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The first new cuvée from this Domaine for some twenty years, Les Prémices hails from 3.5 hectares of vines in Trigny (northwest of Reims) in the Massif de Saint Thierry area. To give you your 'Great Grower bearings', Trigny is situated just to the west of Saint Thierry and Merfy, where Alexandre Chartogne is based, and east of Montigny sur Vesle, where Aurélien Suenen grows the fruit for his stunning La Grande Vigne cuvee. The Egly vines span seven historic lieux-dits (or named sites) in the commune. Like the Domaine's Vrigny vines, these have come to the Domaine via Annick Egly's (Francis's wife) side of the family. The return of the two Egly children, Charles and Clémence, to the Domaine has given Francis Egly the ability to begin producing from these plots, and this is the inaugural release. Les Prémices is an equal blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier drawn from mature vines (on average, 40 years old) rooted in clay, sand and sandstone, over chalk bedrock--a soil typical of the Massif de St. Thierry. While this first release is drawn from a single vintage, next year's 2017 base will include 60% reserve wine. Old vines and low yields; hand-harvesting of fully ripe fruit; no inoculation; long lees aging; no fining or filtration and low dosage etc... One difference here is that the wine was fermented and aged exclusively in tank. The wine spent 36 months on lees and was disgorged with two grams per litre in July 2020. Crunchy, rounded and very fresh with a lovely balance between the chalky minerality and the notes of Royal Gala apple and Golden Drop Plum. Vinous and zesty finish. Pair with roast chicken and duck fat potatoes or pan seared Snapper with blistered cherry tomatoes.
Varietal / Blend: Equal blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier
Decant: Not necessary
Farming Practices: Biodynamic
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. 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. If you have never tasted the wines of this producer, be prepared for wines that have nothing to do with traditional Champagne styles.