Vouette and Egly Offer 2020
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
Few producers can equal Francis Egly in skill and experience, and larger houses cannot hope to emulate the cultivation norms… MICHEL BETTANE & THIERRY DESSEAUVE, The World’s Greatest Wines
Francis Egly has been making wine at this renowned Ambonnay estate since 1982, and among grower producers today, he has a reputation in the region only second to Anselme Selosse. Egly’s champagnes are powerful and rich, although they are also capable of great complexity and finesse. Dosage is extremely low, which adds to the uncompromising personality of these wines. PETER LIEM, Champagne
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 remains the finest grower in Champagne right now, and my only 10/10 grower. TYSON STELZER, The Champagne Guide 2018-19
VOUETTE ET SORBEE
The Champagnes of Vouette et Sorbée are uncompromisingly original, possessing deep, vinous aromas and assertive personalities…. their intensity of character makes them more suitable to contemplative drinking or to accompanying food than to casual sipping… PETER LIEM, champagneguide.net
When the wines are on, they are among the most exciting wines being made in Champagne ANTONIO GALLONI, Vinous
One of the great producers of the Aube, Bertrand Gautherot farms his vineyards biodynamically, preserving the intensity of fruit from his steep, cool hillside. Indeed his cuvée Fidèle, made from Pinot Noir on Kimmeridgian soil, may remind as much of Chablis as of Champagne. RAJAT PARR, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste
Few things in the world of wine are as thrilling as great Champagne from a top Grower and there are no better Grower producers in the region than these two super stars.
The common thread or theme between the two is their fanatical vineyard practices, which set them apart from the majority of the houses in the region. Drastically restricted yields, sustainable viticulture, attention to the land that provides them their livelihood. These are the cornerstones of the movement and these two artisans encapsulate these ideals perfectly.
The thing they share is that their Champagnes are both more vinous expressions than most and also they provide remarkable expressions of their terroir. A transference of their place into the glass with unerring accuracy and clarity each and every release. These are wines that are so much more than the bubbles. They deserve the respect of the greatest producers in Burgundy.
As for the two houses, a very brief note on each from Gab and myself.
Egly Ouriet is to Blanc de Noirs what Pierre Peters or Agrapart is to Blanc de Blancs, the absolute pinnacle of the style. Francis Egly has been producing wines that have such tremendous depth of personality and intensity for many years now. At their best, they are breathtakingly exquisite expressions of Pinot that encapsulates the terroir of their native Ambonnay that are masterfully crafted by one of the region’s truly great talents. Few houses in Champagne can rival the sheer quality produced here every single year.
Vouette et Sorbee may not be as well known as Egly but they should be.
Based in the south of Champagne in the Côte du Bar region – in fact closer to Chablis than Epernay – these wines are thrilling renditions of Champagne. Packed with minerally tension and depth, these are spellbinding wines. Fanatical in the vineyard, Bertrand Gautherot’s approach has always been at the cutting edge for his region – he embraced biodynamics very early on, gaining certification in 1998.
All the wines are fermented in barrel using only indigenous yeasts. Minimal modification is made in the winery – no cold stablisation, fining or filtering and the wines are bottled with no dosage. His wines all come from a single harvest—noted by the “R” number on the back label—with the exception of the Fidèle cuvée, which sees a small addition of 5-10% reserve wine from a perpetual blend started in 2001.
Together this duo represents two of the estates that have helped reshape the region, for the better, over the last couple of decades. Their wines are brimming with personality and overflowing with character. Ideal accompaniments to food and more in line with their cousins in the Cote d’Or than so many of their neighbours. I cannot speak highly enough of either producer and urge everyone to try some. The perfect Christmas gift for yourself?