Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Brut Tradition, France

$180 $160

This is a top-class artisan Champagne that I believe will change how you think about Champagne.

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If hypothetically (thankfully it is hypothetical!) I had to drink just one non-vintage Champagne in a year it would be this one. Egly Ouriet (pronounced Egg-Lee O-ree-ay) is run by Francis Egly who’s skills making Champagne with Pinot Noir is unmatched. Larmandier-Bernier achieves such brilliance, expression and purity with Chardonnay but with Pinot Noir Egly Ouriet reigns. Egly’s estate is in Ambonnay, there are also vineyards in Bouzy and Verzenay, Francis manages all these vineyards with strict biodynamic and organic principles, like Larmandier-Bernier and many other of the  truly great Champagne producers. Francis Egly believes that the only way for a wine to truly express it terroir, its place, is to be grown with these biodynamic principles. All of Francis Egly’s vines are Grand Cru, along with his management of the vine this means he has the best Pinot Noir in the region.

This wine is an intense expression of Francis Egly’s vineyards, it deftly walks the line between generosity and austere minerality that is unique to Francis’ wines. The care and precision that goes into this wine is astounding. All hand harvested fully ripe fruit is whole bunch crushed in a small basket press, wild yeast then ferments the juice over an entire year! For comparison most commercial wine finishes its ferment in 4 days! This long and cool ferment means that resulting wine is as elegant as it gets. Francis then moves some of the wine into oak to mature. This blend is made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and is aged in the bottle on its lees for 48 months, which is a really long time for a non-vintage Champagne.

I truly can’t express how much I enjoy this wine, the care that Francis puts into each bottle is amazing, the man in incredibly passionate about his wines and speaks very clearly and succinctly about his vision and his practice.

The nose on this wine is generous and powerful, elderflower, preserved apples, pear flowers with a hint of flinty gun smoke. The palate is round which is the influence of some old reserve wine as well as oak but it has a freshness to it that makes it far too easy to polish off your glass. The long ageing in the bottle adds a nice weight to the wine. This is a top-class artisan Champagne that, I believe, will change how you think about Champagne.

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