Since we introduced the outstanding Champagnes of Egly-Ouriet to our clients back in 2013, we have received much positive feedback whether they are commenting on the non-vintage ‘Grand Cru Tradition’, the exceptional ‘Crayères Blanc de Noirs’ or the vintage release.
In short, these are some of the finest Champagnes you can purchase in their respective styles. For me, they rank among the elite of Champagne without a shadow of a doubt and unsurprisingly, I am not alone in being so convinced. As Antonio Galloni has previously commented, ‘Egly-Ouriet remains one of Champagne’s leading small growers. From top to bottom these wines impress for their inimitable class…these are among the most pure, unmanipulated Champagnes readers will come across.’
I will be honest: Francis Egly is not the easiest grower to work with, he is meticulous beyond belief in business which is reflected in his obsessive approach to quality, and he always ages his wines well beyond the statutory minimum for Champagne. The most extreme example is the V.P or Vieillissement Prolongé, which is aged for 84 months+ in Egly’s cellar on its fine lees before release. His non-vintage, ‘entry level’ Champagne is only made from fruit derived from Grand Cru rated vineyards – a far cry from some of the near-debased, commercial output of many famous names in Champagne. It is clear that making wines of such high and unerring quality requires not only practical skill, but equally near maniacal focus.
All of Egly’s wines draw on fruit from old vines of the Grand Cru classified villages of Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay. Nothing is hurried at all; each cuvée benefits, in terms of complexity, from extended ageing of at least four years on their lees in bottle. Not only does each bottle of Egly show rare harmony, but they have picked up those intriguing patisserie, fresh bread-like notes that build fascination in great Champagne. All of the Egly wines are low dosage (the process of adding a sweet syrup to adjust the wine’s balance and overall sweetness/dryness). In Egly’s wines, there is nothing to mar the sheer purity.
You can probably gather that I am a huge fan of Egly-Ouriet and I am pleased to say that the wines have backed up my view - if your comments are any gauge. I am really pleased to have just shipped a new set of releases, which are detailed below. Francis Egly helpfully reveal the date of disgorgement and the duration in the cellar on the back label of each bottle. All of the below will be available for delivery in advance of Christmas if required, although even the non-vintage styles can age further as required as the drink dates suggest.
NV, Brut Tradition ‘Grand Cru’, Egly-Ouriet
£195 per 6 bottle case in bond
Always favourably reviewed by Galloni, but he has note tasted this release. My note below (SL).
70% Pinot Noir/ 30% Chardonnay. A blend of 2011(50%), 2010 (30%) and 2009 (20%), half of the base wine was fermented in barrel.
This is an exceptional NV – notes of pear skin and even peach on the nose, framed by smoky mineral nuances. This has a gradually building complexity, terrific underscoring acidity to its mellow, yet rich fruit of ripe citrus and buttered toast. Revealing that hallmark Egly tension and race, this is a slightly more generous than the previous release as I recall. Beautifully defined, long, pure and stylish. As impressive as it ever was and a NV that competes with the very best. Drink 2016-2019. (SL)
NV, Vieillissement Prolongé ‘V.P.’ ‘Grand Cru’, Extra Brut, Egly-Ouriet
£275 per 6 bottle case in bond
95 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
Aged for over 7 years in the cellar before release, 70% Pinot Noir/ 30% Chardonnay. A blend of 2008 (60%) and 2006 (40%)
One of the many highlights in this range, the NV Extra Brut Grand Cru V.P. (Vieillissement Prolongé) bristles with energy from start to finish. Two important vintages (2008 and 2006) come together in this release. Lemon oil, chamomile, pear, hazelnut, acacia and wild flowers open up in the glass, but it is the wine's interplay of power and freshness that is totally beguiling. There is so much to like. The current release is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, 60% 2008 and 40% 2006. Disgorged November, 2015. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. Drink 2016-2022.
NV Les Crayères, Blanc de Noirs, ‘Grand Cru’, Vieilles Vignes, Egly-Ouriet
£440 per 6 bottle case in bond
96 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
Aged for 54 months in the cellar. A Blanc de Noirs, pure Pinot Noir, from the vineyard of Les Crayères in Ambonnay which was planted in 1946. A blend of 2009 (50%) and 2008 (50%). NB. Galloni’s note below states a difference in blend, but our detail is from Egly directly.
The NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Les Crayères Vieilles Vignes is one of the more refined, polished wines I have ever tasted from Francis Egly. Everything is simply in the right place. Mirabelle plum, hard candy, flowers, mint and chalk are all beautifully delineated in a super-classy, polished Champagne that showcases the Egly-Ouriet style at its very best. Lifted, gracious and precise, the Vieilles Vignes is simply magnificent. The 25% new oak is totally integrated, even at this early stage. This release is 60% 2009 and 40% 2008, a blend of vintages that could not possibly be more complementary. Disgorged November, 2015. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. Drink 2016-2026.
2006 Millesime ‘Grand Cru’ Brut, Egly-Ouriet
£370 per 6 bottle case in bond
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
70% Pinot Noir/ 30% Chardonnay. The base wine was vinified entirely in barrel.
Another standout, the 2006 Brut Millesime is stellar. This is an especially broad, creamy Champagne built on textural richness. Lemon oil, white flowers, smoke, almonds and baked apple are some of the signatures. Rich and resonant on the palate, the 2006 will drink beautifully for another decade or so, even if it could benefit from a little more time in bottle. Egly's 2006 is a pure pleasure to taste today. Disgorged November, 2015. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. Drink 2018-2026.
Please let us know of your interest in these truly exceptional Champagnes.