With a family history that stretches back to 1530, the story of Champagne Vignier is rich and varied, but it really starts to take shape in the mid 20th century when Nathalie Vignier's grandfather, Paul LeBrun, separated from the big negociants, and became an independent vigneron - one of the first to do so in the Cote des Blancs.
Planted between 1950 and 2010, the Vignier vineyards are deeply rooted in the chalky slopes of the grand cru villages of Cramant, Oiry, Chouilly. They are tended without herbicides or pesticides, and all grapes are hand picked at optimum maturity.
The Grand Cru Champagne Ora Alba is a blend of these three vineyards, and is 100% Chardonnay. The current disgorgement is based on the 2009 vintage, with portions of 2010 and 2011. 6 years on lees with 5g/L dosage.
A Champagne Grand Cru coming from our father’s vineyards in Cramant, Oiry and Chouilly. Here we grow only Chardonnay on soils of pure chalk. This wine loves to accompany sushi or sashimi, a sole ceviche, a Carpaccio of sea bream or any other kind of raw fish. It’s creamy texture makes it perfect for an aperitif and different kinds of cheese.
Terroir: chalky soils in Cramant, Chouilly, Oiry
Fermented in steel tanks, malo-lactic fermentation done.
Harvest: 65% 2009, 35% 2010 and 2011.
Ageing: 6 years on fine lees.
Dosage: 5 g/L Extra Brut
Fresh on the nose, with flavors of apples and lemon, as well as hints of peaches. Tasty and smooth, this wine has a real texture, due to its fine bubbles and mineral acidity, as typical for the wines from the Côte des Blancs. On the palate, it evolves towards brioche-like, buttery and toasty flavors, with a touch of thyme and grapefruit on the final.
The Vignier family history in Champagne dates to 1530, the time of Nicolas Vignier of Bars sur Seine. Nicolas was a physician, lawyer, theologian, and court historian for Henry III. His descendant, Nathalie Vignier, is now the tenth generation to pursue viticulture and winemaking in Champagne, and the sixth generation to do so in the grand cru village of Cramant, in the Côte des Blancs. In the early 20th century, Nathalie’s grandfather, Paul Lebrun, had two hectares, taken over from his father, Henri Lebrun. Paul resolved to become an independent vigneron by separating himself from the big négociants after World War I and was among the first to do so in the Côte des Blancs. Nathalie and her brother, Jean, took over the domaine from their parents 12 years ago, with Jean on the business side and Nathalie in the vineyards and cellar. They were joined by Sebastian Nickel, a German wine maker and close friend of the family. All J. Vignier bottlings come from Chardonnay grapes hand picked at optimum maturity, whole-cluster pressed, with separation of first and second press juices, using only the first press. There is cold settling for clarification and slow fermentation at low temperatures with various selected yeasts. All base wines are fermented in stainless steel tank and go through malo, with several months of tank aging. Bottling for the second fermentation occurs in spring. An extraordinary minimum of 36 months (up to 8 or 12 years for some cuvées) bottle aging before disgorgement is a house requirement. Dosage is “Extra Brut” (5 g/L) for all wines. Vintage wines are made only in stellar years.
17/20 - Vinum Champagne Special 2019
Gold Medal - Challenge International du Vin 2018
18/20 - Il Miggliori 99 Maison di Champagne Italy
2 Stars - Guide Hachette 2018
4 Stars - Andreas Larsson
16.5/20 - Vinum Champagne Special December 2017