At the beginning of 2022, we were on the hunt for a new grower champagne producer. We adore Collard-Picard, as you know, and there is pressure on the stock of the other house we bring in, Brocard-Pierre, which has become trendy, and deservedly so. Our colleague Kate Robinson told us to try Champagne Moutardier, a Champagne she used to enjoy selling for another merchant that no longer takes it. We got samples in and, wow! We couldn't believe how delicious they were!
We dug a bit deeper and it turns out they're a serial recipient of the 'Coup de Coeur' for best Champagne of its type in their region, and have also been awarded the 'Young talents of Champagne for Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier' where the lead judge was the best sommelier in the world. And the dedication too - all their NV wines are aged for a whopping 6 years pre-disgorgement, and brothers William and Simon are at pains to make a serious quality wine first and foremost that becomes Champagne then something rushed.
Located in the heart of the Surmelin Valley, a tributary of the Marne, 25km southwest from Epernay, the Moutardier family have have roots here since the 18th century, and have been producing champagne since 1920. William and Simon are the fourth generation at the helm, having taken over in 2012, bringing new life and energy to the estate. Keen to combine their love of creativity and embracing modernity, whilst not forgetting the family's philosophy and tradition, the future here is looking very bright indeed.
This is Pinot Meunier country and out of their 18 ha under vine in the villages of Le Breuil and Baulne en Brie, 80% is devoted to the grape, with 10% each to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area's highly chalky subsoil and later ripening here has proven ideal for expressing the variety at its very best, with the balance and depth of flavours developing and getting better and better each harvest. Since 2012, they have also been certified HVE, which favours many of the same practices as organic certification, focusing on four key areas: biodiversity conservation, flora protection strategy, management of fertiliser use and conservation of water use.