The family that owns Champagne Apollonis can trace winegrowing back to the 17th century. Proprietor Michel Loriot’s ancestor, Leopold Loriot (born in 1867), was a saxophonist in the brass band of Festigny, where the family is still based in the Marne Valley. Music courses through their lives and Monodie is produced from vines that were originally planted in 1942, the vineyard entirely devoted to Pinot Meunier. The ageing of the wine is accompanied by classical music. I can’t tell whether Bach, Mozart and Beethoven have improved the bubbly but can inform that Monodie is very good indeed. Of the three most widely grown varieties, Meunier is the most oxidative after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It takes on colour faster and is more generous and forward on the palate earlier too. In non-vintage wines, Meunier is very useful as a blending component. Bright light gold. Hint of peach, apricot, star anise and liquorice. Vinous and gently glycerol. A sumptuous freshness. Full-bodied without being heavy.