The Most Riveting Meunier? Prevost Les Beguines Extra Brut (2011)

Posted by Joe Salamone

The Most Riveting Meunier?
Prevost Les Béguines Extra Brut (2011)

"Curious readers should do whatever they can to taste the magnificent Champagnes of Jérôme Prévost." -Antonio Galloni

Jérôme Prévost turns out tiny quantities of fascinating, insanely good Champagne.

He only has 2.2ha. And his reputation dwarfs the supply. Prevost's Champagnes have always been in short supply, but in recent years it's become very painful.

Tasting the wines leaves a deep impression. They are some of the most riveting and mineral expressions of Pinot Meunier on earth. There have only been five or so vintages available in the U.S. market and now that Prevost's earlier releases have seen some bottle age, the quality of these wines is becoming brutally clear.

This is all to say that it's taken a lot of hard work to get today's offer together and even still, it's a tiny amount of wine going to a very small group.

Please note that Prevost does not release vintage dated Champagnes. He releases his Champagnes earlier than the appellation regulations allow, but all of his wines are single vintage (and vineyard.)

The rise of Jérôme Prévost is an unlikely story, especially in the rarefied world of Champagne. In 1987, at age 21, he inherited his grandmother's 2.2 hectares of old-vine Pinot Meunier in Gueux, an obscure area in the northwest of Montagne de Reims. For over 10 years he simply sold off the grapes...

...until 1998, when his friend Anselme Selosse convinced him to start making his own wines. Beginning any new business is difficult, but a small farmer in Champagne has it very tough. To help out, Selosse offered Prévost a corner in his cellar, a tiny space that Prévost continued to use until the 2003 vintage, when he was able to acquire his own cellar.

Prevost is located in Gueux, an area where the soils are very unique. In these parts Champagne's famous chalk soils are buried deep under a mix of sand and calcareous clay laden with sea fossils.

It's here, in Prevost's hands, that Meunier is endowed with a regal, mineral-infused structure. Meunier's power is harnessed and rendered with a detailed intensity and unique soil-expressive breed.

I wish I had more of this wine to offer. Still, I'm happy to have what I do. Prevost's Béguines is a special, life-affirming Champagne.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits