‘Mousse’ in French mean bubbles and it’s a very apt name for Cédric Moussé, the young head of Champagne Moussé Fils, who took over the management after the tragic and recent death of his father.
You can almost sense the energy at Champagne Moussé the moment you arrive and when Cédric comes out to greet you, you known immediately that your visit is going to be interesting.
To say that Cédric is enthusiastic about his work is an understatement. He just brims with pride as he shows you around the brand new winery building, as well he might do; it’s like no other in Champagne. Delivered in pre-fabricated sections and erected in just one month the building is a testament to forward thinking and environmental husbandry. The array of solar panels on the roof generates many times more energy than the building consumes. Heating is by means of a Canadian Well, a system of pipes buried underground where the temperature is constant throughout the year. The warm air circulates up into the winery building providing perfect conditions for the ageing of the champagne bottles. All this requires little, or no, fuel to operate.
The building isn’t the only thing that is out of the ordinary here. Champagne Moussé Fils is in the tiny village of Cuisles about 25 kilometres westwards from Epernay along the valley of the Marne River. This region is home to Meunier, a grape variety that for too long has been over-shadowed by its more famous cousins Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the other two varieties used in most Champagnes. Recently though things have been changing thanks, in part, to people like Cédric who champion the cause of Meunier as you can gather from the house slogan: ‘Deeply Meunier’
These are true ‘terroir’ champagnes meaning that they have a distinct identity which is the reflection of the small part of Champagne from which they originate. The Moussé vineyards are all on the same slope, and even though the slope extends across 4 villages, they are all in very close proximity.
Furthermore ,the focus on black grapes and in particular on Meunier, produces champagnes that are soft, fruity and very difficult not to like and all with the characteristic Moussé style.
Anyone who still clings to the notion that Meunier is somehow not ‘the real deal’, should try the 100% Meunier Cuvée Spécial Club Vintage 2008. Membership to this exclusive champagne-makers’ club is strictly limited and by invitation only. To be granted the right to use the name Spécial Club the champagne must undergo three separate assessments by a panel of experts.
Cédric is slowly but steadily building a reputation for himself and his wines and I’m pleased to say that sales of Champagne Moussé are just as bubbly as the name and the disposition of the owner would suggest.