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2004 Champagne Jacquesson, Dizy, Corne Bautray

2004 Champagne Jacquesson, Dizy, Corne Bautray

White | Drink now | Jacquesson | Code:  21209 | 2004 | France > Champagne > Brut Champagne | Champagne Blend | Medium Bodied, Brut | 12.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

The Wine Advocate

94/100

The Wine Advocate - Jacquessons roughly 5,000 bottles of 2004 Extra Brut Dizy Corne Bautray issue from (what were then) 44 year-old vines in the cool, breezy upper reaches of the eponymous site. This translates into a metaphorically cool, laid-back wine that for some tasters and especially when first opened might seem slightly aloof. But there is dazzling complexity here, as well as the impeccably balance at near bone dryness that characterizes all of the Jacquesson bottlings I most recently tasted. Scents of iris, apple pip, peach kernel, quinine, and toasted almond set the tone for piquancy that follows on a palate strongly alkaline in undertone and loaded with bittersweet, illusive inner-mouth floral perfume. Imagine chomping from behind on honeysuckle, stem and all, and you have some inkling of the effect. The sense of transparency here is striking, and there is even more to be glimpsed after the wine has been open for a day, with toasted pumpkin seed, lime rind, and an enhanced vividness of iris perfume emerging. A hint of salinity stimulates the salivary glands in the long, interactively complex, and downright thought-provoking finish. This will seduce you only if you meet it more than half way, and it is not about to shed its silken, mineral-sequined shroud. I suspect it will merit following for more than a decade, though I must confess ignorance with older exemplars of this bottling.
David Schildknecht - 30/11/2013

The Producer

Jacquesson

Jacquesson

Voted the third best of all Champagne Houses (after Bollinger and Krug) in 2005 La Revue Des Vins De France, Jacquesson has really come of age.

Based in the evocatively named town of Dizy, just to the north of Epernay, the House is run by the Chiquet brothers (cousins of our own Gaston Chiquet). The brothers are long-term advocates of the modish philosophy of zero dosage: this is put to the test in extremis with the equally modish move to release late disgorged cuvées: the juxtaposition of minimal sugar and extended lees ageing has produced these, some of the purest and most poised of all Champagnes, showing at their very best in magnum of course!

The house philosophy of releasing a clearly categorised Brut NV persists therefore, somewhat at odds with the historical precedent in the region which deliberately declines specifically to equate a batch with a certain vintage. Jacquesson's policy of so doing, albeit tangentially, is both a reflection of their adherence to the values of terroir and vintage diversity and a self-belief which over-rides any of the specific anxieties felt by the Champenois in relation to the conditions at a specific harvest.

These are very serious Champagnes with an emphasis on minerality and complexity of fruit. The wines have significant gravitas, are good food companions and age beautifully.

The Grape

Champagne Blend

Champagne Blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


The Region

Brut Champagne

Brut Champagne

Brut denotes a dry style of Champagne (less than 15 grams per litre). Most Champagne is non-vintage, produced from a blend from different years. The non-vintage blend is always based predominately on wines made from the current harvest, enriched with aged wines (their proportion and age varies by brand) from earlier harvests, which impart an additional level of complexity to the end wine. Champagnes from a single vintage are labelled with the year reference and with the description Millésimé.

Non-vintage Champagnes can improve with short-term ageing (typically two to three years), while vintages can develop over much longer periods (five to 30 years). The most exquisite and often top-priced expression of a house’s style is referred to as Prestige Cuvée. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.

Recommended Producers : Krug, Billecart Salmon, Pol Roger, Bollinger, Salon, Gosset, Pierre Péters, Ruinart


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