for generations. In reality, the domaine was started just a few decades ago. Sort of.

When Rene Rostaing founded the estate in 1971, he was working as a notary. He continued his work while moonlighting as a winemaker until the estate grew to a size that could support him. He was lucky in that while he was not a winemaker, his uncle, the famous Marius Gentaz, was there to guide him over the years. He then married into the Dervieux family, adding Albert Dervieux as another shepherd along his winemaking journey. When both Gentaz and Dervieux retired their parcels, he purchased their vineyards, quickly putting him in the position of managing arguably the best dirt in the Northern Rhone.

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Ridge Vineyards

California • USA

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more iconic American winery than Ridge Vineyards. With a history dating back to 1962, they've changed very little since that first vintage. They are masters of making cabernet sauvignon and what is perhaps the most American grape, zinfandel. Their wines are elegant, with a clear sense of place, and are some of the most age-worthy wines produced in the United States. This legacy is largely due to Paul Draper, the legendary winemaker who held his position from 1969 until his retirement at the age of 80 in 2016. While Paul’s gift for winemaking was clear, it was his ability to let the sites he worked with shine by showing not just their terroir but also vintage character.

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Robert Groffier

Burgundy • France

Robert Groffier is a relatively new domaine when speaking of Burgundy. Started in the 1950s by Jules Groffier, it is now run by the third generation, Nicolas Groffier. Owning just under eight hectares, the domaine is located in Morey St. Denis but has holdings on both the north and south side of the village.

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Sattler

Neusiedlersee • Austria

Located in the town of Tadten, not far from the Hungarian border, Sattler is now run by the fourth generation of the family, Erich Sattler. Outside of some changes in the vineyards, he has kept the estate consistent with previous generations.

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Screaming Eagle

California • USA

Perhaps the definition of cult California cabernet, Screaming Eagle is considered to be the Holy Grail among many collectors. The founders made what was essentially a hobby into one of the most collectible wines in the world.

When Jean Phillips bought original vineyard in 1986, it was already planted to a cabernet. From there, she added cabernet franc, merlot, and more cabernet sauvignon vines. When the vines came of age, Phillips reached out to Heidi Barret, a then up-and-coming winemaker in the valley, to produce the first wine for the 1992 vintage. The release gained significant acclaim, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Thierry Germain

Loire Valley • France

Thierry’s journey to the Loire was not traditional. After moving from Bordeaux in the early 1990s, he immediately connected with Charly Foucault from Clos Rougeard. Buying in entirely into the practice of biodynamic, he not only converted his entire estate but also became of the biggest proponents the practice both in France and world wide.

Theirry works parcels in both Saumur (for his whites) and Saumur Champigny (for his reds). Thanks to time spent in the vineyard and his biodynamic dedication, he has been able to identify parcels by soil type to individually farm, vinify, and bottle.

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Weingut Egon Muller

Mosel • Germany

Egon Müller is arguably the most legendary estate in Germany. Their family has owned the property since 1797 and they have produced some of the most sought-after and age-worthy wines in Germany’s history. They own almost one third of the Scharzhofberg vineyard, a Grand Cru equivalent and the crown jewel in the family’s holdings. The wines walk a razor's edge with an uncanny balance between the exotic spice and generous fruit as well as the laser focus and acidity.

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Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff

Nahe • Germany

For a very long time, the wines from Dönnhoff flew under the radar. Riesling in general took a back seat for many collectors, with only the some aware of the magic that happens when the sweet wines have bottle age. Thanks to the likes of Weingut Keller, Egon Muller, and many others, the collector market has awoken to the possibility of great Riesling. The wines from the Dönnhoff family certainly belong in that category. The family has been quietly farming and producing some of the most compelling from Germany, now considered a guiding light in their home region of the Nahe.

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Weingut Nigl

Kremstal • Austria

Located in the Kremstal on the edge of Senftenberg Mountain, the history of Weingut Nigl is clear when you first set eyes on the estate. Wine production only started in 1985 under the vision of Martin Nigl, while the family was farmers for 200 years prior.

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Weingut Robert Weil

Rheingau • Germany

In terms of German wine estates, Robert Weil is a relative newcomer. Established in 1875 in the heart of some of the best vineyards in the Rheingau, they made their home in the village of Kiedrich, an area known for its wine as early as 950 AD. The estate has significant holdings in some of the finest vineyards in the region, Turmberg and Gräfenberg in Kiedrich, which has further cemented its recognition beyond the international acclaim it receives for being in the Rheingau.

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Weingut Willi Schaefer

Mosel • Germany

There is a fine line between decadence and laser-like finesse. The wines of Willi Schaefer walk that line, with a crystalline focus that seems next to impossible. The wines drink beautifully when young, but have the ability to age as well as any from Riesling.

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