100% Pinot Meunier from a single, 40-year-old, south-facing vineyard in Vrigny, a commune located on the Petite Montagne de Reims. Straight Pinot Meunier remains a rarity in Champagne and in Egly's hands it is something special. Low yields, old vines and ripe fruit make this one of the most intense Meunier wines kicking around. Spicy, fruity, fleshy, yet very dry and mineral.
Assemblage: 50% from the 2013 vintage, 30% from 2012 and 20% from 2011. Disgorged: November 2017 Dosage: 4g/L Time on lees: 40 months
“Few producers can equal Francis Egly in skill and experience, and larger houses cannot hope to emulate the cultivation norms…”
Michel Bettane, The World's Greatest Wines.
“What Larmandier-Bernier achieves with Chardonnay, so Egly-Ouriet manages for Pinot Noir: wines of riveting purity and concentration.” Andrew Jefford, The New France
“Egly-Ouriet is one of the reference-point growers in Champagne, with a deep selection of wines that offer remarkable transparency to site, vintage and variety ... These are among the most pure, unmanipulated Champagnes readers will come across, and the estate’s new releases are all highly recommended.” Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate
Egly-Ouriet - pronounced pretty much as it reads: egg-lee oo-ree-ay - along with Selosse and Larmandier-Bernier, make up the holy trinity of great grower Champagnes. They are some of only a handful of growers who follow biodynamic, organic or 'living soil' principals of viticulture. These three producers do not use chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides or chemical anti-fungal sprays; they work on very low yields (roughly half the regional average); produce vineyard or village specific wines; minimise the use of sugar addition and follow a very natural winemaking regime with no fining or filtration and low levels of sulphur. All these factors combined – in particular the belief in ‘site-specific’ wines - is offering a wonderful challenge to the traditional Champagne methodology of high yields, high dosage and blending across many communes to achieve a house style. In many ways, the Egly-Ouriet Domaine has been at the forefront of this movement. For example, the Egly family was one of the very few growers in Champagne who always refused to use gadoux (ground city rubbish) as fertiliser on their precious vineyards. The brilliant Egly vineyards (Grand Cru & Pinot Noir dominant), the natural viticulture and low yields and the high percentage of reserve wine used, are the main reasons why the Egly-Ouriet wines taste so different - so fruit-pure, intense, rich and complex.
Run by Francis Egly, this producer has become a cult Champagne for devotees around the world. This is the reward for very hard work in the vineyards and meticulous attention to detail. Egly-Ouriet is in Ambonnay, with vineyards also in Bouzy and Verzenay. They also own a remarkable plot of old vine Pinot Meunier at Vrigny, which is vinified separately. Apart from Vrigny, these are all 100 per cent Grand Cru, Pinot Noir areas. As such, the wines are Pinot dominant, rich and powerful with deep colours, hedonistic aromas and explosive, layered personalities in the mouth. If you have never tasted the wines of this producer, be prepared for wines that have nothing to do with traditional Champagne styles. Egly-Ouriet is also famous – at least in France – for their Ambonnay Rouge, a 100 per cent Pinot Noir dry red.
Another point of difference is that Egly-Ouriet lists on their back labels the amount of time each wine was aged on lees and when it was disgorged. Egly-Ouriet is one of Robert Parker’s 13 top ‘five-star’ Champagne houses, along with Krug, Bollinger, Salon and other mostly well-known names. Like Larmandier-Bernier and Selosse, Egly-Ouriet has been rated as one of Champagne’s top five producers by Andrew Jefford in his celebrated work, The New France, [Mitchell Beazley].
Egly-Ouriet crafts one of Champagne's most flattering single-vineyard Pinot Meuniers, faithfully translating every detail of the succulent depth of this grape's enticing full golden yellow hue and its fleshy Mirabelle plum, red cherry, dried pear and grapefruit character.'
This is a stylish and rich Champagne with peach, orange peel and hints of pie crust character on the nose and palate. Dense and rich yet agile and fresh. A delicious Champagne offering more than just an aperitif.'
STEPHAN REINHARDT - WINE ADVOCATE
From sandy clay soils, the recent release of the NV Brut Premier Cru Les Vignes de Vrigny is a pure Pinot Meunier based on the 2013 harvest. The wine has a delicate bouquet and is very fine and silky on the palate. This is an elegant, perfectly round and delicate Vrigny with moderate pressure and mousse. The finish is clear, fresh and mineral. Tasted at the Trait d'Union in Vertus, April 2018. Disgorged in November 2017.'