The village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is located on the Côte des Blancs area in Champagne region of France, approximately 17km south of Épernay. The area is planted with 100% Chardonnay and rated as Grand Cru, meaning that the quality of its grapes score 100% by the CIVC - which is the highest of the three levels.
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is one of the finest Chardonnay villages, home to two of the most prestigious names in Champagne. Firstly; the house of Salon, which produces just one cuvée, only ever a vintage and only when they deem the vintage year to be good enough for their exacting standards. Secondly; the walled vineyard known as ‘Clos du Mesnil’, managed by the house of Krug and the base for their single vineyard cuvée bearing their name.
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is a village packed full of decent Récoltant-Manipulants with a number of very impressive houses. There is also a respected Négociant-Manipulant in the village, Delamotte which is the sister house to Salon and benefits from their fruit between their vintage wines. On their wine labels its full name is often shortened to Le Mesnil.
The Champagne house of Salon (founded by Eugène Aimé Salon in 1911) was convinced that the Chardonnay grape varietal grown in the Le Mesnil-sur-Oger vineyards could produce wine with dynamic levels of finesse and elegance without the need to add Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier to the wine.
The Les Mesnil corner of 'Côte des Blancs' is one of the most unique grape areas of Champagne, where the soils are so white due to their high chalk content and just below the surface can be found marine fossils which date back to periods post the Jurassic period. All components contributing to making these unique Champagnes; and it is these unseen characters which hold the secrets of this specific terroir. Beneath the layers of chalk and marine fossils is a sub-layer of limestone soil known as 'Kimmeridgian' - that reaches its maximum concentration in the area between Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Avize.
This is the most celebrated part of Côtes des Blancs, home to the most famous cru, where grapes can demand the highest prices. The Chardonnay grape is able to express this terroir in a way distinctly different from its neighbouring areas. The Champagne wines from Les Mesnil favour great balance over bold notes, a mix of delicacy and incisiveness and a distinct zest note to the flavours found on the palate, which is an elegant indication of the influence of Kimmeridgian soils of this special area.