One of the beauties of Champagne is the large number of producers that have been making wines for generations, and when we think we have found all of them worth knowing, there is always a new producer that grabs our attention and proves us wrong. Such is Jean Michel, where the family for 160 years has been producing very fine Champagne a few miles outside of the Village of Epernay in the commune of Moussy. Some of our clients might remember this commune as the home town to one of our direct imports, Jose Michel, though the two are not directly related. We love Moussy for one major reason: it is home to some of the best Pinot Meunier in all of Champagne, and even producers like Krug cash in on the fantastic Meunier grown here at times. The Jean Michel estate is run by a younger vigneron, Oliver Michel, 30 years old, and his father. Like many of the new generation, he is not looking for complacency but to prove himself through his wines. Oliver is an intelligent winemaker and promotes sustainable and organic winemaking on the 12 hectares of family vines with extensive work to make sure that they can show their best. Jean Michel makes about ten different Cuvees, and at the top of the list is the Cuvee Speciale which shows off the beautiful Pinot Munier of the estate with an equal amount of Chardonnay. It is a Cuvee that spent ten years on the lees before release, which is remarkable at this pricing for such a small, little known estate. The Chardonnay brings energy and vivacity while the Pinot Munier supplies the concentration and complexity of exotic fruit and spice, which is the grape's signature. The Cuvee Speciale shows lovely richness but with ample acidity to bring lift, fullness, and balance. A top buy for vintage grower Champagne, this is a no-brainer at unbelievable pricing for a bottle that has been recently released. The Champagnes from Jean Michel are impressive and never imported. This is one to stock up on because deals like this are getting harder to come across and we have the only bottles available in the USA.