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Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru
This is a striking wine that reflects both the superb Grand Cru vineyards from which it is sourced (predominantly Ambonnay but also Bouzy and Verzenay), as well as the perfectionist viticulture and winemaking of Francis Egly. It’s made up of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from low yielding vines that have been harvested fully ripe. Natural fermentation with wild yeasts only and the first period of maturation (before going to bottle) lasts almost one year with the wine remaining on its fine lees for the whole time. The wines clarify slowly and naturally, as was once typical across the region, and as such there is no fining nor filtration. Over 50% of the wine is fermented and aged in oak casks and the dosage is tiny, around 4g/l, so Extra Brut territory. It is the wine we receive the most of, although demand still well outstrips supply. The quality is, as always, out of this world. Make no mistake, even at this level, we are already soaring to remarkable heights of quality. If Egly made only this wine, he would still be one of the superstars of the Champagne region. Yes, the price has risen over the years, yet it remains a wine that easily backs up the price in the glass. It is perhaps scandalous to point it out, but it is nonetheless true, that this is a wine that puts to shame many a prestige cuvée at considerably higher prices.
From the very first cuvée, Egly-Ouriet is distinguished for its ability to preserve exacting precision and outstanding chalk mineral focus in the midst of magnificent generosity. A vinous wine of calm authority, carrying the full grandeur and complexity of carefully tended, low-yielding, old vine Pinot Noir on some of Champagne’s most revered grand crus… A paradox of luxurious generosity and crystalline purity. 96 points -Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide
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