The Lallier family has been in Aÿ for over five generations. In 2003, Monsieur Lallier retired and Monsieur Francis Tribaut took the reins at the estate. The Lallier’s vineyards cover 12 hectares (30 acres) on as many as 43 plots. Wines are bottled after blending in spring and then spend time – at least 36 months for all the Grand Cru cuvées – in the cellars where they reach ideal maturity before being consumed. Only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are used for the whole of the Lallier range. The house style centers around bottling with cork and clamp during the second fermentation, as was customary in the old days. We will taste the Brut Grand Reserve NV, Blanc de Blancs NV, Brut Rose, and the Cuvee Ouvrage.
The second part of the event will focus on specialty Champagnes, comparing Egly Ouriet Grands Crus Blanc de Noirs (made from Pinot Noir grapes) with Jacquesson Cuvée 738 made mostly from Grands Crus Chardonnay. We will finish the event with a side by side tasting of two outstanding vintages: the Bollinger Grande Année 2005 versus the Billecart Salmon 1999, two hand made Champagnes fermented and aged in oak barrels then aged on the yeast lees for fifteen years or more!
Walking in, you arrive at a sit down, interactive, wine tasting during which we provide for tasting six to eight new wines to taste and discuss over the one and a half hour period of time alloted to the class. At these gatherings everyone attending brings their own level of knowledge and experiences, adding to the conversation on the wines, regions, and varietals. All levels of wine lovers are welcome! What brings is all together once every week is simply that we LOVE wine!
We will discuss who 'invented' Champagne, was it the English or the French? Then we will review two major historical moments in recent Champagne history and the impact they had on current day Champagne: the Ay Riots in 1911 and the First World War ending with the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. The regions we will review are Montagne de Reims, Cotes de Blancs, Valle de la Marne, and The Aube. During the tasting, we will define, taste, and explore the following styles: Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noirs, Grand Cru, Grande Marque, Vintages 2002 and 1998, as well as Rose and Demi Sec.
About the speaker, Dominique Landragin:
Dominique’s family wine making history dates back to 1772 when his great-great-grandfather first made champagne. Following the family tradition his grandfather managed Champagne Veuve Clicquot vineyards and his father managed Champagne Heidsieck vineyards.
Dominique studied viticulture and oenology at Beaune Agricultural College, Burgundy. He began his career as manager for Champagne Lanson vineyards, and later at Champagne Deutz in Epernay. His dream of winemaking in the New World took his young family to Australia where for 14 years Dominique produced the country's first medthode champenoise sparkling wines.
YOUR PERSONAL CHAMPAGNE PRODUCTION LEVEL CHEAT SHEET :: NM – négociant manipulant, responsible the majority of champagne produced, houses that buy in grapes and wine with a huge variation in quality - not all bad; RM – récoltant manipulant, a grower who makes champagne out of their own grapes which includes some very good (value) and some pretty dire wine; CM - a co-op, not usually great but, for example, Union Champagne do the business pretty well for Tesco Premier Cru, H Blin can make some excellent vintage champagne, Jacquart have some good cuvees, Beaumont des Crayères can be a good buy, etc etc.; RC – récoltant co-opérateur, someone who's a member of a co-op and buys back wine from them to sell under their own label, JR