The Marniquet estate vineyards and cellar near Venteuil in the Valle de la Marne in Champagne.
This is real-deal farmer-fizz (estate-bottled Champagne) made by Jean Pierre Marniquet from grapes grown by Jean Pierre Marniquet on his own vineyards and aged in his cellar, the entrance to which looks like a Hobbit hole in the hill side across from his house. The vintage is released in the tenth year after the vintage. The prestige is released in the twentieth year after then vintage. This Prestige is unusual (in the larger world of Champagne) because it is largely Pinot Meunier (an under-rated and misunderstood Champagne variety in which Marniquet specializes) and because it got almost 19 years on the yeasts before it was disgorged. Trust me, you will be amazed.
Jean-Pierre MARNIQUET Prestige, Champagne, 1995 ($99.74)
A 12% alcohol cuvee of 60% Pinot Meunier and 40% Chardonnay laid down in 1996 and disgorged in 2015. Gold-straw and fully sparkling; dry, medium-full-bodied with still fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Rich and toasty with the pure rich developed flavors of long aging. Deep mix of toasty red fruits and yeast notes with elegance from the Chardonnay and chalk. Brilliant, delicious. Gets deeper and better as it opens, breathes, and develops in the glass (use a wine glass). A masterpiece. BearScore: 100.