Champagne Radar

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Champagne Radar

The egg story

🥚”The egg story” I promised last time that really impressed me. OK, we often talk about the growers that they respect the terroir, try to preserve the heritage, prefer the artisanal way etc. Nice, yes, but it’s all the general words. Anything more specific, maybe? ⁣

I realise that most of the time it’s hard to explain the amount of efforts that is hidden behind those words without going too much into viticulture/vinification details. But in this case it’s quite an example easy to understand. So… ⁣

As you know, before the second fermentation a still wine (“vin clair”) could be vinified in an oak barrel, in a stainless steel tank etc. One of the options is a ceramic vessel (amphora, egg), made of clay. Many companies in the world sell it and all you have to do is just to order a ready-made solution. And that what Marie-Laure and Alexandre could have chosen.⁣

Well, instead, they chose a local clay pit that existed since the beginning of the 20th century in Villenauxe-la-Grande, but in 2016 had to completely suspend its activity due to the world’s globalisation. The clay that was extracted was famous for its purity and, instead of buying a ready vessel, Marie-Laure and Alexandre decided to buy the clay that was left in stock and make the “eggs” to have a connection with the grapes of the terroir.⁣

And if you think that all it takes is to simply make an egg in a local workshop, you’re wrong. First, find a company that can build it and, believe me, it’s a nightmare. Everyone wants to use the raw material they used to - less problems. Second, numerous chemical analyses to build a prototype to see what impact it may have on the wine. Third, variety of options: the egg could be designed to give more oxidative notes, or, on the contrary, “breathe” less that an oak barrel.⁣

Long story short, it a long and difficult way to go and I have so much respect that they had chosen it.⁣

I had a chance to taste the still wines from those eggs. Iodine notes, almost granular touch on the finish, freshness - really liked that sensation. ⁣

👏 I can only respect such an approach of being terroir-driven to the end! It was a great experience to hear the story.