NEW RELEASES : Egly-Ouriet - 'at the very top of the pecking order in Champagne today'

NEW RELEASES : Egly-Ouriet - 'at the very top of the pecking order in Champagne today'

NEW RELEASES: Champagnes from Egly-Ouriet

When you are such a fan of a set of wines, it is hard not to sound repetitive. I have written it before and I’ll no doubt write it many times more, the Champagnes of Egly-Ouriet are really special and, for me, this estate ranks as one of the very best producers in all of Champagne (and I include all comers in that statement).
We have been discussing the outstanding quality of Francis Egly’s Champagnes for almost a decade. It has not been hard work; every time I get the chance to taste an Egly-Ouriet Champagne I am struck by the precision and purity. They are highly individual Champagnes that are now receiving the credit they are due. Certainly, over the last decade, critics have started to recognise the quality inherent in these Champagnes and, consequently, stocks tick through a lot faster than they used to and pressure on allocations is significantly greater. Luckily, we receive good allocations and regularly hold the NV Brut Grand Cru and the NV Extra-Brut VP (you’ll see why it is abbreviated below) in stock.
At Atlas, our focus has always been on individual grower Champagnes over and above the wines of the Grandes Marques and larger producers. Why? Simply put, it’s a combination of quality and value. I still struggle to understand why clients pay more for a lesser wine just because it is from a familiar name. My advice is really simple, get familiar with the wines of Egly-Ouriet instead!
Just recently William Kelley commented as follows in The Wine Advocate:
The wines of Egly-Ouriet ‘occupy an even more important place, however, in the recent history of Champagne. If the region today produces wines fit to stand alongside the greatest of the world, and if small growers now set the qualitative standards in a region long defined by large négociants, Francis Egly must take a considerable share of the credit’. William Kelley, April 2021
He is just the latest critic to extol the virtues of these wines; we could cite so many others. Antonio Galloni has previously described the Egly “range of stellar, captivating Champagnes”  further stating “Make no mistake about it, though, these wines are at the very top of the pecking order in Champagne today.”
For those of you who may not recall the background of the estate, here is my summary of the key points. 

• All of Egly’s wines draw on fruit from old vines in the Grand Cru villages of Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay. This comment applies to his superb NV Tradition as much as the most heralded wines in his range; there is no Premier Cru fruit employed. The one exception is the Vignes de Vrigny, which is made from Premier Cru-classified Pinot Meunier and the newly introduced ‘Les Premices’ (see below)
• All of Egly’s wines are aged well beyond the norm before release. Nothing is hurried at all chez Egly; each cuvée benefits, in terms of complexity, from extended ageing of at least four years on their lees in bottle, way ahead of the statutory minimum for Champagne. The Vieillissement Prolongé (or V.P. for short) is the most extreme example spending 84 months on its lees.
• All of Egly’s wines are low dosage (dosage relates to the amount of sugar in the liqueur d’expedition that is added after the disgorgement process. This adjusts the wine’s overall sweetness/dryness). In Egly’s wines, there is nothing to mar the sheer purity.
• All of Egly’s wines are capable of developing in bottle, growing in complexity – that comment applies to the NV Tradition as it does across the range.
• And finally, these wines are produced in smaller quantities than most of the Champagnes with which you may be familiar; they are not seeking to further the aspirations of a brand, but rather to represent their origins. They are a far cry from some of the near-debased, commercial output of many famous names in Champagne. Making wines of such high and unerring quality requires not only considerable practical skill, but equally near maniacal focus. That’s exactly what you get with Egly-Ouriet.

Please see below for details of the six wines featured in this offer. Please note that William Kelley has not reviewed the most recent bottlings of NV Les Vignes de Vrigny and NV Rosé, so I have included his note on the previous bottling of each. Equally he has not tasted the 2019 Ambonnay Rouge, so I include his note on the 2017 vintage as a guide.
NV Brut, 1er Cru ‘Les Premices’, Egly-Ouriet
£190 per 6 bottle case in bond

Disgorgement: 2021
Blend : An equal blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay
Base wines : From the 2016 and 2017 vintages
89 points, William Kelley,
Based on the 2016 vintage and deriving from vines in the Massif de Saint-Thierry, Egly's debut release of the NV Brut Les Prémices, a tank-fermented Champagne that displaces the Vignes de Vrigny as the house's entry-level bottling, was disgorged in July 2020 with two grams per liter dosage. Offering up aromas of peaches, orange rind and orchard fruit, it's full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with ripe acids and an enveloping, generous core of fruit. It's a blend of equal parts of the three grape varieties, and fully 30,000 bottles were produced. Drink 2020-2028
NV Brut, 1er Cru ‘Les Vignes de Vrigny’, Egly-Ouriet
£230 per 6 bottle case in bond 

Disgorgement : 2021
Blend : Pure Pinot Meunier from old vines
Base wines : 50% from the 2017, 30% from the 2016 and 20% from the 2015 vintage
91 points, William Kelley,
Based on the 2016 vintage and disgorged in July 2020 with only one gram per liter dosage, the latest rendition of Egly's NV Brut Premier Cru Les Vignes de Vrigny is showing very nicely, offering up inviting aromas of peach, apricot, buttery pastry, crisp orchard fruit and fresh bread. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and generous, it's textural and charming, with an ample core of fruit, lively acids and a pinpoint mousse. Drink 2021-2035
NV Brut Grand Cru, Egly-Ouriet
£270 per 6 bottle case in bond

Disgorgement: 2021
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay (barrel fermented)
Base wines: 50% from 2016, 30% from 2015, 20% from the 2014 vintage
92+ points, William Kelley,
The latest rendition of Egly's emblematic NV Brut Grand Cru is based on the 2016 vintage, and it was disgorged in spring 2021 with only one gram per liter dosage. Wafting from the glass with aromas of pear, crisp stone fruit, wheat toast and citrus oil mingled with hints of white flowers and praline, it's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with tangy acids, terrific mid-palate amplitude and an enlivening pinpoint mousse. The wine's structure and ultra-low dosage mean that this is quite a tightly wound young wine, and it will merit at least a year or two on cork if readers can muster the necessary patience. Drink 2022-2036
NV Extra-Brut Grand Cru V.P. (Vieillissement Prolongé), Egly-Ouriet
£350 per 6 bottle case in bond

Disgorgement: 2021
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay (barrel fermented)
Base wines: 50% from 2013, 30% from 2012 and 20% from 2011 vintage
94 points, William Kelley,
A blend of the 2013, 2012 and 2011 vintages, Egly's latest NV Egly-Ouriet Extra-Brut Grand Cru V.P. was disgorged in spring 2021 with three grams per liter dosage. It's a lovely wine, bursting with aromas of fresh bread, citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, praline and subtle hints of clear honey and exotic fruits. Full-bodied, layered and textural, it's concentrated and incisive, with a pinpoint mousse and a long, saline finish. As ever, this is warmly recommended. Drink 2021-2036

NV Brut Grand Cru Rosé, Egly-Ouriet
£350 per 6 bottle case in bond

Disgorgement: 2021
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay (barrel fermented)
Base wines: 50% from 2016, 30% from 2015 and 20% from 2014 vintage (this includes 5% of still red wine from the Coteaux Champenois)
94+ points, William Kelley,
Based on the 2014 vintage and disgorged in July 2020, the latest release of Egly's NV Brut Rosé Grand Cru is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of tangerine oil, crisp red berries, toasted almonds and white flowers—in other words, much as I described the 2013-base last year but with a touch more aromatic intensity. Full-bodied, vinous and enveloping, with superb depth at the core, racy acids and a pillowy mousse, it concludes with a long, penetrating finish. While it's showing beautifully today, I'd love to revisit it with another year on cork. Drink 2021-2035
2019 Ambonnay Rouge, Coteaux Champenois, Egly-Ouriet
£720 per 6 bottle case in bond

A still Pinot Noir from very old vines with very limited production. It is aged for 22 months and bottled without filtration.
94 points, William Kelley,
Francis Egly's 2017 Ambonnay Rouge is a superb young wine, soaring from the glass with a captivating bouquet of rose petals, raw cocoa, orange rind and raspberries, framed by a deft application of classy new oak. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, velvety and enveloping, with exquisitely refined tannins, racy acids and a long, pungently floral finish. This cuvée hails from a parcel of old vines in the heart of Ambonnay, where the soils are a little deeper and the slope is exposed due south. Egly performs a severe green harvest to strictly limit already-low yields and keeps temperatures comparatively low during the long maceration. The resulting wine is matured for some 20 months in barrels from Egly's friend, Dominique Laurent. Drink 2020-2037
Please let us know of your interest – I can’t endorse these wines highly enough and it is a source of pride that we continue to represent them.

All the best,

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