Francis Egly has established a reputation as one of the great vignerons in Champagne. Relentlessly dedicated, every aspect of vineyard and winery work is scrutinised to achieve the best possible quality. Recent 100-point scores from William Kelley of The Wine Advocate are completely justified, the critic saying the wines are "a monument to what Champagne's grower revolution has achieved over the last 30 or so years."
Grower Champagne has rightly seen a rise in demand since the turn of the century. Producers who own their own vineyards and look to produce great fruit themselves rather than buying in from elsewhere have greatly diversified the landscape of the region. Farming vineyards allows for greater precision and, importantly, better ripeness and health of fruit. As a result, these growers rely less on dosage to balance out their wines. In the cellar, winemaking often leans more towards Burgundy - the use of oak barrels, lees and fuller-bodied base wines makes for a more gastronomic and powerful style.
Egly has been at the forefront of this for decades. Old vines on great terroir are managed with great effort to produce some of the best fruit in all Champagne. Two presses with customised chilling plates ensure the finest juice is taken from this fruit, a significant investment that has had a great impact on quality. New oak barrels are used for most cuvées, with steel tank for others. The desire is not to impart significant flavour from the barrels but to add depth without the risk of picking up imperfections from used wood. Lees ageing in bottle is long - particularly for the top cuvées - adding depth, savour and complexity without masking the fruit. Finally, dosage is low - enough to give balance but never as much as the big names. The results are outstanding, with Kelley saying "recent releases from Egly have been consistently nothing short of spectacular."
We are delighted to offer a small selection of Egly-Ouriet's latest releases, which were disgorged in 2023.
Both Les Prémices and the Vignes de Vrigny are based around the outstanding 2019 vintage and are terrific value given the quality in the bottle and the vintage's early reputation. The Brut Grand Cru a deep and vinous wine, rich with the 2018 vintage and quintessentially Egly in style.
The V.P. and Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Les Crayères are now both sold out.
We have a tiny quantity of the first release of the 2014 Millésime, which has been given 97 points by William Kelley who believes it is "one of the very finest wines produced" in this vintage.
These are wines to buy into while you can. Egly-Ouriet is at the top of its game, and one of the very best growers around.
You can read more about Egly-Ouriet in Thomas Parker MW's blog from his visit in 2021.