Tradition Brut Grand Cru Ambonnay Champagne Egly-Ouriet
|Grapes||Chardonnay, Pinot Noir|
The wine is fermented using natural yeast and aged on the lees for a year so that the wines clarify slowly, before they are bottled without fining or filtering. The cuvée (70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay) is a rich, full-bodied wine with evolved flavours this is immensely satisfying, while still fresh and beautifully balanced. L&S (Sep 2018)
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Based on the 2012 vintage (50%) and reserve wines from 2011, 2010 and 2009, the NV Brut Tradition Grand Cru (disgorged in January 2018, after 54 months on the lees) offers a very clear, fine and elegant bouquet with sweet cherry aromas, a kiss of oak and some oxidative notes. It's a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier, and 50% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. Bone dry, very fine and fresh on the palate, this is a pretty mineral, straight and linear Grand Cru with a long, intense, pretty aromatic as well as fresh and structured finish. However, this full-bodied wine never loses its finesse, elegance or purity. This wine accounts for 50% of the total production. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 92 Stephan Reinhart, The Wine Advocate, erobertparker.com(Aug 2018)
This boasts rich flavors of pastry dough, blackberry, graphite and slivered almond, with a firm backbone of racy acidity. Well-knit. Disgorged October 2016. Drinking range: 2017 - 2022 Rating: 93 Alison Napjus, The Wine Spectator(Sep 2017)
Francois Egly is the fourth-generation head of this Champagne grower-producer, long a favourite of those with an eye for serious quality. A blend of 70% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay, the fruit has an attractive floral nose with a clean mineral streak. Very good indeed.Will Lyons, The Sunday Times(Aug 2017)
The NV Brut Tradition is a gorgeous wine that captures the essence of the Egly-Ouriet house style. White flowers, mint, chalk and green orchard fruit abound in a Champagne endowed with notable freshness and vivacity. Rating: 91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Jul 2017)
The NV Brut Tradition Grand Cru is superb and also a terrific introduction to the house style. Creamy and layered in the glass, with lovely aromatic nuance, the Tradition captures the generosity and resonance that is such a signature of the Egly-Ouriet Champagnes. Drinking range: 2014 - 2020 Rating: 90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Dec 2016)
Tasty execution of this grower's Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Grand Cru fizz, with the gentle shortbread nose supplemented by the seduction of baked apples. Clean, sour and citrussy on the palate with bouncy bubbles and a subtle praline finish to lend it weight and distinction. Rating: 92-92 www.thewinegang.com(Oct 2015)
Aromas of spiced blood orange, grilled nuts and honey all make for a complex and engaging proposition; there's a toffee and brulée-like layer too, with baked apples and spice. The palate's bold, powerful and makes a grand statement of black grape depth. Flavorsome blueberry, cherry and peach pastry notes run long amid smooth-honed phenolics. Drink now or up to five years if you prefer to embrace more richness. Rating: 93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Jul 2015)
The Brut Tradition Grand Cru is sourced from… three… grand cru villages (Bouzy, Ambonnay and Verzenay), and is therefore unsurprisingly dominated by Pinot Noir, which makes up 70% of the blend, the remaining 30% being Chardonnay. The house style is influenced by the use of oak for the first fermentation for at least some (but not all) of the wines, and a relatively low dosage typically less than 5 g/l. Although non-vintage wines can confuse communication with the consumer, this is avoided by Francis who states not only the date of disgorgement on the back label but also the length of time the wine was age on the lees (here, a magnificent 46 months). Nevertheless, in the glass the Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru displays its youth as it foams wildly in the glass, but it soon settles down to display a calm but plentiful bead, with moderately fine bubbles. The nose is simply charming, open and accessible; it actually starts off with some notes of baked apples and feels slightly oxidative, but after about ten minutes these aromas have given way to scents of brioche and toast, with a cashew nut backdrop, and cleaner notes of fresh-cut green apple. It is classically Pinot Noir in style, and it promises much. It has a very harmonious start on the palate, showing good weight and a very creamy, pleasing, harmonious middle, with good support from the acids and mousse. It feels ripe, slightly exotic, but dry and precise. It might not have such a long finish, but it feels very composed. Overall this is a very smart Champagne which should be very popular with all. Rating: 16.5 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com
42 months on the lees and then disgorged January 2011. A bit of apple peel. Very ‘natural’. Very pure and unadorned. All top Montagne de Reims villages. Extreme champagne. Very dry finish. Lots of potential. October 2011 Rating: 17-17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
Very fine Pinot Noir-based Champagne from the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay. Ripe, perfumy, red fruit flavours and a full, textured palate stretching out to a long finish. Tremendous fruit, precision and clarity. Rating: 94 www.thewinegang.com
This wine was disgorged in November 2009 and has an attractive caramel edge, but really is all about freshness with bruised apple and nettle notes. The palate is nimble and crisp, with fantastic clarity and length, pushing the wine through to a wonderfully fruity but precise finish. What a joy to behold (and drink!) and will cellar well. Rating: 94-94 www.thewinegang.com
Very grown-up, with buttery richness intermingling with aromas of nuts and toasted almonds. There's a lovely weight to the fruit on the palate and a creamy gutsiness to it as well. Dry and pure. '50 festive favourites'.Decanter Magazine
Drink 2007-11 Quite evolved and full on the nose. Lovely delicate mousse - not very explosive, just gentle. Pure and very long. Serious wine rather than simple champagne. 12.5% Rating: 18/20 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
Marvellous old-fashioned stuff. Don't waste this on some thirsty dude you've just met in a bar. Keep it for friends trusted and true, because it's quite an experience. Champagne gets it's sparkle from a second fermentation in the bottle. The yeast sediment is usaully removed after a year or two, at most, but this bubbly stayed sitting on that tasty, creamy yeast for 38 months and given that the grapes come from the powerhouse village of Ambonnay, the result is an austere and impressive mouthful of apple flesh, brown and slightly bruised, rice-crispies cereal softness and a gaunt, shining, hazelnut husk dryness. 250 best Wines, Wine Buying Guide 2009.Oz Clarke
(disgorged October 2006) Light yellow. Ripe peach and yellow plum on the nose, with a suave toasted hazelnut quality adding interest. Vibrant yellow fruit flavors are impressively fresh, showing impressive depth and chewy texture. This seems more energetic than many past bottlings from this producer, with striking clarity and great finishing persistence. Rating: 91-91 Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Divinely rich: honey, hazlenuts and macaroons with redcurrants. 'The Wine Detective: Turning over a new leaf-Go Green!'Simon Woods
Pale gold. Ripe pear, melon, peach pit and honeysuckle aromas, with a gentle mineral accent. Subtle notes of lees and marzipan complement fresh pear and white peach flavors. A nicely focused, midweight Champagne with a bright citrus peel element carrying through the finish. Vibrant and refined. Rating: 90-90 Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
The NV Grand Cru exhibits superb, rich, full-bodied flavours with honeyed apple notes, wonderful effervescence and freshness. This offering is not an aperitif-styled Champagne. It is meant to be drunk with food. Rating: 92-92 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com
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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