Grower Champagne Club – December 2013

Domaine Egly-Ouriet, Brut Tradition Grand Cru
Francis Egly is a serious force in Champagne. Like his father and grandfather before him, he is meticulous and conscientious beyond equal in his vineyards and he is widely considered to be one of the most talented vignerons in the region. He also happens to be one of the original grower-producers imported by Michael Skurnik, back when the concept of grower Champagne was barely on most people’s radar. It doesn’t hurt that he owns absolutely top notch vineyard sites, with grand cru vineyards in the Montagne de Reims villages of Ambonnay, Bouzy, and Verzenay, plus a premier cru holding in Vrigny, the source for his “Les Vignes de Vrigny” which we featured in the club back in May, 2011. As we described then, Egly neither fines nor filters his base wines, in order to preserve as much of the inherent nuances as possible (a rare practice in Champagne), and he ages all of his wines at least three years on their yeasts. For most Champagne producers, this extended aging is usually reserved for only their top cuvées but it is what adds the characteristic richness and body to Egly-Ouriet’s Champagnes. The Brut Tradition Grand Cru is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, from old vine vineyards in Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay, with about 20% fermented in barrel. It is elegantly textured, with a soft warmth and notes of stone fruit and toast and bracing minerality. Enjoy this one anytime, perhaps with an upcoming holiday meal, or to toast the New Year. It is $87.