Based in the heart of Epernay, Gratien are a top league traditional house, dating back to 1864. Chef des Caves, Jean-Pierre Jaeger has had 40 years experience and has a rigorous quality-driven philosophy which restricts production to 250,00 bottles a year. They have, of late, raised their game and now sit alongside the greatest names in Champagne. The signature of the house is a combination of freshness and longevity, achieved through the suppression of the malolactic fermentation after an initial fermentation in 250 litre oak casks. They advocate use of all three grape varieties, certainly not shunning Pinot Meunier, given the fruity lift it affords the wines. All cuvées have at least three years in bottle pre-disgorgement, and are allowed additional ageing before shipment. The result is a fascinating portfolio and some of the brightest most attractive older Champagnes in existence.