Egly-Ouriet

The Stellar New Releases from “… a Great Producer at the Top of his Form” [Kelley]
Egly-Ouriet
“The Egly-Ouriet Champagnes are built on maniacal attention in the vineyards, vinification in oak, long aging in bottle before disgorgement and low dosage, all of which yield rich, vinous Champagnes of tremendous density and power … These wines confirm Egly’s standing among the elite grower estates in Champagne.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

It’s been a while since we could offer a parcel of wine from arguably Champagne’s greatest grower (read greatest producer!) to our entire database. This year, on the back of Francis Egly’s recent visit to our market, we were able to negotiate a little more volume with a view to giving access to these iconic wines to more of our clients.

This grower’s iconic Champagnes continue to achieve the seemingly impossible by hitting even greater heights. The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley was spot on when he recently wrote: “Far from resting on the considerable and merited laurels that he has accrued over a 30-year career, Francis Egly continues to refine and improve.” Kelley continues: “While the quality of Egly’s wines is an open secret at this stage, I believe that his latest releases number among his best to date.”
Of course, it helps that the entire collection is saturated with superb base and reserve vintages. Francis Egly recently told us he is now working with the best palette of reserve wines of his career. He referred mainly to 2018, a fantastic year for many, but also to 2017 and 2016—years from which Egly crafted incredible wines, some of the finest in the region. So that gives you some context to the remarkable offering today.

This aside, though, the great growers continuously strive year after year. So, it makes sense that the wines at an address like this would only improve—even if we are talking about advancement on already stratospheric foundations. Today, a state-of-the-art Coquard press results in even greater finesse. At the same time, a peristaltic pump handles the juice with incredible care. Then there is a new reserve cellar, which allows for more precision and even longer aging. And we should not ignore the influence and support of Francis and Annick’s children, Charles and Clémence, both now fully engaged.

The offer below includes the domaine’s two newest cuvées. From 2016, the domaine expanded its holdings (via inheritance) to take in new vines in the villages of Trigny in the Massif de Saint-Thierry area, just north of Reims, and Bisseuil, near Mareuil-sur-Ay south of Ambonnay. Both wines are exceptional additions to an already stellar portfolio. In sum, this is an extraordinary release of wines from a producer that, most agree, stands apart in the world of Champagne. The new wines will blow you away.

The Wines

Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Prémices (1500ml) (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Prémices (1500ml) (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)

Les Prémices hails from 3.5 hectares of vines in Trigny, northwest of Reims. To use some great growers to geolocate; Trigny is situated just to the west of Saint-Thierry and Merfy (where Alexandre Chartogne is based), and east of Montigny-sur-Vesle (where Aurélien Suenen grows his super La Grande Vigne cuvée). The Egly vines span seven historic lieux-dits in the commune. Like the domaine’s Vrigny vines, these plots have come from Annick Egly’s (wife of Francis) side of the family. The return of Francis and Annick’s two children, Charles and Clémence, to the domaine has enabled the family to begin producing their own wines from these plots (previously, the fruit was being sold). This is just the second release.

Reflecting what is planted in the vineyards, Les Prémices is an equal blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. The vines are, on average, 40 years old and are rooted in clay and sandstone over a chalk bedrock—a soil typical of the Massif de Saint-Thierry area. As always, the classic Egly manifesto applies here—old vines, low yields, hand harvesting of fully ripe fruit, no inoculation, long lees aging, no fining or filtration, low dosage and meticulous attention to detail. One difference here is that the wine is fermented and aged exclusively in tank.

The current release is the first blend to include three vintages, and the wine is even better for it. The dosage for this release was just one gram per litre. We were very impressed with the last release, but this is significantly next level. It’s a super mineral, pure-fruited wine with more depth and complexity than the previous release, yet with the same incredible precision and a long, perfumed, salty close. It's very hard to drink slowly!

“Based on the 2019 vintage and disgorged this year with one gram per liter dosage, Egly's NV Brut Les Prémices offers up attractive aromas of orchard and stone fruits mingled with fresh bread and honeysuckle. Medium-bodied, fleshy and racy, with bright acids, a pretty mousse and a saline finish, it's the finest rendition of this new cuvée to date.”
91 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Prémices (1500ml) (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Prémices (Base 19, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Prémices (Base 19, Disg Jul 23)

Les Prémices hails from 3.5 hectares of vines in Trigny, northwest of Reims. To use some great growers to geolocate; Trigny is situated just to the west of Saint-Thierry and Merfy (where Alexandre Chartogne is based), and east of Montigny-sur-Vesle (where Aurélien Suenen grows his super La Grande Vigne cuvée). The Egly vines span seven historic lieux-dits in the commune. Like the domaine’s Vrigny vines, these plots have come from Annick Egly’s (wife of Francis) side of the family. The return of Francis and Annick’s two children, Charles and Clémence, to the domaine has enabled the family to begin producing their own wines from these plots (previously, the fruit was being sold). This is just the second release. 

Reflecting what is planted in the vineyards, Les Prémices is an equal blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. The vines are, on average, 40 years old and are rooted in clay and sandstone over a chalk bedrock—a soil typical of the Massif de Saint-Thierry area. As always, the classic Egly manifesto applies here—old vines, low yields, hand harvesting of fully ripe fruit, no inoculation, long lees aging, no fining or filtration, low dosage and meticulous attention to detail. One difference here is that the wine is fermented and aged exclusively in tank. 

The current release is the first blend to include three vintages, and the wine is even better for it. The dosage for this release was just one gram per litre. We were very impressed with the last release, but this is significantly next level. It’s a super mineral, pure-fruited wine with more depth and complexity than the previous release, yet with the same incredible precision and a long, perfumed, salty close. It's very hard to drink slowly!   

“Based on the 2019 vintage and disgorged this year with one gram per liter dosage, Egly's NV Brut Les Prémices offers up attractive aromas of orchard and stone fruits mingled with fresh bread and honeysuckle. Medium-bodied, fleshy and racy, with bright acids, a pretty mousse and a saline finish, it's the finest rendition of this new cuvée to date.”
91 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Prémices (Base 19, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet 1er Cru Les Vignes de Bisseuil NV (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet 1er Cru Les Vignes de Bisseuil NV (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)

Vintages: 2018 (60%), 2017 (20%), 2016 (20%)

Bottling: 2019

Disgorgement: July 2023

Time on lees: 48 months

This is the third release of Egly’s sole Chardonnay dominant cuvée and it’s the first release to include three vintages in the blend. The wine is drawn from a plot of vines on the south-facing slopes of Bisseuil, a village just to the east of the famous Grand Cru communes of Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. While these two latter villages are renowned for Pinot Noir, Bisseuil is more known for Chardonnay; it’s the only village in the area that has more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir in its vineyards. The blend here is 70% Chardonnay with 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Meunier. The Egly Bisseuil vines cover 1.5 hectares and span two lieux-dits. They have now been farmed by the Egly family for more than seven years—Francis and Annick Egly purchased these vines in anticipation of their children Clémence and Charles joining the domaine. The vine age averages 40 years. Les Vignes de Bisseuil was vinified entirely in barrel and spent four years in the cellar prior to disgorgement with two grams per litre dosage. 

This is a fascinating contrast to the rest of the range. As you might expect, it has a much more ‘Chardonnay’ personality with waves of orchard fruit, white flowers, fresh butter and even almond-oil notes. Although these elements suggest richness, the wine is, in fact, bright and full of energy with a powdery, pithy close. It has all the vinosity, texture and thrilling tension for which this great grower is renowned. With the outstanding 2018 vintage forming 60% of the cuvée, this is far and away the finest Les Vignes de Bisseuil released to date. 

"Based on the 2018 vintage, the latest release of Egly's NV Brut Vignes de Bisseuil was disgorged this year with two grams per liter dosage. Offering up aromas of sweet orchard fruit and crisp white peach mingled with notions of white flowers, praline and freshly baked bread, it's medium to full-bodied, pillowy and charming, with a fleshy core of fruit and a racy, chalky spine. It's a bright, precise rendition of this Chardonnay-dominant cuvée."
92 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet 1er Cru Les Vignes de Bisseuil NV (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru NV (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru NV (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)

Vintages: 2018 (60%), 2017 (20%), 2016 (20%)

Bottling: 2019

Disgorgement: July 2023

Time on lees: 48 months

This is simply a staggering release of this wine. As always, it’s made exclusively from low-yielding Grand Cru vines, predominantly located in Ambonnay, but also Bouzy and Verzenay. Again, as always, it’s 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The old cliché—Egly starts harvesting when everyone else has finished—still holds true and it’s obvious from the first sip that this wine is made from perfectly ripe fruit. Natural fermentation was with wild yeasts only and the first period of maturation (before going to bottle) lasted almost one year, with the wine remaining on its fine lees for the whole time. Over 50% of the wine was fermented and aged in barrel. The dosage was a tiny one gram per litre.

It's a wine of tremendous finesse; wonderfully bright and loaded with Pinot character—juicy red fruits and all kinds of spice—and a long, tonic close that’s both chalky and saline. It’s a terrific food wine and will gain more and more depth over the next three to twelve months. The superb 2018 vintage plays its part in raising this to the very top level, and it’s as good a release of this cuvée as we’ve tasted (which is saying something when you consider how many years we’ve been shipping it!) So, grab what you can! As we’ve said many times, if Egly made only this wine, he would still be one of the superstars of the region; it puts to shame many a prestige cuvée at considerably higher prices.

"Based on the 2018 vintage, Egly's newly released NV Brut Grand Cru offers up inviting aromas of honeyed pear and white flowers mingled with hints of mint and praline. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and chiseled, it's an especially fine-boned, precise rendition of this immensely dependable cuvée, formerly known as the domaine's "Tradition" bottling."
92+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru NV (Base 18, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru V.P NV (Base 15, Disg Jul 23)
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru V.P NV (Base 15, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru V.P NV (Base 15, Disg Jul 23)

Vintages: 2015 (50%), 2014 (30%), 2013 (20%)

Bottling:  2016

Disgorgement: July 2023

Time on lees: 84 months

The V.P stands for Vieillissement Prolongé (prolonged aging), as this wine spends an extended period on lees—in the case of this release, 84 months. Like the Grand Cru Brut, this is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, and the fruit again comes from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Verzenay—all Grand Cru terroirs. Vinification and the first aging period are in oak casks; the dosage was only two grams per litre.

Those who have tasted this cuvée in the past know that the power of the fruit, plus the extended lees aging, grants so much harmony, length, complexity and texture. That’s precisely what you get here: a vinous, powerful, super-pure Champagne. . Intense and statuesque, yet with so much class. 2015 is clearly a powerful year, bringing depth, while the older vintages bring freshness and finesse. Already impressive, it’s still very young and deserves to be kept for a few more years before being opened.

"As usual, the latest disgorgement of Egly's NV Extra-Brut Grand Cru V.P., this year based on the 2015 vintage complemented by reserve wines from 2014 and 2013, is one of the highlights of the range. Wafting from the glass with aromas of pear, green apple, freshly baked bread, crushed mint, honeycomb, white flowers and praline, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy and layered, with a racy and concentrated core, a pretty pinpoint mousse and a long, saline finish."
94 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru V.P NV (Base 15, Disg Jul 23)
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru V.P NV (Base 15, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Les Crayères NV (Base 16, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Les Crayères NV (Base 16, Disg Jul 23)

Vintages: 2016 (50%), 2015 (50%)

Bottling: 2017

Disgorgement: July 2023

Time on lees: 72 months

In some ways, this is the emblematic wine of the domaine. It was Michel Bettane, the influential French critic, who encouraged Francis Egly to bottle this single vineyard wine separately, with the first release being from the 1989 vintage. This latest offering was bottled after the 2016 base had spent close to one year in cask before being blended with 50% reserve wines from the 2015 vintage. All the vinification and aging for both vintages was in barrel.

The fruit comes from old Pinot Noir vines in a single terroir known as Les Crayères. The vines here were planted in 1946, so are now 75 years old (vines of this age are extremely rare in Champagne). Here the soil is barely 30cm deep, then it’s chalk, hundreds of metres down—hence the name of the site (craie is French for ‘chalk’, crayères references chalk quarries which likely once existed here). 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, giving the wine a classic, mineral energy that weaves its way through the powerful, layered Pinot Noir fruit. The deep concentration is a product of the ripeness and low yields that both the site and its ancient vines naturally deliver.

The 2016 base is both a tribute to the greatest sites of Ambonnay and to the Egly-Ouriet domaine. Houses that emphasise blending may consider a 100% old-vine Ambonnay like this to be too intense; Egly gives it to you full throttle! This release is a wine of profound depth yet also great finesse. It’s still early days for the nose (if you open it now, give it time) while the palate is already stunning; a chiselled, mineral mouth bomb. The dosage is only two grams per litre and it’s invisible. An expression of a singular terroir, this is, of course, a unique wine that is, as always, built for food and for aging.

"A blend of the 2016 and 2015 vintages, the NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Les Crayères is an especially good rendition of this almost routinely sublime bottling. Unwinding in the glass with notes of pear, wild berries, clear honey, white flowers, praline and freshly baked bread, it's medium to full-bodied, beautifully layered and textural, with a taut, concentrated core, racy acids and a long, mineral finish. This chiseled, intensely flavored Champagne was disgorged this year with only one gram per liter dosage."
98+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Les Crayères NV (Base 16, Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Millésime 2014 (Disg Jul 23)
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Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Millésime 2014 (Disg Jul 23)

Bottling: 2015

Disgorgement: July 2023

Time on lees: 96 months

This is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from 40-year-old vines in Ambonnay. The wine was aged completely in barrel and there was only one gram per litre dosage. It is a seductive, layered, powerful expression of Ambonnay and, as with the Blanc de Noirs, represents one of the very finest wines of Champagne. Far from falling in the shadow of his spectacular 2012 and 2013 releases, the 2014 is very much their equal. Francis Egly told us that he believes it’s one of the finest Millésime wines he has produced.  The summer was cool, and then from mid-August through early September, he had ideal ripening conditions and the family harvested exceptional fruit. 

The result is a strikingly beautiful wine with floral notes, great energy and tremendous finesse. In a word, breathtaking. Yes, it is now getting up there in price, but we also need to consider not only the otherworldly quality but also the length of time these wines are being held in the cellar. They are essays in perfection and when compared to the prices of wines like Clos d’Ambonnay or many a Grand Cru Burgundy released two years after harvest, the price starts to look quite different.

"One of the very finest wines produced in this less heralded vintage is Egly's 2014 Brut Grand Cru Millésime, a strikingly vinous and enveloping Champagne that wafts from the glass with aromas of pear, mirabelle plum, freshly baked bread, almond paste and honeycomb. Full-bodied, satiny and layered, its textural attack segues into a deep, concentrated mid-palate of exceptional purity and cut, concluding with a long, penetrating and mouthwateringly saline finish. As ever, it's a blend of some 70% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay from Ambonnay's greatest terroirs."
97 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Grand Cru Millésime 2014 (Disg Jul 23)
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“Egly-Ouriet remains the finest grower in Champagne right now, and my only 10/10 grower.” Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide



“Egly-Ouriet is one of the reference-point growers in Champagne, with a deep selection of wines that offer remarkable transparency to site, vintage and variety ... These are among the most pure, unmanipulated Champagnes readers will come across.”
Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate



“What Larmandier-Bernier achieves with Chardonnay, so Egly-Ouriet manages for Pinot Noir: wines of riveting purity and concentration.”
Andrew Jefford, The New France



“Francis Egly has been making wine at this renowned Ambonnay estate since 1982, and among grower producers today, he has a reputation in the region only second to Anselme Selosse.”
Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net

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