Some in Champagne can achieve grandeur of dizzying proportions, and the most talented can summon delicacy of lightfooted grace, but no village marries the two as effortlessly as Ambonnay, and no practitioner as masterfully as Francis Egly. Vieilles Vignes is his masterpiece, succeeding in capturing the golden sunlight grandeur and chalk mineral airiness of his tiny amphitheatre shaped lieu-dit of old vines. The essence of Pinot Noir.
The Pinot Noir vines planted in 1946 are located on the parcel "Les Crayères" of the Grand Cru site in Ambonnay, on 15 meters deep limestone with little soil; Conventional cultivation, spontaneous and thermoregulated fermentation in stainless steel tanks, aging in barriques for 12 months, bottling without filtration and refining, bottle fermentation. Storage on the lees of more than 5 years.
Dosage extra-brut : 2g/l
A very striking nose with immense personality and distinctively richer, red orchard fruit characters. The oak is assertive yet fits in well adding cedary, woody aromas and spicy complexity; there's a hint of pepper too. The palate delivers an immensely concentrated flavorsome impression with ripe phenolics framing nectarine, brulée custard and blue fruit flavors. Powerful, detailed and balanced. James Suckling 94 points
Robert Parker: 95 points