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Jacquesson, Dizy Corne Bautray 2007
Jean-Herve and Laurent Chiquet
Big, somewhat flowery and spicy aroma, with hints of grapefruit, green apple, minerals and a little barrel character. The taste is quite full-bodied, dry, powerful, with green apple, grapefruit, minerals, fairly high acidity and barrel notes, good length.
Champagne Jacquesson describe the Corne Bautray vineyard thus: "at the top of a steep slope facing south-west; clay and alluvial silt filled with millstone grit gravel on Campanian chalk; 9,000 vines planted to Chardonnay over 1 hectare in 1960". The 2007 vintage was mostly cool until the last couple of weeks before harvest when warm weather came and helped privileged sites such as this to achieve good ripeness. The impression here is of richness of texture and stone fruit character. This is without doubt one of the best 2007 Champagnes. Bottled without dosage and aged for 7 and a half years on lees.
Based in Dizy, the house of Jacquesson was founded in 1798 by Memmie Jacquesson, who produced the house's first sparkling wine that year. Memmie's son Adolphe continued his work and in 1844 invented and patented the muselet, which is the cork wire basket that is still in use today. After Adolphe's death, the house saw 50 years of decline until it was resurrected in 1925 by the Tassigny family. Finally, in 1974 Champagne Jacquesson was purchased by the Chiquet family (today under the watchful eye of brothers Jean-Herve and Laurent) and there started the quest to turn this Champagne house into one of the highest quality producers in the region. Jacquesson could almost be considered a grower, 80% of their vineyards are their own and where they purchase fruit, they only buy grapes (this is unusual in Champagne as most producers purchase juice) of the highest quality. All fruit is of 1er or Grand Cru quality and production has been reduced significantly, from 40 000 cases in 1988 to 25 000 cases today. Jacquesson own 28 ha of vineyards, of which 11 ha are in the Cote de Blancs and 17 ha in the Marne. Improvements in viticulture are important to the two brothers. The estate is farmed organically (Dizy Terres Rouge and Ay Vauzelle Terme are certified as of 2013) and they place high importance on reducing the amount of copper sprays (twice a year only). This is especially hard given that the Champagne region tends to get around 35 days of rain in the summer and mildew can be a problem. The main focus of the house of Jacquesson today is the seven series Cuvee. The idea for the series came in 1998, when brothers Laurent and Jean-Herve were working on the 1997 vintage. They made a blend that they really loved with the majority of the blend being Chardonnay. But they knew they could not reproduce this same blend every year and were not happy with this notion and so the decision was made to not produce a consistent style any longer. Later on, the brothers realised that their seven series blend was already the best wine they could produce and how could they make a vintage blend that was better? Therefore, the 2002 vintage blend was the last to be made. Now and only in the best years, Jacquesson produce single vineyard Champagnes from four lieu-dits: Ay Vauzelle Terme, Dizy Corne Bautray, Avize Champ Caen and Dizy Terres Rouges.