Le Mesnil-sur-Oger : Chardonnay for purists

Sep 17, 2020 • 2 mins

In the heart of the Côte des Blancs, this is the king of Champagne vineyards. Here Chardonnay produces wines of exemplary purity whose freshness defies time. The major houses fight to get “Mesnil” grapes in the blends for their best wines.

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, on the Côte des Blancs, is one of 17 villages in Champagne to have Grand Cru status. There are many “Mesnils” because this word comes from the Latin mansio, then Gallo-Roman masionile (which became mansion in English). It was a popular term in northern France in the late Middle Ages to describe a group of houses. It is clear that this market town perched on the limestone ridge to the south of Epernay has been inhabited for a very long time.

Illustrious Champagne houses own plots of vines or buy grapes from Mesnil, beginning with Krug whose Clos du Mesnil, a wine from a single plot entirely surrounded by walls, is doubly emblematic. Another prestigious name, Salon, has made Mesnil its sole supplier because this great wine is the result of a blend of 20 plots, all located in this village.

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