Champagne Egly-Ouriet Millésimé Brut Grand Cru 2008
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Millésimé Brut Grand Cru 2008 “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill
Time on Lees: 129 months
Disgorgement Date: April 2020
Dosage: 4 grams per liter
Why We Love It...
This is it. The one that changed the world of Grower Champagne forever. The first ever Grower Champagne to achieve a perfect 100 point score from the king-makers over at Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. That’s truly the end of Egly’s beginning… but as Sir Winston says, we have not reached the end. There is more to come!
And so it is today. Bubble monsters… start your engines! We’re kicking things off with this glorious, unbelievably collectible Champagne legend – The Egly-Ouriet Millésimé Grand Cru Brut 2008. Full disclosure… We have nine bottles. That’s it. But as soon as that sells out, we have more Egly for you to feast on! Three more wines to be precise – all impossibly rare, high-scoring, and straight up vinous treasures from the top Grower’s Champagne in the world today. Just the one email though… We expect these to FLY lightning-fast. So keep an eye on our page, and refresh it every few minutes to ensure you don’t miss out! Ok, on to the EGLY!
Set amongst the rolling grasslands and hills of Ambonnay, the Egly family has been producing Champagne since the 1930s. Their holdings are small – only 29 acres total – yet precisely chosen, with mostly Grand Cru vineyards in Ambonnay, Verzenay, and Bouzy for their chardonnay and pinot noir holdings, and a bit of Premier Cru pinot meunier plantings from Vrigny. The rise in quality and reputation can be attributed to one man, Francis Egly. Named for the founder of the estate, from three generations prior, Francis has guided Egly-Ouriet’s transformation – from obscure grower house – to the pre-eminent Grower Champagne house.
“Francis Egly crafts uncompromisingly high-quality wines from vineyards in and around his home base of Ambonnay. The wines reflect an unmistakable sense of richness from the high percentage of red grapes, Burgundian-inspired vinification and long aging on the lees… These remain some of the most singular wines being made in Champagne today. For what it's worth, we rarely miss an opportunity to drink them.” - Antonio Galloni
Francis farms organically, and harvests the grapes by hand at full ripeness to ensure his vinous style. The grapes are pressed in a refrigerated, supremely delicate, press designed to limit the amount of oxygen that can enter the juice in the process. Fermentations are in both barrels and steel tanks, followed by exceptionally long aging (a minimum of 3-4 years on the lees) for all of his wines (and longer still for his top cuvées and vintage wines). Dosages are minimal – as a rule – and rarely approach 5 grams per liter.
A bit on our first wine of the day… 100 points really says a lot, but stylistically, here’s what you need to know. The wine actually scored 100 points on multiple occasions, tasted over the years with different disgorgement dates and even slightly different dosages. This beauty has a lean 4 grams dosage, and has spent an astounding 129 months on the lees. Advocate’s chief Champagne expert, William Kelley, had this to say:
“Revisited from the July 2019 disgorgement, Egly's 2008 Brut Grand Cru Millésime was showing as brilliantly as ever. The wine seemed to shut down a little in early 2020, but it is already beginning to unwind, and this was the most expressive bottle that I've drunk to date. Offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of orchard fruit, citrus oil, pralines and freshly baked bread, now complemented by hints of iodine, clear honey and Mirabelle plum, it's full-bodied, deep and layered, with immense depth and concentration, racy acids and elegantly muscular structuring dry extract. Long and penetrating, as I've written before, this wine is a monument to what Champagne's grower revolution has achieved over the last 30 or so years.”
Worth noting too is his recommended drinking window – basically now with the potential for drinking as far down the road as 2048! That’s the level of intensity, complexity, and concentration we are talking about here. Impeccable, astounding, mind-altering stuff to be certain. More to come, so keep an eye on that webpage!
Appellation: Montagne de Reims
Varietal: Champagne Blends
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay
Winemaker: Francis Egly
Pair it with: Smoked salmon with capers
About the Producer
Egly-Ouriet is a family-owned Champagne house located in the village of Ambonnay, France. The estate was founded in the 1930s by Francis Egly, and today it is run by his grandson, Francis Egly. The house is known for producing high-quality, terroir-driven Champagnes that express the unique character of the vineyards in which they are grown. Egly-Ouriet is a proponent of organic and biodynamic farming practices, and all of the grapes are hand-harvested. The wines are aged in oak barrels and undergo malolactic fermentation, resulting in rich, complex Champagnes with a strong sense of place. Egly-Ouriet's flagship wine is the "Les Crayères," a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that is aged for a minimum of four years on the lees.
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