"Les Murgiers" Brut Nature (2018 base)
67% Pinot Meunier/30% Pinot Noir/3% Chardonnay. Les Murgiers is the beginning of the Boulard range. The fruit comes from certified-organic plots in two Right-Bank villages west of Cumières in the Vallée de la Marne—Cuchery and Belval-sous-Chatillon—where the silty, marly clay-limestone soils favor Pinot Meunier. “Les Murgiers” are the local, traditional vineyard walls built from river stones dug up to make way for planting (and alternatively spelled murgets, murgers, meurgers or meurgiers). Historically, Boulard has made the wine as a Pinot-Noir/Pinot Meunier blend and from a base vintage with about 30% reserve wines. Starting in the 2015-base vintage, Boulard converted it to 100% Meunier; however, a cellar fire in 2016 changed the calculus for several successive Murgiers vintages; the balance is now swinigng back toward Meunier as of the 2018-base bottling. Les Murgiers is always bottled in both Brut Nature and Extra Brut forms.
As for all Boulard-owned vines, the farming is certified-organic and practicing biodynamic. The fruit is harvested at high ripeness in order to achieve balance with little to no dosage. The hand-harvested bunches are gently pressed, and only first-press juice is used. It is fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts and continues in a variety of old oak vessels, ranging from small Burgundy and Champagne barrels and half hogsheads (5 hl.) to large casks (20 hl.). The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and remains on its lees with periodic batônnage in accordance with the lunar calendar. It is bottled on biodynamic “fruit days” with no fining and with minimal sulfur. Les Murgiers NV (2018) was manually disgorged in 2021 and finished with zero dosage.