“The 2009 Extra-Brut Grand Cru Avize – Champ Caïn is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of pear, blanched almonds, freshly baked bread and mandarin. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and precise, it’s elegant and refined, with a pinpoint mousse, discreet depth at the core and a long, chalky finish. Beautifully balanced with minimal dosage, it shows the results the Jacquesson brothers’ viticulture were already delivering over a decade ago.” – 94Pts, William Kelley, Robertparker.com
Situated at the bottom of the slope facing due south; calcareous soil of clayey, sandy, silty structure over blocks of Campagnian chalk. Planted to Chardonnay with 12,000 vines over 1.3 hectares in 1962. Winter was cold and dry, while the spring was mild but very rainy, creating the perfect environment for mildew. Fortunately, the summer was hot and dry and the weather at the end of the growing season was magnificent. The grapes were in superb condition with levels of maturity and ripeness that were comparable to 2002. The dreams of a great vintage were fully realised.
Founded in 1798 and still pushing boundaries today, Jacquesson is one of the oldest and yet most innovative houses in Champagne. It is owned and run by brothers Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet, who in the early 2000s pioneered the idea of a numbered non-vintage cuvée, freeing themselves from the constraint of consistency, and permitting instead the pursuit of excellence above all else. With that change came increased transparency: grape sources, disgorgement date, dosage and production volumes were displayed on the back label, affording consumers an insight into the wine that other champagne houses have since adopted. Around eighty percent of the house’s needs are supplied by its own vineyards, and the whole approach is much closer to that of the conscientious grower than the large négociant. Low yields, careful pressing, stringent selection, fermentation in large oak casks, prolonged lees ageing, minimal dosage, and the absence of fining, filtration and artificial cold stabilisation together account for wines of spectacular vinosity, complexity and finesse.