Domaine Migot "Methode Traditionnelle" Brut Rose NV, Lorraine

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This is, without a doubt, the absolute last, totally final, uncool, overlooked, absolutely not-discussed, wine region in France – all the more curious since Alsace, the Lorraine’s southern neighbor, has in the last decade somehow transitioned from a staid somewhat misunderstood classic to basically the eastern Loire, a bastion of hip, 0-sulfur wines and all the completely illegible labels that implies.

My wife’s family, who lives in Strasbourg, had the following comment when I told them I was importing a wine from the Cotes du Toul: “Where’s the Cotes du Toul?”

Follow the Mosel river valley back from Germany into France (called the Moselle here, merci beaucoup) and near the river’s source is the cool climate region of Lorraine and our jewel of a village, Cotes du Toul. It might be near Alsace but the soul of the wines have more to do with Chablis – maybe even the village of Chitry, anyone? – than anywhere else.

Cotes du Toul is so overlooked in part because so many of their grapes were sold to Champagne before the French appellation laws were enforced. Which is to say, Cotes du Toul has a long history of growing excellent grapes for bubbles—and even more so the Migot family who has been here for thirteen generations in the vineyards.

These wines are sharp and crystaline and damn serious as their loving vineyard work implies; the fruit can be very detailed, but the layers are fine and the overall sensation is fresh. They have a quivering lip-smacking acidity and that same damn pervasive minerality that saturates and practically stains your palate like the best Chablis. For those looking for wines of finesse and delicacy, this is a thrilling discovery.

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