Francis Egly's champagnes impress with the exceptional quality of their base wines. They are powerful, terroir-expressive sparkling wines that are mainly based on Pinot Noir. Given that the Domaine is one of the most renowned producers of winemaking champagne today, it has not been in this business that long. Before Francis Egly took over the helm in 1982, most of the grapes were sold to negociants.
The charismatic and strong-willed winemaker changed this almost immediately and fundamentally, so that he was quickly mentioned in the same breath as Anselme Selosse and still is when the most formative figures of the champagne winemaking movement are mentioned.
Of the 12 hectares on the estate, eight are in Ambonnay and the rest in Bouzy, Verzenay and Vrigny. The 2 hectares in Vrigny are planted with Pinot Meunier, the rest 70% with Pinot Noir and 30% with Chardonnay. The age of the vines goes back to 1947.
Francis Egly spends most of his work in the vineyard and is an advocate of very ripe grape material and the associated late harvest. In the cellar, he mostly uses used oak barrels for his base wines (for a maximum of 8 months), which he sources in Burgundy. Egly is convinced that wood gives his champagnes more structure, complexity, terroir expression and storage potential. He also loves to develop individual parcels separately. Only natural yeasts are used, it is neither fined nor filtered and - depending on their nature - the wines go through malolactic fermentation or not.
After the tirage, the champagnes spend a long time on the lees: Brut Tradition and Vignes de Vrigny for at least 3 years, the other cuvées even longer. Egly recently introduced temperature control in all of his cellars, which he sees as helping to reduce the amount of sulfur that needs to be added.
In addition to its sparkling wines, which are sought after worldwide and are always highly praised by the guild of critics, the House of Egly-Ouriet also prepares the still largely undisputed most elegant and most complete still wines (Coteaux Champenois) in all of Champagne. These are extremely profound Pinot Noirs of Burgundian format, which ripen excellently, but are usually difficult to obtain due to the small quantities.