One of the great grower-producers in Champagne, Egly-Ouriet, has no fear of oak. One of his top wines, the Vieillissement Prolonge, sees extended elevage and lees ageing, producing a wine heavily influenced by oxidation and thus carrying significant secondary characteristics and vinous weight. It is a blend of old-vine grand cru fruit from three sources in Montagne de Reims and is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.
Egly-Ouriet’s uniqueness lies in the health of the soils and the intentionality of growing very ripe grapes. The vineyards are historically free from gadoux (the Paris garbage), and so some of the healthiest in Champagne. The grapes are grown to maximal ripeness, and the very top 100% old-vine Pinot Noir Cuvee does not even require dosage to taste rich and ripe (something you usually only see in the warmer Cote de Bar). For more on the producer, see my extended profile from 2014.
This 2015 disgorgement of the V.P. saw 75 months ageing on lees – i.e. just over 6 years. The result is a wine of great depth and complexity, softer acids, and very aromatic and long on the secondary notes. The wine, however, avoids maderized smells and is true to the fruit. It’s one of my personal favourite wines from Champagne.
Excellent+. ~$133 USD (prices vary).