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N°164

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Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart

17/12/2018
Truly hand-crafted

Just go down to the cellar that extends under the jardin à la française bordering the beautiful family house to understand that time here has not made fundamental changes but a subtle evolution. Laurence Ployez raises the development of her Champagne to the rank of haute couture.
 

Champagne sur pointe

he story began 88 years ago when Marcel Ployez, Laurence's grandfather, met Yvonne Jacquemart who inherited a few hectares of vines. Together, they created the Champagne house, joining their two names Ployez and Jacquemart, sealing the fate of the family in the village of Ludes. They grew up to 12 hectares, reduced thereafter according to the vagaries of the family. Laurence, the third generation, has taken over the reins from her father and continues the family tradition. “We have at our disposal a broad range of twelve different Premier and Grand Crus of the three grape varieties that enter our cuvees. Pinot Noirs from Ludes Premier Cru and Mailly Grand Cru, Meuniers from Villedommange and Ludes Premier Cru, and Chardonnays from Vertus Premier Cru, stemming from our own terroirs. We complete our own crop with a supply of Chardonnays and Pinots from the Reims Mountain and the Côte des Blancs from winemakers with whom we have ancient and long-standing relationships.”

Laurence herself manages the crafting of the eight cuvees of the house, with one guideline, the research of the perfect balance. She racks the still wines twice before fermentation, then operates light filtering—not at all for some cuvees—no cold stabilization, and long ageing head down (sur pointe) in their cold cellars for 4 to 18 years in order to preserve the integrity of the juices the fruitiness and above all the freshness. The wines are then disgorged and very lightly dosed. 100,000 bottles are produced yearly by the winery.


Laurence Ployez et Raimonds Tomsons

From her father Laurence inherited the love of gastronomy. As a young woman, she crisscrossed the kitchens of starred restaurants in France and Canada. Today the best places in 14 countries sell her wines. And she continues to travel around the world to meet the greatest chefs. Because, though she continues the family tradition, Laurence has refined the development of its wines by adapting them as finely as possible to the most delicate dishes to make her Champagne a gastronomic wine. In this ongoing quest for improvement, she invited Latvian Raimonds Tomsons, Best Sommelier of Europe, because to her “the sommeliers represent the knowledge and the know-how essential to the recognition of her Champagne wines”.

After visiting the mazes of the cellar at 25 meters underground, she submitted to Raimonds Tomsons's expert palate 6 versions of the cuvée “Granit” at different dosages, some were still wines and others sparkling. All have disgorged during in March this year. An exercise that Raimonds Tomsons, in full preparation of the world championship (March 2019 in Antwerp, Belgium), undoubtedly appreciated.

Then came the cuvee "Liesse d'Harbonville" in the 2002, 1999 and 1998 vintages. The sommelier was seduced by the notes of “peach and apricot combined with saffron, sweet spices, red berries and subtly toasted aromas” of the 1999, the jewel of the historical cuvee. When asked which vintage marked her most, Laurence answers without hesitation: “1988 because it was my first vintage, and incidentally, it was an exceptional year!”

To better immerse in the Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart spirit the house proposes a range of tastings and a blending workshops during the winter, a charming bed & breakfast and table d'hôte by reservation, to fully enjoy the Champagne way of life.

Marilyn Johnson

 

 

Raimonds Tomsons’s reviews

Passion Extra Brut

Appearance: clear and bright with a delicate lemon-green colour, greenish hues and very fine bubbles. Nose : fresh and youthful, full of energy, white flowers and bright fresh green apples and pears with hints of lime zest and very delicate roasted bread notes in the background. Palate : bone dry with great freshness and precise acidity, moderately structured, round and velvety mousse complemented by lively green peach and fresh quince, pleasant herbaceous spiciness and lingering finish with crushed chalky minerality and scents of fine patisserie

 

Liesse d’Harbonville 1999 Brut

Appearance: attractive and intense golden colour with very fine bubbles. Nose : very generous and open nose showing ripe peach and apricot, hints of honeysuckle and butterscotch, very fine neutral oak hints of sweet spice, aeration reveals evolution signs of honey, brioche, caramelized butter and dried saffron, oriental yellow curry and roasted hazelnuts, very complex, layered and still developing. Palate : dry and wealthy structured with refreshing acidity and very fine and creamy mousse, generous midpalate with plenty of ripe stone fruits and confiture of citron combined with spicy and creamy flavours of yeast, hazelnuts and dried ginger and saffron, endless finish with great persistence of freshness and chalky mineral scents.

 

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