Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir
Localization: Bouzy, Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France
Tasting Notes: This is what Champagne from Reims used to be like 100 years ago, Francis Egly told us, before timid winemakers started cutting their cuvées with Chardonnay. This single-vineyard Champagne from the noblest of terroirs in Ambonnay is 100% Pinot Noir from 70-year-old vines; the wine spends 51 months on its lees, and is fermented in barrel. "Crayeres" covers itself with the thinest of Champagne soil, yet its heart is pure, solid chalk. The nose is a sensual feast—cinnamon and cardamom; the zest of lemons and limes; candied ginger, cherries and crushed stones. Lush and almost thick on the palate, "Crayeres" shows notes of currants and strawberries, reminding of a still red wine. This is truly the benchmark for all great Pinot Noir Champagne—perhaps for all Champagne.
97 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: Disgorged this spring, the new rendition of Egly's NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Les Crayères is a blend of the 2014 and 2013 vintages. It continues this cuvée's run of exceptional quality, unwinding in the glass with complex aromas of pear and peach mingled with Meyer lemon, orange oil, buttered toast, white flowers, praline and smoke. Full-bodied, fleshy and layered, it's vinous and concentrated, with tangy acids that girdle its chiseled core of fruit. Long and penetrating, it concludes with a saline finish. I suspect this is likely to evolve along similar lines to its 2009-2008 counterpart: which is to say, superbly.
The Domain: Winemaker Francis Egly has earned a place at the very top of the grower Champagne elite, and his wines have achieved "cult" status.
You'll find Egly Champagne on the wine lists of the world's three-star restaurants. You'll also find it in the cellars of those who know that while Krug and other top producers can easily be had for a certain (often exaggerated) price, Egly Champagne is both rare and exceptional.
Egly Champagne is produced in microscopic quantities; it has few peers in terms of quality; and if you appreciate fine Champagne, it is certainly worth going any length to acquire.
Egly cares for vines in the grand cru villages of Bouzy, Verzenay and in the heart of Ambonnay. His are wines with character—tremendously vinous Champagne that speaks volumes about the regional terroir and the ancient vines that birth them. Each bottle is a stunning example of the potential of Champagne as well as the bold vision of a truly talented artisan.