Champagne J. Lassalle

Champagne J. Lassalle Champagne, Chigny-les Roses

Wine Maker: Angéline Templier

“Only the very greatest wines are able to communicate the subtleties not only of the place that has given them birth but the very personalities of those who have brought them to life. When I first tasted the enchanting champagnes of J. Lassalle, I knew nothing of the estate or of the three generations of women behind it. Yes, women, and this is the key. There is a tender woman’s touch here and my notes flow with superlatives of ‘delicate’, ‘restrained’, ‘sophisticated’, ‘gorgeous’, even ‘a rosé for fairies and princesses and anyone who prizes dainty, delicate beauty.’ These are impeccably crafted cuvées of generous fruit presence, purity and perfectly judged balance.” Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2012-2013.

Traditional Champagne press at Lassalle. (pic. Euan McKay)

 The wheels have turned in the last couple of years with the recognition of small grower Champagne. In much the same way the holy grail of Pinot Noir can only be achieved in that variety’s homeland by the finest growers of Burgundy, the same can be said of Champagne. Truly fine, remarkable and interesting Champagne is all about small family growers producing wine of finesse, complexity and detail which, as I discovered with J. Lassalle, happens to be a fine wine which just happens to have a few bubbles.

Founded in 1942 in the heart of the Montagne de Reims, J.Lassalle is not only a family business, it is a family business owned and run by three generations of women and the impression you get from their vineyard, winery and delightful product is a sense of organisation, harmony and flair.The House produces 100,000 bottles anually from its 11 hectares of vineyard planted to the three Champagne varieties, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. They fashion their five cuvee’s from five years of reserve wine delivering flavoresome yet elegant and interesting wines.

“And from the lovely village of Chigny-les-Roses (yes, lots of roses there), Champagne J. Lassalle’s current releases are very impressive. Their non-vintage Cuvée Préférence is a mature beauty, expressive, generous, stylish, and the palate is remarkably elegant. If you are used to the big Champagne houses, the extra pleasures offered by this cuvée will shock you. It is a caress going down! Lassalle’s Champagne Rosé is very pale in color with strawberry and raspberry perfume in the subtle bouquet. No, it doesn’t shout, and red wine was not added to color it. It grows on you – a connoisseur’s rosé, and it is bone dry!” Kermit Lynch “A very traditional house that makes really impressive wines ….. I was as wowed as always by what I found here.” Burghound The Wine Advocate “One of my favorite Champagne producers, J. Lassalle.” – Robert Parker

Wine Available

NV Cuvée Préférence Brut

94, Winorama / 92, Tyson Stelzer
Also available in demi and magnum.

NV Cuvée Rosé Reserve Grande Année Brut – 93, Burghound / 95, Tyson Stelzer “Lassalle’s Champagne Rosé is very pale in color with strawberry and raspberry perfume in the subtle bouquet. No, it doesn’t shout, and red wine was not added to color it. It grows on you – a connoisseur’s rosé, and it is bone dry!” Kermit Lynch “A rosé from Chigny-les-Roses that really does smell and taste like roses! Gorgeously delicate and restrained, a delightfully faint salmon hue introduces a perfume of just-picked strawberries. Impeccably balanced, pure and refined, without a molecule out of place, its creamy bead and soft minerality meld seamlessly with subtle dosage. 95 points.” Tyson Stelzer

2009 Cuvée Angéline Brut –  95 points, Tyson Stelzer “Tremendous fruit concentration and energy, layered with yellow summer fruits. Bottle-derived complexity of roasted chestnuts, figs, mixed spice and brioche is beginning to build, without losing any of its generous fruit richness, tart preserved lemon edge or linear presence. With well-integrated acidity, a fine bead and subtle dosage, this is a beautifully composed 2002 that’s bang-on for drinking right now. 95 points.” Tyson Stelzer

2008 Cuvée Blanc de Blanc Brut – 93 points, Tyson Stelzer “A wine of tension and richness, juxtaposing its mellowing maturity of creamy, smooth, mouthfilling, rich butter, poached peach, fig and honey, with chardonnay’s linear vector of energy and sour acidity. Preserved lemon fruit lingers long amid nuances of nutmeg and Christmas spice, finishing rich with sweet wild honey offsetting its sour edge. 93 points.” Tyson Stelzer Also available en magnum

2008 Cuvée Spécial Club Brut – 96 points, Tyson Stelzer “There is an inherent subtlety and restraint here, but at the same time glorious complexity, without lacking anything in concentration or presence. Such is its sophistication and harmony that nothing leaps out of the glass. Instead, a gentle, caressing presence of white peach and preserved lemon, with complex nuances of nutmeg, cinnamon, toast, even anise. A fine, creamy bead, beautifully integrated acidity, soft, underlying minerality and an aftertaste of unrelenting endurance complete an intricately assembled package. 96 points.” Tyson Stelzer

Angéline Templier granddaughter of the founder. (pic. Euan McKay)

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