Once a year Me & Richard have the pleasure to taste champagnes with one of my heros in the Champagneindustry, Jean-Hervé Chicquet. J-H came to Stockholm and arranged a tasting with their Swedish importer Vinovum at Brasseri Bobonne. A bistro that I have mentioned earlier for thier exellent food & wine matching skills!
First time I tasted the single vineyard-champagnes from Jacquesson in a larger setting was in october 2011 at Pubologi when the 2002 vintage release ot Corne Bautray, Champ Caïn & Vauzelle Terme. What a spectacular debute of theese wines …
RICHARD ON JACQUESSON Founded in 1798 in Châlons-sur-Marne—was one of the first Champagne houses. It didn’t take them long to become a famous firm. Their reputation wasn’t hurt either when Napoleon, visiting the company, bestowed a gold medal on Jacquesson in recognition of their beautiful cellar. America became their foremost export market recently old Jacquesson bottles were found aboard a wreck named the Niantic. By 1867 Jacquesson had already sold one million bottles, but after Adolphe Jacquesson’s death a sharp decline set in. Leon de Tassigny took over in 1920 and bought the fine vineyards they own today in Avize, Aÿ, Dizy, and Hautvillers. Still, the quality didn’t reach the level of the 1800s. For a long time the company played second fiddle, until Jean Chiquet bought the noble house in Dizy in 1974. Today, the company is run by his two determined sons: Laurent (vintner) and Jean-Hervé (businessman). When I first met Jean-Hervé in 1990, he told me that they were aiming for the very top. All new investments were made with quality in mind. The second pressing was sold, the proportion of reserve wine and oak barrels was increased, a greater amount of grand cru grapes was bought in. Today, this costly venture is beginning to bear fruit. The nonvintage is brilliant, and has now been given a number to differentiate it from the other blends. The pretsige cuvées are now among the best every year. Moreover, they have some of the oldest commercially available Champagnes in their D. T. series. In the future, several exciting mono-cru wines will be launched, so keep your eyes open. The Chiquet brothers won’t give up until they reach the absolute top. Jacquesson is one of the most interesting houses today, giving fantastically good value for money. I am so impressed by their latest release that I awarded them 5 stars!
‘We don’t produce, non-vintage, vintage or cuvée préstige champagnes any more.’
JACQUESSON & FILS ‘CUVÉE No 738′ | 21PN 18PM 61CH | TASTINGNOTE ‘Preview. (2010) Disgorged in April’14, will be in the market in Nov’14. It’s suffering slightly of the disgorgment still but will settle down in the near month or so. Due to big problems with botrytis in 2010 the proportion of Chardonnay is larger then normal, 61 percent. The Champagne is very young and the newly disgorged process i noticeable. No vineyard wines made this year so the quality are remarkable. Crystal clear notes of Avize-apples and high quality mineral.‘ | aprox 389 sek | RJpoints 82(88)
JACQUESSON & FILS ‘CUVÉE 737′ magnum | 27PN 30PM 47CH | TASTINGNOTE ‘One of the secrets of the dramatic increase in quality of this Champagne in the early nineties was that a quarter is vinified in oak barrels. Compare with Bollinger’s previously made style. Another explanation is that all Chardonnay comes from Grand Cru village Avize. Briliant crystal clear minerality that really impresses. Fresh, intense and long finish. The champagne combines seriousness with charm in a wonderful way. The fruity aroma backed by a creamy Chardonnay aroma. The flavor is perfectly balanced with a nutty touch of oak in the finish. If you have the patience gives even the initial green bottles wonderful complexity. So store the bottles a few extra years to be on the safe side.‘ RJpoints 84(88)
JACQUESSON & FILS ‘CUVÉE 733 Dégorgement Tardif′ | 24PN 24PM 52CH | TASTINGNOTE ‘ J-H said that the company tucked away about 15,000 bottles in the cellar to make a Vinotheque version of the 700 series!! And here it is! 2005, with 22% reserve wines from 2004 and 2001 Jean-Hervé warned me when I asked to try this wine newlydisgorged before release. He was right. The wine was a bit closed and did not make itself full justice a that point, but it didn’t disturb me when I felt the purity, hint to all those delicious Jacquesson-notes and astounded by the high quality standard of champagne that this actually is. Clearly it has taken a step up on the quality scale by the numbering and it is more a style issue than a quality issue which of the unfiltered personalities you prefer. The new version is disgorged sep’13. Dosage 2,5 gr/litre. The first version of the 700-series are kept 4 years old sûr-lie and the D-T-version are kept 9 years old sûr-lie. This represent 1(!) percent of the whole production. | RJpoints for 733 85(87) | RJpoints for 733 D.T. 88(89)
‘This is first time I jumped up and down over the drinkability of a Champagne from the 700 series from the start was with the 736.’
JACQUESSON & FILS ‘DIZY CORNE BAUTRAY’ 2004 | 100 CH | TASTINGNOTE ’The Chiquet Brothers have made only 750 bottles from this exceptional plot that has vines planted in the great year of 1959. It is striking to see how well the house-style is retained with all the bottles that have passed through Jacquesson’s cellar. As always, the house’s special spicy, appley-fresh style is evident. The acidity is impressive, as are the mineral notes. The nose is beautiful and personal, with hints of mini-banana, mirabelle, tobacco, leather, smoked meat, and yellow roses. The taste is impressively rich and really intense. I’m not as impressed by this single vineyard as Laurent. ’ RJpoints 90(93).
MORE ON THE 2004: Corne Bautray is on the way to the top of a hill above Dizy and greatly impressed with the harvest of 1995, and Jacquesson made a cuvée from it. (2000 was the first commercial version). The 9000 vines, planted in 1960 of 1 ha and grown in relative thick topsoil. The soil consists of a layer of soft clay filled with gravel to a depth of three meters, which provide good drainage. Vinification: in 40 hl oak barrels, stirring the lees (battonage) and then complete malolactic fermentation. Racking (soutirage) in two rounds before bottling without filtration in June 2004. There were wine eight years on its lees before degorgering in February 2012. No sugar added (dosage). The result was 4684 bottles and 306 Magnum. For the Swedish market 72 bottles.
JACQUESSON & FILS ‘AVIZE CHAMP CAÏN’ 2004 | 100 CH | TASTINGNOTE ‘Nowadays it has halved production and limited it to the best location in Avize. The concentration is staggering and purity insanely pronounced. Buttery and dense, but above all exceptionally beautiful. Reminiscent of a great Corton-Montrachet in this medium-year. Extrodinary silky and beautiful’ RJpoints 94(96)
MORE ON 2004; The vineyard was planted in 1962 with 12 000 vines on 1.30 acres. Vinification: In 75 hl oak barrels, stirring the lees (battonage) and then complete malolactic fermentation. Racking (soutirage) in two rounds before bottling without filtration in June 2004. There were wine eight years on its lees before degorgering February 2012. 1,5 g / l sugar added (dosage). From this vintage ‘Extra Brut’ is stated on teh label. The result was 5982 bottles and 252 Magnum. For the Swedish market 148 bottles.
JACQUESSON & FILS ‘AŸ VAUZELLE TERME’ 2004 | 100 PN | TASTINGNOTE ‘An outstanding wine that quite clearly shows that the quality of fanatical Chiquet brothers are right there with its focus on monocruchampagnes. I see obvious similarities to the celestial Champagne Deutz made from Aÿ 1975, in other words, the animal aromas dimmed in favor of a mineral sparkling chalky finesse. Notes of pears, sweet red apples and peches. Here I recognizing Jacquessons personalized chocolate advantageous barrel notes. Those who claim that a great Champagne must always include Chardonnay should taste this, to say the, brilliant wine. The aftertaste is the purest expression of Aÿ. Extremely similar to Bollinger VVF from a great year.’ RJpoints 93(96)
MORE ON 2004: The vintage1996 favored Pinot Noir, and three quarters of an acre in Vauzelle Terme Lieu-dit stood out for the Chiquets. Corne Bautray showed the way in 1995 and 1996 bottled the very of the exceptional Vauzelle Terme. 2500 vines were planted in 1980 on 0.30 acres and grows in limestone mixed with a little clay, with chalk bedrock. Vintage 2002 was the first release of this Blanc de Noirs. It was a hot and sunny summer with cool nights, resulting in a generally dry year, much like 1976. Vinification: in 20 hl oak barrels, stirring the precipitate and then complete malolactic fermentation. Racked twice before bottling without filtration was June 2004. There were wine eight years on its lees before degorgering February 2012. 1,5 g sugar added (dosage). The result was 1852 bottles and 148 Magnum. All three single vineyard Champagnes where released on the market in September/October 2013.
‘A very interesting and fascinatingly intensive Pinot wine with a high degree of concentration.’