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WINES BY REGION

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Egly-Ouriet

Difficult to pronounce (Eglee-Ou-ree-yay), this extraordinary maker is more than worth hunting down, so unique and compelling are their Champagnes.  One of the most sought-after, almost cult-like makers throughout the region, Egly-Ouriet were at the forefront of the 'grower-producer' revolution.  The house style is rich and powerful, yet with surprising elegance and finesse.  In many ways they are essentially complex white wines with bubbles in them, such is their depth and complexity.

Of the estate's 12 hectares, more than 8.5 are grands crus, spread throughout numerous plots mostly in Ambonnay, although also significant holdings in Verzenay and Bouzy.  There is also a single plot of very old Pinot Meunier in Vrigny.

All of the vineyards are farmed organically, and in more recent years has moved further towards 'biologique' and biodynamics.  Crop levels are kept low, and green harvests throughout the growing season tend to reduce the crop by a further 50%.  The grapes are picked riper than nearly anyone else in Champagne, up to 13% potential alcohol.

Fermentations take place both in barriques and enamelled tanks.  The use of oak is significant, and plays a noticeable role in the style of the Champagne similar to that of the houses of Krug and Bollinger.  Ageing is extended for all wines, and dosage is minute or non-existent, depending on the cuvee.

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