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Jacques Lassaigne "Les Vignes de Montgueux" Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Champagne

Wine and Spirits 92pts:

Emmanuel Lassaigne grows this wine at nine sites in heavy clay and chalk soils. His oak aging of the base wines lends this Champagne’s scent a buttercream richness while the wine remains tightly bound by acidity. Almost ferrous in its searing intensity, that acidity finds balance in the wine’s umami depths. Mouthwatering, sophisticated Champagne to serve with dinner, rather than before

Wine Spectator 91pts:

This well-meshed version shows a savory tang of saline and firm acidity, with flavors of ripe apricot, graphite, honeysuckle and biscuit. Creamy, with a minerally finish. 

From the importer:

Pale straw in the glass with lovely mineral, dried fruit and citrus zest aromatics that reflect the purest expression of the Montgueux terroir. The palate is vibrantly alive with crisp citrus and melon flavors that are backed by deft acidity & dazzling minerality. The finish resonates with succulent citrus notes.A wonderful match to oysters, seafood and shellfish. And of course, by itself.

The grapes are harvested by hand—from 9 different sites—at their maximum ripeness before being destemmed & gently pressed. The fruit undergoes complete malolactic fermentation & no sulfites are added to the blend. The wine is aged in new & old barrels for 12 to 24 months and held in bottle for 1 to 5 years until it is disgorged, corked & released.

Age of Vines: 35 Years

Yields: 60 hl/ha

Pruning Method: Guyot

Soil: Heavy clay and chalk

Varietals: Chardonnay

Jacques Lassaigne is a 4.7-hectare family vineyard located in Montgueux. The vineyards boast prime southeastern exposure and consist entirely of Chardonnay. The Montgueux vineyard sites were originally held for the Montrachet of Champagne and are located near the gates of Troyes—the former capital of Champagne. This area is technically part of the Aube department, but is much further north than what people typically think of as the Aube, in the Cote des bars which features wines often primarily made from Pinot Meunier. The terroir in Montgueux is nearly identical to the growing sites found further north in le Mesnil, as they share the same limestone vein —this is exceptional terroir for making great champagne. An intense backbone of acidity is often present in these wines, but since it is located further south than the storied Cotes des blancs, ripening is not as much of an issue. The non-vintage Blanc de Blancs is a blend of nine different vineyard sites & two successive vintages.

Emmanuel Lassaigne, Jacques’ son who now runs the vineyard, began working the vines in 1999, and made the bold decision to craft wines from individual parcels. At the time his local neighbors thought of him as a fool and didn’t understand the methods behind his madness. Emmanuel makes all the important decisions regarding the wine virtually alone, and experiments boldly in ways that baffle us with his courageousness, for when he decides to make a change, he isn’t able to fully realize the results of that change for another 3, 4, 5 or even 10 years.

The initial tank or barrel fermentations of all Emmanuel’s wine is carried out with only indigenous yeast. He introduces sulfur minimally at pressing to prevent oxidation, and then never adds any sulfur again. Emmanuel disgorges all the bottles by hand himself, a very uncommon practice in Champagne, where machine disgorgement is the norm. He developed this technique so that he wouldn’t have to top up the bottles after disgorgement. 

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Category: 90+ points

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