Grower Champagne: Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV


Grower Champagne: Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV

egly ouriet

Back in the day, when I was just getting into wine, the first ‘grower’ Champagne I encountered was Egly-Ouriet. This was in the mid-1990s, when grower Champagne wasn’t much of a thing, and the wines were stocked by Liz and Mike Berry of the fabulous La Vigneronne in South Kensington (which is now the equally fabulous Handford Wines). I had this particular wine in the outdoor bath tub at the accommodation I was staying at in Golden Bay, at the top of South Island, New Zealand.

Based in Ambonnay, Egly-Ouriet are masters of Pinot. They farm organically, and many of the base wines are fermented in barrel. They like long ageing on lees. Dosage is low or zero. These are proper wines: sometimes a bit stern, but always worthwhile.

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV France
12.5% alcohol. From Ambonnay, Bouxy and Verzenay. 48 months on lees, disgorged July 2016. Very fine and detailed with lovely citrus and apple core, as well as some pear and nut richness. It’s quite dry and complex with fine herbs and juicy acidity. Grown up and sophisticated, this is fruit-driven but four years on the lees and another 11 months in bottle has given the first signs of toasty maturity. 93/100

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