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N°162

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Champagne Michel Fagot

17/12/2018
So beautiful!

At Michel Fagot, Champagne is a long family tradition. The domain of  Rilly La Montagne was founded by the great-grandfather of Olivier Fagot, the current master of the place. From 1890, 2 generations succeeded to dig the chalk vaulted cellar, long of several hundred meters and located in the second floor basement.

Paolo Basso et Olivier Fagot

Olivier took over the farm in 1990. Passed by his father Michel. He represents the fifth generation and wants to anchor its wines in modern times without denying his traditions, like the beautiful 1950 J. Dollat traditional wine press that stands at the entrance of the cellar. He believes in the terroir, in wines with strong identity. He works with plot selection and according to the precepts of biodynamics, without however claiming it. The labels are binding. An organic conversion procedure was abandoned in 2009 after a devastating vineyard attack by mildew.

The Michel Fagot Champagnes total 15 hectares divided into 28 plots on the Mountain of Reims, classified Premier Cru, and the Mount Saint Thierry. On the hillsides facing southeast, the three grape varieties rub shoulders. “A good wine starts with beautiful grapes and nice juices,” says Olivier. Then you have to let time do its work. The Champagnes rest for at least three years after the second bottle fermentation, eight years for the vintage. And you have to find the right blend and the right dosage. Many challenges for which Olivier recognizes the need for outside advices. And that is why he welcomes Paolo Basso, Best Sommelier of the World, with enthusiasm.

Tasting starts with Rilly La Montagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru, dosed with 6.5 g, aged seven years on the lees and left to rest for a year after disgorgement.

Brut Réserve 1er Cru is a blend of three varieties with 5 years aging. Dosed at 8 g, it is more delectable, rounder but still full of freshness.

The 2006 Brut 1er Cru is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, which has undergone ten years of cellaring. It is a racy, refined and well-balanced Champagne. The 1st Cru 1999, from the same blend, but aged for 16 years in the cellar, surpasses it.

Fagot also produces Selection des Clos, a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, at 4.5 g from old vines. It is the flagship of the house's plot selection. The 2004 vintage is particularly successful. Paolo Basso says it has a “beautiful palate” and a “big potential”.

At Michel Fagot, the Champagnes are a promise that only needs to be realized.


Gérald Olivier

 

 

Paolo Basso's reviews

Brut Premier Cru, Millésimé 2006

Intense golden yellow. Fairly complex nose with notes of cocoa, green pepper, brioche and fine spices. Excellent savory palate, beautifully round, showing a lovely dynamism and flavours that build up a medium body. Lingering finish with a peppery touch. A lovely cuvée to serve for the aperitif, or over seafood and roasted fish.

 

Brut Premier Cru, Millésimé 1999

Intense golden yellow coloru. The nose deserves some airing in the glass. Then displays aromas of yeasts, smokiness. A lovely dense and expressive palate with the touch of complexity provided by the ageing which gives a distinguished style to the wine. Compact and savory palate with a good balance and a lingering intense finish and a beautiful retro-olfaction. A beautiful cuvée, now at its peak, that expresses in an elegant and graceful style. To serve over fine quality dishes of poultry and fish, ideally with unctuous and spicy sauces.

 

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