Over the last decade and a half, the grower movement has radically transformed Champagne. This masterclass with The Wine Advocate’s Champagne Reviewer, William Kelley, will explore the wines of two pioneering estates: Ambonnay’s Egly-Ouriet and Vertus’ Larmandier-Bernier. Both were among the first in the region to farm responsibly and work the soils; both believe that fully mature grapes are the premise of great Champagne; both nod to Burgundy by producing terroir-specific cuvées that are largely fermented in wood; and both produce intense, vinous wines that owe their unmistakable texture and concentration to ripeness and low yields. But though these two estates have much in common, there are important differences: not least, between Egly’s Ambonnay—one of the finest villages of the Montagne de Reims, where Pinot Noir dominates—and Larmandier’s base in Vertus in the Côte de Blancs, where tensile Chardonnay is the order of the day. William Kelley will compare and contrast these two leading Champagne estates, unpacking nuances of terroir, vineyard practices and winemaking—as well as discussing their important place in the story of the grower Champagne movement.
The wines listed are correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event that a vintage or wine is not available on the day of the event, all efforts will be made to find an appropriate substitute.