Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Les Crayères NV

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EGGNNVNV10 UCAU
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  • 1 or more bottles
    $510.00
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  • Antonio Galloni
    96+ points

Editors notes

Bottling: 2015

Disgorgement: July 2021

Time on lees: 72 months

This is the emblematic wine from Francis Egly. Michel Bettane, the influential French critic, encouraged Egly to bottle this single vineyard wine separately and the first vintage was in 1989. This latest release was bottled after the 2014 vintage had spent close to one year in cask and blended with 40% reserve wines from the 2013 vintage. All of the vinification and aging for both vintages was in barriques.

The fruit comes from old vines in a single terroir known as Les Crayères. The vines here were planted in 1946, so are now 75 years old. The soil is barely 30cm deep, then it’s chalk, hundreds of metres down—hence the name of the site (craie is French for ‘chalk’). Les Crayères is situated mid-slope with a full south-facing exposure, not far from the Estate’s cellars. The old vines are deeply rooted, giving the wine a classic, mineral energy that weaves its way through the powerful, textured Pinot fruit. The concentration is a product of the ripeness and low yields that both the site and its ancient vines naturally deliver.

The wine is both a tribute to the greatest sites of Ambonnay and to the Egly-Ouriet Domaine. Houses that emphasise blending may consider a 100% old-vine Ambonnay like this to be too intense; Egly gives it to you pure and powerful! And, with minimal dosage of two grams per litre. It’s a unique wine, built for food and for aging. It’s already drinking wonderfully well but will certainly benefit from two to five years in the cellar. A unique expression of a singular terroir, and right up there when talking about candidates for the region’s greatest wine. It’s certainly the greatest Blanc de Noirs.

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Earthy
    • Herbal
    • Red Fruits
  • Palate
    • Cedar
    • Red Cherry
    • Strawberry

Food Pairings

  • Fish
  • Game
  • Poultry

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Antonio Galloni

    96+
    "Vinous The NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Crayeres Grand Cru explodes from the glass with a range of Pinot aromas and flavors that is just breathtaking. Bright acids and beams of saline intensity offer striking contrast. Even though it has just been Disgorged:, the Crayeres is just stunning. For readers who want to know what Pinot from Ambonnay tastes like, well, this is it. Hints of Mirabelle plum, red plum and dried flowers linger on the substantial finish. Disgorged: July, 2020"

Other vintages

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Locations

France

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Champagne

Champagne is a wine region to the north-east of Paris where wine has been grown since the Romans first planted in the 5th century and the region is most well known for the sparkling wine that goes by the regions name.

Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.
A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.

Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.

Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Kristal are world reknowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.

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Pairs Well With

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About the brand Egly-Ouriet

Egly-ouriet Is A Well Known And Respected Grower, Although Not One That I Ever Became Sufficiently Familiar With To Profile On Winedoctor, Back In The Days Before I Decided Solely To Focus On Bordeaux And The Loire Valley.

This Is A Family Run Domaine, And The Patriarch Francis Egly Has Just 11.7 Hectares Of Vines To His Name. He Is Based In Ambonnay, One Of Several Grand Cru Villages In The Montagne De Reims, One Of Champagne's Principal Regions.

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