This is what Champagne from Reims used to be like 100 years ago, Francis Egly told us, before timid winemakers started cutting their cuvées with Chardonnay. This single-vineyard Champagne from the noblest of terroirs in Ambonnay is 100% Pinot Noir from 70-year-old vines; the wine spends 51 months on its lees, and is fermented in barrel. "Crayeres" covers itself with the thinest of Champagne soil, yet its heart is pure, solid chalk. The nose is a sensual feast—cinnamon and cardamom; the zest of lemons and limes; candied ginger, cherries and crushed stones. Lush and almost thick on the palate, "Crayeres" shows notes of currants and strawberries, reminding of a still red wine. This is truly the benchmark for all great Pinot Noir Champagne—perhaps for all Champagne.
"The NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru is an old-vine Pinot Noir bottling from the Les Crayeres vineyard in Ambonnay. The wine reveals exceptional balance in its aromas, flavors and textures. This is an especially open Blanc de Noirs that showcases the signature warmth of Ambonnay. The wine boasts gorgeous textural finesse and beautifully balanced oak. This is another winner from Egly-Ouriet. The NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru spent 58 months on its lees and was disgorged in May, 2009.
The Wine Advocate
"Bright gold. Pungent, expansive aromas of redcurrant, poached pear, honey and yellow rose, with suave mineral and toast notes adding complexity. Sappy, palate-coating red fruit and pear flavors become smokier with air and show distinct mineral character. Smoke and toasted hazelnut notes carry through a long, very persistent finish. Assertive and densely packed, with the depth to age and the oomph to go with rich foods. This is 100% pinot noir from a lieu-dit called Les Crayères, in Ambonnay."
International Wine Cellar