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Egly-Ouriet - New releases from one of Champagne's finest addresses

May 2020 

The consistently high quality of the Champagnes of Egly-Ouriet is nothing short of awe-inspiring. When we last offered these outstanding wines from Francis Egly, I commented as follows:
 
Egly-Ouriet’s wines were outstanding when we first offered them back in 2013, and the quality of his wines has advanced since then, reflecting his meticulousness and enduring desire to improve. Simply put, I regard the wines of Egly-Ouriet as being among the small handful of estates at the very pinnacle of Champagne production. In fact, I couldn’t name another estate where I find such quality and interest across the entire range. If you need convincing you need only try the Grand Cru Brut (previously known as ‘Grand Cru Tradition’) – Egly’s ever-dependable non-vintage, their primary cuvée – all sourced from Grand Cru classified vineyards unlike so many anodyne, run-of-the-mill NVs that dominate Champagne production and sell for heftier price tags with ease. The value offered by the wines of Egly-Ouriet is undeniable.
 
Nothing has changed, the following principles still apply…
  
• All of Egly’s wines draw on fruit from old vines in the Grand Cru villages of Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay. This comment applies to his superb NV Tradition as much as the most heralded wines in his range; there is no Premier Cru fruit employed.
• All of Egly’s wines are aged well beyond the norm before release. Nothing is hurried at all chez Egly; each cuvée benefits, in terms of complexity, from extended ageing of at least four years on their lees in bottle, way ahead of the statutory minimum for Champagne. The Vieillissement Prolongé (or V.P. for short) is the most extreme example spending 84 months on its lees.
• All of Egly’s wines are low dosage (dosage relates to the amount of sugar in the liqueur d’expedition that is added after the disgorgement process. This adjusts the wine’s overall sweetness/dryness). In Egly’s wines, there is nothing to mar the sheer purity.
• All of Egly’s wines are capable of developing in bottle, growing in complexity – that comment applies to the NV Tradition as much as it does to the Blanc de Noirs ‘Les Crayères’.
• And finally…these wines are produced in smaller quantities than most of the Champagnes with which you may be familiar; they are not seeking to further the aspirations of a brand, but rather to represent their origins. They are a far cry from some of the near-debased, commercial output of many famous names in Champagne. Making wines of such high and unerring quality requires not only considerable practical skill, but equally near maniacal focus. That’s exactly what you get with Egly-Ouriet.

I haven’t tasted the new releases given the current situation, but if there was one Champagne house, whose wines I would happily offer blind, it is Egly-Ouriet – I have never tasted one Champagne from them that has questioned my belief in their standards. To be clear, I have tasted the first two wines before; we offered these late last year year and have since sold out. The last three wines are new releases, offered here for the first time.

Having tasted numerous releases of the Crayères, it could be easily argued that this impeccable Blanc de Noirs is the finest wine in the Egly range – precise, rich, pure with a marked chalky mineral nuance and terrific persistence, it is a real tour de force as befits the legendary Crayères vineyard in Ambonnay. The vintage releases from Egly have proven so fascinating to follow – you may recall the 2008 received rave reviews in many quarters, with William Kelley of robertparker.com awarding it a perfect score. Egly have taken the decision to release the 2011 ahead of the 2010, which is likely to be a more structured wine with aspirations for longer development in bottle. 2011 was a tricky vintage to navigate in Champagne given various weather events, and is likely to drink well from a young age. That said, it is worth stressing that an earlier release of Egly’s Crayères, which comprised 60% from the 2011 vintage, scored highly with numerous critics (95 from Galloni and 97 from Kelley) and possibly provides the greatest indication of quality chez Egly in this vintage.
 
I am normally opposed to showing a hotch-potch of critics’ scores and notes, but the nature of Champagne releases is such that seldom has a critic tasted all the current releases. Below I have used notes from both Antonio Galloni and William Kelley from vinous.com and robertparker.com as a guide. Fortunately, their notes on previous releases show they both rate the wines of this estate on a similar level!
 
NV Brut Grand Cru, Egly-Ouriet
£270 per 6 bottle case in bond
Disgorgement: 2019
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Base wines: 50% from 2014, 20% from 2013, 20% from 2012, 10% from 2011
93 points, William Kelley, robertparker.com

The latest release of the NV Brut Grand Cru (which will no longer be known as "Tradition") was disgorged in June with three grams per liter dosage and is based on the 2014 vintage, complemented by reserve wines from 2013, 2012 and 2011. Opening in the glass with aromas of warm bread, fresh peach, green apples and dried white flowers, it's medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and layered, with refined structuring extract, a bright spine of acidity and excellent concentration, concluding with a long and precise finish. This cuvée amounts to some 50,000 bottles, effectively half the domaine's production, and it remains one of Champagne's finest values. Drink 2019-2029
 
NV Extra-Brut Grand Cru V.P. (Vieillissement Prolongé), Egly-Ouriet
£350 per 6 bottle case in bond
Disgorgement: 2019
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Base wines: 33% from 2009, 33% from 2010. 33% from 2011
94 points, William Kelley, robertparker.com

A blend of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages that was bottled in 2012 and disgorged in early 2019, the latest rendition of Egly's NV Extra-Brut Grand Cru V.P. will be released later this year, and it will be well worth seeking out. Unfurling in the glass with notes of crisp yellow orchard fruit, pastry cream and almond paste, the wine is medium to full-bodied, concentrated and precise, with a layered core, impressive structuring dry extract and an elegant, pinpoint mousse, concluding with a long and penetrating finish. Even in the context of an impressive track record, this rendition of the V.P. impressed for its purity and definition. Drink 2018-2028

NV Brut Rosé Grand Cru, Egly-Ouriet
£350 per 6 bottle case in bond
Disgorgement : 2019
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Base wines : 50% from 2013, 30% from 2012 and 20% from 2011
93 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com

The NV Brut Rosé Grand Cru pulses with real energy. Cranberry, white flowers, chalk and mint give the Rosé an airy brightness, especially in the aromatics, but there is plenty of depth as well. Far from an easygoing wine, Egly's Rosé has the charm to drink well as an aperitif as well as the structure to pair with just about anything at the dinner table. I would give it a few months in bottle, as the wine appears to still be recovering from its recent disgorgement in July, 2019. Drink 2020-2028
 
NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru ‘Les Crayères’, Egly-Ouriet 
£595 per 6 bottle case in bond
Disgorgement: will be July 2020
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Base wines: 60% from 2013, 40% from 2012
 

2011 Brut Grand Cru Millésime, Egly-Ouriet
£595 per 6 bottle case in bond
Disgorgement: will be July 2020
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay

 
Please let us know of your interest. We are in the process of shipping the first three wines. The latter two will be released in the autumn post disgorgement.
 
All the best,
 
Simon


To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299, info@atlasfinewines.com or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis. 

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