Back-Vintage, Grower Ambonnay MAGS
1999 Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Millésime 1.5Ls
The Only Magnums in the Country
"You must first make a good wine before you can make a good Champagne. Making bubbles is a technical process. It's easy. The most difficult thing is to make good wine."
- Francis Egly to Peter Liem
As Liem points out, “For Egly, great wine is made in the vineyards… emphasizing old vine-age, low yields and ripe grapes.”
Here’s the grower’s mindset: one that focuses on the vineyard, one that we respect. One that almost can’t help but point to good wine, and in this case, finally, to good Champagne.
Egly-Ouriet makes not just good Champagne - they make great Champagne. Theirs are ripe, rich, powerful, bold, dignified, intense. This is one of the best growers in the Montagne de Reims, holding down their admirable fort in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay.
Chances are that you’re already well-familiarized with this (today’s offer goes out just to a select group of seasoned Champagne buyers), so we’ll get to the deal: We’ve got a tidy parcel of pristine MAGNUMS - 1999 Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Millésime - to offer today at $319.95 each (these are the only mags currently on offer in the country).
Like all the Egly-Ouriet Champagnes, the 99 Millésime started with ripe grapes (it was a warmer, more generous year in Champagne, and Egly-Ouriet always picks extra-ripe by Champagne standards). Each Grand Cru parcel was vinified separately in the house’s small oak barrels, lending additional structure and depth, plus roundness and some spice.
The wines here are fermented with indigenous yeasts, receive not more than three grams per liter of dosage (so they’re technically all Extra Brut), never get fined or filtered, and they see long lees aging that adds freshness and character. In the case of the Millésime, a decade of aging in the house cellars is typical.
This longer aging combined with today’s magnum format make the 99 incredibly fresh, bright and energized, nicely balancing the vintage’s opulence and richer house style here. As Peter Liem says in his tasting note, it's "harmoniously balanced all the way through to the finish, where the fruit aromas are firmly buttressed by a pungent, saline minerality." (Liem's full note is below.)
Personally, I’d say that, especially from magnum, this has another five and even likely ten years in the cellar, though it’s also currently a perfect guest at a crowded dinner table.
We hope to get these in ASAP, but they may not be here for this holiday season. Doesn't matter - these will be firing on all cylinders for holidays 2020 and beyond.
Please give us your maximum order, and we’ll do our best. To order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
Peter Liem: "Bold and extroverted, this is generous and expansive in feel, its richness amplified further by the burnished, autolytic aromas of lees aging that are typical of Egly’s wines. It’s at a harmonious point of drinking right now, balancing fresh fruit with a mature complexity, and while there’s no reason to think that it won’t continue to hold in the cellar, I feel that it’s already showing its full character and depth. It demonstrates the vintage in its mouthfilling ripeness and ample aroma, and feels harmoniously balanced all the way through to the finish, where the fruit aromas are firmly buttressed by a pungent, saline minerality."