Domaine Francois Mikulski Cremant de Bourgogne Brut
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
François’ Mikulski’s father was Lieutenant Mieczyslaw Mikulski who escaped from occupied Poland in 1939, fleeing to England and joining the Resistance troops of the Free Polish Forces. There he met his future wife, a Burgundian woman working on an English army base, and moved to Brussels where François was born and raised. Luckily for us and the world of wine, François spent his formative summers in Burgundy, where he fell in love with the agrarian lifestyle and determined that he would one day make wine himself. He inherited his first plots of Meursault in 1992 from his late uncle, Pierre Boillot. Since that time, he has relentlessly pursued his authenticity, purity and elegance through acute attention to biological balance in the vineyard and terroir minded élevage practices in the cellar. After meticulous sorting in the vineyards the grapes are de-stemmed and lightly pressed. Natural yeasts are used in the fermentation after which the wines undergo an élevage 10-12 months. François typically restrains his new oak use to about 20%, believing that excessive wood masks full expression of the terroir.
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, continental climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.
The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red and white are produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.