Egly-Ouriet Brut Les Vignes de Vrigny
Few winemakers plant Pinot Meunier on premier cru land; fewer still on terroir that is essentially an extension of the noble Montaigne de Reims. This 100% Pinot Meunier spends 36 months on its lees, far more than any other Pinot Meunier wine in the region. White pepper and lime rind with chalk dust on the nose; very precise. Orange and blood peaches with plenty of ripe citrus notes on the palate-saturated and very thirst-quenching.
As further indication of his respect for pure Meunier from the "Petite Montagne" immediately southwest of Reims, Egly now ages his NV Brut Les Vignes de Vrigny Disg. 2/2013 for three years in bottle prior to disgorging. There is a Meunier-typical profusion of flowering and leafing things in the nose, along with intimations of piquant toasted nuts, a bite of black pepper, kirsch, and sea breeze, the two last named aspects becoming the basis of an infectiously juicy, invigorating, and mouthwatering palate impression and finish. There is a generosity here combined with subtlety and intrigue that once again demonstrate the wisdom of having decided to dedicate a bottling to these vines that Francis Egly and his wife inherited from her family a few years ago. Plan to follow this for another couple of years and perhaps beyond. (I ought to have held aside some of the early vintages and shall have to ask Egly whether he has one to show as an indicator of aging potential.)
Score: 91, David Schildknecht, November 2013
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