Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ployez-Jacquemart's Dazzling Champagnes

Yesterday was Global Champagne Day. But here at the store Champagne Day came a day early as Laurence Ployez, proprietor and winemaker at Ployez-Jacquemart in Ludes, Montagne de Reims, stopped by Thursday to lead us, including some very fortunate attendees who signed up, to a dazzling tasting of not 4, not 5, but 7 of her excellent Champagnes, including four different vintage Champagnes. A bravura performance. We pulled out all the stops, and for just a tasting fee of $20! It is the second year in a row that Laurence has graced us with her presence. We are the only wine store in the San Francisco Bay Area where she does this tasting event. I can't wait to host her again in October of next year.

Even among highly touted grower-producers, I don't find one that surpasses Ployez-Jacquemart for quality-price ratio. For example, the basic non-vintage Extra Brut, which now consists of 2008 as the base wine with a dosage of less than 5 grams, is priced at just $43. To find a Champagne of comparable austerity and finesse you would have to spend more. And what about the unique non-vintage Champagne that Laurence makes in very small quantities called the "Passion". The current release consists mainly of 2006 and the rest 2005. The wines are aged in Burgundy barrels for two years before en tirage. This has remarkable richness and complexity for a non-vintage, and at $49 is a stunning value.

Ployez-Jacquemart is based in the Montagne de Reims with vineyards in Ludes and Mailly totaling two hectares. Most of the fruit is purchased directly from growers with long-term relationships. And not just any grower, but only grower-producers that bottle their own Champagne, thus they care about the quality of the fruit they grow. The Montagne de Reims is known for its excellent Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier-based Champagnes. Ployez produces Champagnes of remarkable purity and finesse with very low dosage to highlight the superb base wine.

Champagne Extra Brut, Ployez-Jacquemart NV $43.00 (order)

Champagne Extra Brut Rose, Ployez-Jacquemart NV $49.00 (order)

Champagne Extra Brut "Passion", Ployez-Jacquemart NV $49.00 (order)

Champagne Extra Brut "Liesse D'Harbonville", Ployez-Jacquemart 1998 $135.00 (order)

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