70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. Domaine Egly-Ouriet Champagne is sensual, unforgettable, and highly sought after, a “cult” wine for Champagne lovers who crave the power and finesse of Pinot Noir-based wines. What you’ll find at this small family grower house is truly vinous Champagne, wines striking in their concentration and complexity. There are winemakers who craft fine wine, and then there are artists who redefine the craft. When we witnessed the transition in the 1980s from Michael Egly to his son, Francis, it was clear that Francis wasn’t going to be satisfied with the Champagne status quo. He doesn’t consider his competition among the great Champagne houses, but instead among the legendary producers of Burgundy. Francis Egly’s grand cru vineyards are located in the villages of Ambonnay, Verzenay, and Bouzy; premier cru Pinot Meunier vineyards are located in the village of Vrigny (on the Petite Montagne). Above all, diligent work in the vineyards to control yields with the goal of obtaining truly ripe grapes (unusual for Champagne) is Egly’s primary philosophy. Juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts, partially in French oak barrels (purchased from Burgundian winemaker Dominique Laurent) and partially in tank. Malolactic fermentation is allowed or blocked depending on the needs of the vintage. Wines spend an especially prolonged time on fine lees in bottle, with three to four years the minimum. Dosage before bottling is very low, seldom more than 2-5 grams/L. All wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered. The Grand Cru Brut comes from 90% Ambonnay Grand Cru, 10% Bouzy Grand Cru, and Verzenay Grand Cru. It is fermented and aged in barrels (10% new), no malo, and then is aged for four years on lees. Egly-Ouriet Champagne is age-worthy, sumptuous, and at times surreal; these bottles are unquestionably the pinnacle of Pinot Noir-based Champagne.