Grape: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Region: Champagne, France
Ageing Potential: 5-10 years
Perfect with: Rock Oysters
Why You’ll Love It?
Francis Egly together with Larmandier-Bernier and Selosse form the holy trinity of original grower producers who were at the forefront of the grower movement in Champagne. If Larmandier-Bernier is the king of chardonnay, then Egly is the king of pinot. Founded in 1930, they currently own about 12ha of vineyards, 8 of which is located in the grand cru village of Ambonnay. Ambonnay is renowned for producing some of the best pinot noir grapes in champagne.
Egly always harvests at an unusually high level of ripeness, with the help of very old vines and low yields. He vinifies about half his wines in oak barrels purchased from Dominique Laurent in Burgundy. Laurent has his own cooperage and his barrels are referred to as “magic barrels” because of the quality of wood and production. He goes into the Troncais forest and sources his wood from some 300 year old trees, brings them back to his own cooperage and splits the staves by hand, only using the top part of the trunk before air drying them for 52 months. Because he hand splits the staves they are slightly thicker than normal commercial barrels. Whilst most of the barrels are used for his own wines, he also sells limited quantities to the likes of DRC, Clos Mogador and Pingus.
The 2006 was produced from 70% pinot noir, of which 60/70% was barrel aged and 30% chardonnay of which 30/40% was barrel aged. There is no malolactic fermentation and virtually no dosage. 2g/L of dosage. Dosage is where you add a tiny bit of sugar to the champagne think eye dropper size to balance out the acidity. Egly’s champagnes are typically very low in dosage.