|Grapes||Chardonnay, Pinot Noir|
A vinous version, featuring a delicate mousse and mouthwatering acidity, this is reminiscent of aged white Burgundy, with hints of toasted hazelnut, coffee liqueur and straw accenting baked cherry, mineral and crystalized honey flavors. Smoke and saline notes linger on the finish. Disgorged October 2017. Drinking range: 2018 - 2027 Rating: 94-94 Alison Napjus, The Wine Spectator (Oct 2018)
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The 2007 Brut Millésime Grand Cru is soft, open-knit and quite expressive. Although a touch slender, the 2007 offers terrific persistence and also has the balance to drink well for at least a handful of years. Apricot, red plum, dried flowers, lemon confit and dried flowers add layers of nuance to a mid-weight Champagne that is more about understated class and power. The 2007 spent a whopping 102 months on its lees prior to being disgorged in January 2017. Drinking range: 2017 - 2025 Rating: 94-94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Dec 2017)
Francis Egly is the current fourth-generation head of Ambonnay Champagne grower-producer Egly-Ouriet. He is against 'vins stereotypés', believing that his mission is 'to please but also to surprise', and insisting that 'the biggest mistake in Champagne is to go against nature'.
With the exception of the Pinot Meunier vines in Vrigny, the 9 hectare estate is exclusively Grand Cru, stretching across Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay. Pinot Noir is planted on 7 ha, Chardonnay on 2 ha, and the average age of the vines is more than 35 years. The exposure of many of the vines is south or south east, which gives exceptional ripeness, while the poverty of the shallow and chalky subsoil give a strong mineral streak.
The already high natural ripeness levels are raised higher still by the green-harvesting. Egly is adamant that acidity is not fundamental, and almost always sufficient, while bitterness is always fatal. An advocate of 'lutte raisonée' he avoids all insecticides, uses only organic fertilisers and continues to plough as his predecessors have always done.
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