Region: Champagne, FRA
Variety: Pinot Noir
Ratafia de Champagne is a liqueur aperitif, made with the juice of freshly picked Champagne grapes and fortified immediately after pressing (to prevent fermentation commencing) with grape spirit distilled from Champagne grape skins. It belongs to the same family as Cognac's Pineau des Charentes.
As with anything that is bottled by this great grower, this is not your average example of the genre. Apart from the renowned work in the vineyard, Egly uses only 100% Grand Cru, estate-grown Pinot Noir fruit from a particular harvest (in this case 2017) to make this. The fruit was sorted and pressed gently and the finest of grape spirit added before it spent four years mellowing in barrel.
When you consider that most Ratafia comes from a Champagne producer's weakest fruit, you can begin to understand that we are not talking about a standard example here. As we have come to expect, this perfectionist grower refuses to aim for anything less than greatness and that is what we get with this example. It is a stunningly pure and intense expression of this rare style that can be drunk on its own, over ice, with soda or used to make a wonderful version of kir. It also stays fresh in the fridge for months. Bottled in 2021.