Egly-Ouriet NV - Les Vignes de Vrigny premier Cru 750 ml.
Varietal: Pinot Meunier
Size: 750 ml.
As difficult as it might be to imagine, there once was a time when the term ‘Grower Champagne’ was not an integral part of the wine drinker’s lexicon. It was a time when the Champagne mind share was dominated by the ubiquitous Grand Marques. For the musically inclined, they were perhaps the Milli Vanilli of their era – nice presentation, lacking in substance, and completely unavoidable. Even in those commercialized times, there were many small growers still plainly going about the only business they and their families had ever known, making world class wines the public did not yet know it needed. Thanks to these tireless artisans, the world has come to recognize the art form that we now lovingly refer to as ‘Farmer Fizz.’ One such humble luminary, who took his lovingly farmed and exquisitely placed Pinot Noir to Champagne’s absolute heights, is the venerable Francis Egly, of Egly-Ouriet. “Egly was among the first producers to emerge in the grower Champagne movement. As such, he is perhaps sometimes overlooked in favor of some of his younger colleagues. Make no mistake about it, though, these wines are at the very top of the pecking order in Champagne today.” – Antonio Galloni Francis Egly Francis Egly in Ambonnay Francis is the fourth generation of the Egly family to make wines from their exceptionally located, old vine vineyards in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay – home to some of the greatest Pinot Noir that can be found in all of France. Francis took over from his father Michel in 1980, with the intent and commitment to take these already revered Pinot Noir dominant Champagnes to the absolute apex of quality. His first step in the process was to farm his vineyards using organic practices, at a time when such a decision was nowhere close to being in fashion. Yields were reduced, and regular ploughing was employed. Walking through these old vine, south-facing vineyards in Champagne’s homeland for great Pinot Noir, the question that frequently comes to mind when tasting the wines changes from “how are these wines so good?” to “how could they not be that good?”