Lying at the heart of the Côte des Blancs on the lower slopes of the Grand Cru village of Avize can be found the lieux-dits of La Fosse, Némery
and Champ Caïn. Jacquesson’s three parcels on these south-east facing sites were planted to Chardonnay between 1962 and 1983. Here, Campanian chalk, made up of calcite granules from the skeletons of marine microorganisms, rises almost to the surface, above which the very shallow topsoil is permeable and prone to frost. Occasionally, the poor nature of the soil necessitates the addition of nutrients which, as always at Jacquesson, are organic.
When tasted in spring 1996, these chardonnays
from Avize showed a perfect balance between power and liveliness, allowing us to expect a truly great vintage with the capability to age superbly.
Vinified partly in 40 and 75 hectolitre oak casks and partly in tanks, the assemblage of our three parcels was bottled on 30th May 1996 to become Avize Grand Cru 1995.
The lion’s share was disgorged between 2001 and 2004 for release and immediate sale.
In view of the fact that up to then the 1995 was without doubt the finest Avize Grand Cru produced by Jacquesson, the decision was taken to set aside a small number of bottles for further ageing with a view to disgorging them at a much later date.
To this end, a portion of the bottles were sealed with corks and clamps and laid down to bring out the long-term aromatic potential of the wine. It is fascinating to open late disgorged bottles of wines which were made nearly 15 years ago. Prolonging the period of maturing the wine on its lees in the bottle before disgorgement brings out tertiary aromas which harmonise beautifully with a freshness that is conserved thanks to ageing in an almost oxygen-free environment. Our Avize Grand Cru 1995 Dégorgement Tardif was disgorged with zero dosage in June 2010 after 14 years on the lees.