|Grapes||Pinot Noir, Chardonnay|
VP stands for 'vieillissement prolongée' (extended ageing). 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Six or seven years in the cellar before disgorgement, with a virtually non-existent dosage. Lots of power and elegance. L&S (Jul 2005)
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The NV Extra Brut V.P. Grand Cru (Vieillissement Prolongé) is a rich, textured Champagne that expresses all of the natural intensity gained after having spent eight years on its lees. Baked apple tart, pastry, spice, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes infuse the V.P. with tremendous flavor complexity to fill out its broad, expansive frame. It is a wine of remarkable depth and vinous intensity. In a word: superb. Disgorged: July, 2020. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Nov 2020)
Egly-Ouriet’s NV Extra Brut V.P. Grand Cru (Vieillissement Prolongé) is a blend of 60% 2008 and 40% 2006, two vintages that are hugely complementary. Deep, persistent and powerful, the V.P. is a brilliant, super-expressive Champagne. Rating: 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jul 2017)
The NV Extra Brut V.P. Grand Cru (Magnum) emerges from old vines in Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay. Powerful, ample and creamy, the VP possesses tremendous depth and richness. Vinification and aging in oak brings out the pure intensity of this fruit, something that 82 months on the lees draws out even further. A host of dried pear, smoke, menthol and spice build into the ample, expressive finish. Rating: 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Dec 2016)
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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