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This Week's Tasting
Highly Praised Ployez-Jacquemart Champagnes
March 8, 2017
We are pleased to welcome Laurence Ployez to conduct our tasting. She is the third generation of her family to be the head of their 87 year old family firm. They might be best described as micro negociants as their vineyards account for only about a third of their production.
Although they are based in Ludes in the red-grape-heavy Montagne de Reims, Chardonnay always forms the plurality, and often the majority of their blend. They use only the first pressings of the grapes and use reserve wines very sparingly. The same is true of heir dosages, a maximum of 5 grams per liter, making all of their range Extra Brut.
These methods make poised and pure wines, rounded without sweetness, never gussied up.
The Extra Brut is 60% red grapes mostly from the very rich 2009 vintage with 15% Reserve wines It was not disgorged until March 2015 and aged on the lees a minimum of 3 years. It is very well balanced, with an equilibrium of richness and spice.
The Extra Brut Rose gains finesse from being half Chardonnay and its color from the addition of 10% red wine. It also spent 3 years on the lees.
Cuvée Passion is a special wine. All 1er and grand cru, it is a blend of a quarter 2008 Chardonnay aged 6 months I barrel without malolactic fermentation, the rest is from the ripe 2009 vintage which a has gone through malo. You don't taste the oak, but from it comes a structure that balanced the floral freshness of the other components. Five years on the lees.
The 2005 Blanc de Blancs is even more complex. Again only 1er and grand cru, it was aged 9 years on the lees, giving it a richness that does not lack for vivacity and dimension. It is extraordinary.
But Ployez-Jacquemart's piece de resistance is their tete de cuvée 1999 Cuvee Liesse de Harbonville. I have tasted it twice, first after being disgorged about 11 years 11 years, and a few months ago, disgorged in 2014. It has only gotten more profound. Two thirds Chardonnay, the rest equal parts Pinot Noir and Meunièr, it does not go through malo, so again it has lively acidity to balance out its oak richness, Low dosage 3 grams dosage does not obscure the fruit and structure. It is an extraordinary wine that Rev use du Vin de France included in its list of best champagnes last fall. You must try it.
Ployez Jacquemart Extra Brut; Aroma: clean rather rounded, rather spicy rounded full; Mouth: clean very full rounded rather rich, lightly spicy rich; Very Good Plus ; 40, Mixed Case, 36, Case, 34
Half bottles 25, Mixed Case, 22.50, Case, 21.25
Magnums 95, Mixed Case, 85, Case, 80
Ployez Jacquemart Rose ; Aroma: light direct pretty, fresh round, full, clean, lifted; Mouth: clean finely delineated, fine acid, light acid clean light fresh pretty; Very Good Plus ; 54 Mixed Case, 48.50; Case, 45.90
Half bottles 31, Mixed Case, 28, Case, 26.5
Magnums 125; Mixed Case, 113, Case, 108
loyez Jacquemart Extra Brut Cuvee Passion; Aroma: dusty, lightly herbal, ripely fruity, raher clean, , lightly herbal clean, nutty; Mouth: clean rather racy, fine avisity good balance, firm underlying acidity, rather long; Very Good - Excellent ; 54 Mixed Case, 48.50; Case, 45.90
2005 Ployez Jacquemart Blanc de Blancs; Aroma: older yeasty, , mature rather dense heady rich fruit, ; Mouth: clean very fine elegant racy bracing, mellowed acidity, , piquant, rather older still cleaner; Excellent ; 75 Mixed Case, 67.50; Case, 63.75
1999 Ployez Jacquemart Cuvee Liesse de Harbonville ; Aroma: very ripe very dense rather heady, finely, elegant, rather pretty rather dense; Mouth: creamy rather dense bright acid, herbal clean fine acidity, chewy wood, very dense, profound; Excellent - Outstanding 145Mixed Case, 129, Case, 123
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- Len Rothenberg
(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017