Pinot Meunier: Wine Styles, Taste, Best Bottles to Buy (2024)

by Hunter Robillard

The fruity red wine grape, Pinot Meunier, has remained a wallflower for quite some time - shadowed under the seductive intensity of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Champagne-making.

But, it has evolved into more than a blending grape in Champagne production, with many winemakers crafting excellent single-varietal wines as well. 

What makes Pinot Meunier wine unique? Where is it used, and, which are the best Pinot Meunier wines?

This article explores the Pinot Meunier grape in detail - how it is different from Pinot Noir, its use in Champagnes, how to serve Pinot Meunier wine, and the best Pinot Meunier wines to buy in 2024.

Besides that, you’ll also discover a super-easy way to invest in fine wine like Champagne.

Further reading

A Quick Intro To Pinot Meunier


Pinot Meunier (or Vitis Vinifera Pinot Meunier) is a dark-skinned grape that has mostly been used as a blending grape in Champagne, along with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

More recently, it’s also being used to make single-varietal Champagnes and still wine (especially in the US and Germany, besides France.) 

The name “Pinot Meunier” comes from the dusty white appearance at the underside of its leaves. The grape is known as Muller in Germany and Miller’s Burgundy in Australia. 

The DNA fingerprint of Pinot Meunier indicates that it is a genetic mutation of Vitis Vinifera grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Paul Boss and Mark Thomas, scientists at the CSIRO, Australia, have conducted extensive research on the relation between Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. 

Let’s see how it compares to its sibling - Pinot Noir.

Pinot Meunier Vs Pinot Noir


Here are the main differences between Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir:

  • Grape ripening: The Pinot Meunier grape buds later and ripens earlier than Pinot Noir.
  • Wine color: Pinot Meunier wines have a lighter red color than Pinot Noir wines.


  • Wine characteristics: Compared to Pinot Noir, Meunier wines have higher acidity with similar sugar and alcohol levels.
  • Wine flavors: Both wines have similar fruity flavors. In fact, some wine drinkers claimed that had they tasted Pinot Meunier during a blind tasting, they would have mistaken it for Pinot Noir. However, Meunier has a slightly stronger citrus flavor and lesser earthy notes.
  • Wine styles: Pinot Meunier is mainly used as a blending grape in Champagne and sparkling wines, while Pinot Noir is primarily produced as a varietal wine (as well as in blends.) However, in the past decade, we have seen a rising number of Pinot Meunier varietals.

Now let’s see how this grape has started moving beyond the classic Champagne blend.

From Champagne Blends to 100% Meunier Champagnes


As you know, the Champagne blend is a careful concoction of three major grape varieties - Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. (The winemaker may also use white grape varieties like Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc in Champagne production. Petit Meslier adds beautiful floral notes to the wine.)

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have always been the stars of Champagne. And, Meunier was considered a workhorse grape. It is known to give Champagne a richer texture and bright fruit notes, and its low tannin content also helps soften Champagne.

However, of late, wine growers have started giving the Meunier grape more attention giving shape to a good number of 100% Meunier Champagnes. It’s sweet, spicy, and savory tones have gotten winemakers like Bérêche & Fils, Christophe Mignon, and Chartogne-Taillet excited about the immense possibilities of the grape!

Meunier, however, is a finicky grape. Nevertheless it’s found a footing in some of the best wine regions. 

Read on.

Pinot Meunier In The Vineyard


A Pinot Meunier vine is more forgiving in the vineyard than Pinot Noir - it can tolerate cooler climates and a wide range of soils.

Since Pinot Meunier grapes bud later and ripen earlier than Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it is often used as an “insurance grape” in the blend. Its early ripening property also protects it from frost and coulure that could reduce the yield in poor vintages.

Also, the wine grape is susceptible to stunting. So, the vine plantings are protected from damaging winds and frost pockets by planting them on sunny slopes.

The best Meunier wines are made from old vine plantings of more than 20 years.

Pinot Meunier Wine Regions


The Pinot Meunier grape is primarily grown in these wine regions:

A. France

France has 12,130 hectares of Pinot Meunier vine plantings, accounting for 80% of the world’s Pinot Meunier vines. 

In Champagne, it is a crucial component of sparkling wines, so 40% of vineyards in the region are planted with this red wine grape. 

However, the wine grape hardly enjoys the terroir of Grand Cru vineyards. Pinot Noir takes up the Grand Cru sites, while the vine plantings of the Meunier grape variety are found in northern France - especially in Marne Valley (Vallee de la Marne.)

Outside Champagne, Pinot Meunier is grown throughout northern France in the Loire Valley regions of Touraine and Orleans, Cotes de Toul, and Moselle. In the Loire Valley, Pinot Meunier is used to produce light-bodied French rose wines that have distinct smokey notes.

B. The United States

In the US, Pinot Meunier vine plantings are found in the Carneros AVA in California. Some famous Pinot Meunier growers of the region are Bouchaine Vineyards and Domaine Chandon.

Meunier vines are also found in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. A leading Pinot Meunier wine grower of the Willamette Valley is Eyrie Vineyard.

C. Germany

Known as Schwarzriesling, Müllerrebe, and Müller-Traube, Pinot Meunier is used to produce a wide range of red winesin the country - from light off-dry wines (called Halbtrocken) to concentrated dry reds.

Around 74% of the German Pinot Meunier is grown in Wurttemberg, where it is used to produce a highly acidic pink wine called Schillerwein. Its smoky flavor has made it a crowd favorite.

The region also has a clone of the grape - Samtrot.

Outside Wurttemberg, Pinot Meunier vines are also grown in Baden, Franconia, and Palatinate.

Recently, the winemakers have started to use the grape in Sekt (a German sparkling wine) - not as a blend but as a varietal wine.

D. Australia

Pinot Meunier was grown in Australia even before Pinot Noir made its appearance in the country. 

In the Grampians region of Victoria, the grape variety was known as Miller’s Burgundy and was used to produce still red wine. 

But the popularity of Miller’s Burgundy slowly declined in the 20th century until the 2000s when Champagne-style Australian sparkling wines brought Pinot Meunier under the spotlight again.

One of the best Australian Pinot Meunier wines is Best’s Great Western Old Vine.

E. Other Pinot Meunier Wine Regions

Pinot Meunier is also grown in New Zealand (where it is used to produce still wines and sparkling wines), Switzerland, Austria, England, and Canada.

How Does Pinot Meunier Wine Taste?


Old vine Pinot Meunier varietal wines are dry with light to medium body and have low tannin levels, medium-high acidity, and 10-11.5% ABV.

Cooler-climate Pinot Meunier wines are lighter and fruitier.

Its primary flavors include tart cherry, raspberry, and strawberry with subtle hints of potting soil, mushroom, rose, mineral, and spice.

How To Serve Pinot Meunier Wine


To get the best of Pinot Meunier flavors, serve the wine at 55oF-60oF (12oC-15oC) in an aroma collector glass. If you’re drinking it young, decant it for 30 minutes before you serve it.

Food Pairings With Pinot Meunier Wine


Pinot Meunier wine goes best with pork, roasted chicken or duck, mushrooms, and grilled vegetables. The wine also pairs well with a Thanksgiving dinner of roasted turkey.

Best Pinot Meunier Wines To Buy In 2024 (Including Tasting Notes, Prices)

Here are some of the best Pinot Meunier wines that you should stock up - perfect for every occasion!

1. 2013 Georges Laval Cumieres Les Hautes Chevres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne, France


An elegant Pinot Meunier Champagne from northern France, this wine has an excellent citrus and mineral nose. The palate of this dry wine has a fruity cherry flavor and high acidity.

Price of 2013 Georges Laval Cumieres Les Hautes Chevres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne, France: $241

2. 2017 Domaine Aurelien Lurquin 'Les Crayeres du Levant' Meunier Brut Zero, Champagne, France


The nose of this Pinot Meunier sparkling wine has fruity aromas of baked apple and brioche, while the palate displays bright acidity and a yeasty finish.

Price of 2017 Domaine Aurelien Lurquin 'Les Crayeres du Levant' Meunier Brut Zero, Champagne, France: $267

3. 2014 Christophe Baron Charly-Sur-Marne Les Hautes Blanches Vignes Brut Nature, Champagne, France


This 2014 vintage gives off intense red fruit aromas on the nose. The palate is slightly sour with a lively acidity - a perfect drink to go with your lobster.

Price of 2014 Christophe Baron Charly-Sur-Marne Les Hautes Blanches Vignes Brut Nature, Champagne, France: $202

4. 2011 Emmanuel Brochet 'Les Hauts Meuniers' Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne, France


This sparkling wine is a slightly sweet Champagne admired for its exotic fruit aromas and flavors. While blind tasting, you will notice a striking minerality.

Price of 2011 Emmanuel Brochet 'Les Hauts Meuniers' Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne, France: $183

5. 2014 Mousse Fils 'Special Club' Rose de Saignee, Champagne, France


Another delicious varietal wine from a brilliant French winemaker, it has a lively bouquet with red currant, cherry, and mineral aromas. This dry wine has a distinct fruitiness on the palate.

Price of 2014 Mousse Fils 'Special Club' Rose de Saignée, Champagne, France: $202

6. NV Leclerc-Briant Blanc de Meunier Premier Cru Brut Zero, Champagne, France


This non-vintage Pinot Meunier Champagne has an aromatic bouquet of red fruit (mostly raspberry) and lemon. The palate has a medium acidity and low tannins.

Price of NV Leclerc-Briant Blanc de Meunier Premier Cru Brut Zero, Champagne, France: $164

7. 2004 Francoise Bedel Cuvee Comme Autrefois Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne, France


The nose of this fine Cuvee opens to earthy aromas with subtle red fruit and oak hints. The silky-smooth palate has a balanced acidity.

Price of 2004 Francoise Bedel Cuvee Comme Autrefois Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne, France: $153

8. NV Jerome Prevost La Closerie Les Beguines, Champagne, France


This NV wine gives off rich fruit aromas of pear and white peach. The palate is pulpy with a strong spice flavor.

Price of NV Jerome Prevost La Closerie Les Beguines, Champagne, France: $132

9. 2017 Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France


A 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne, this varietal wine is slightly bold and has lively acidity. On the nose, it has tropical fruit, stone, white flower, and tobacco aromas.

Price of 2017 Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France: $117

10. 2013 Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Extra Brut, Champagne, France


This varietal wine has a fragrant nose with golden apple, quince, earthy aromas. The palate is rich and concentrated with a juicy fruit flavor.

Price of 2013 Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Extra Brut, Champagne, France: $129

Investing in Pinot Meunier Wine 


While some exceptional Pinot Meunier wines can age for 10 years, most single-varietal wines are meant to be drunk young.

But, Pinot Meunier Champagnes can easily spend a decade in the cellar. And when blended with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it can age well for 20+ years. 

If you’re looking for wine investment options, then a varietal Pinot Meunier wine may not be the best option. Instead, go for the high-end Champagnes. Besides Champagne, you can even invest in other wines like a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Burgundian Pinot Noir, or even a fine Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley.

But before you buy any wine, you need to consider its authenticity and find the perfect storage space for it. 

But, don’t worry much about these nitty-gritties - here’s a simple solution.

Buy Fine Collectible Wines Through Vinovest


Vinovest is a world-class online wine investment platform that helps you buy and store authentic collectible wines from around the globe - be it from Champagne, New York or the Marne Valley.

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8. Ownership

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Start Your Fine Wine Investment Journey Today


Pinot Meunier blend Champagnes and 100% varietal ones can be perfect for your dinner table as well as your investment portfolio. 

Get in touch with Vinovest to explore the best ones and start building your very own exotic wine collection from the comfort of your home.

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