Region: Champagne, FRA
Variety: Pinot Noir
The emblematic wine from Francis Egly is the one that first brought him international acclaim. It was Michel Bettane, the influential French critic, who encouraged Egly to bottle this single vineyard wine separately (the first vintage was in 1989). This release was bottled in 2014 after the 2013 vintage had spent close to one year in cask, blended with 40% reserve wines from the outstanding 2012 vintage. All the vinification and aging for both vintages was in barrique as always.
The fruit comes from old vines in a single terroir known as Les Crayères. The vines here were planted in 1946, so are now over 70-years-old. The soil is hardly 30cm deep, then it’s chalk, hundreds of metres down—hence the name of the site (craie is French for chalk). Les Crayères is situated mid-slope with a full south-facing exposure, not far from the Estate’s cellars. The old vines are deeply rooted in this chalk subsoil, giving the wine its classic, mineral energy, which weaves its way through the powerful, textured Pinot fruit.
This is a unique wine, built for food and for aging. It’s already drinking wonderfully well but will certainly benefit from two to five years in the cellar. A unique expression of a singular terroir, and right up there when talking about candidates for the region’s greatest wine. It’s certainly the greatest Blanc de Noirs.