In Champagne, three stars were given only to Bollinger, Egly Ouriet, Jacquesson, Krug, Salon and Selosse. In the entire region of France, 56 domaines have obtained this distinction: this includes Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Châteaud’Yquem, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht and Château Rayas.
– La Revue du Vin de France, The Classification of the Best Wines of France 2010
Jacquesson’s wines are complex and richly textured, demonstrating a substantial depth of fruit that’s amplified by vinification in large wooden casks and highlighted by their unusually low dosages. At the same time, these wines show a keenly fine texture and harmonious elegance, and as Jacquesson’s new aesthetic continues to unfold, this house will achieve even greater heights: the 700-series is proving to be consistently one of the best non-vintage bruts on the market, and the single-vineyard wines are mandatory purchases for anyone interested in the terroir of Champagne, demonstrating an extraordinary vinosity and expression of place. – Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net
Sustainable farming practices are the norm at Jacquesson; no herbicides are used and rows are tilled in the spring and fall, with grass sowed in summer. When fertilizers are used, they are entirely organic. Pruning is severe for low yields, there are no green harvests, and canopy management is stressed to ensure minimal mildew and odium pressure, thus keeping spray use to a minimum.
Jacquesson has a small production facility in Dizy, across the river from Epernay. Here the Chiquet brothers use vertical presses that are more than one-hundred years old rather than more abusive horizontal presses. Only juice from the first pressing is used —the press wine itself is sold to négociants —and all the juice is either from grand cru or premier cru rated vineyards. The juice flows by gravity into steel tanks for 24 hours of settling, after which it is transferred to large neutral wood casks (foudres) for several months to undergo alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. The lees are stirred to enrich the wine, a practice that has the additional benefit of providing a naturally reductive environment and keeping the need for SO2 additions to a minimum. The first racking normally occurs in April or May.
Malolactic fermentation is never blocked because it would require a lot of SO2, and low acidity in Champagne grapes is not a concern. Since the fruit that makes the wine always attains an enviable level of ripeness, the dosage is typically in the extra-brut range of one to six grams of sugar per liter. Bottling is done without cold stabilization or filtration.
The growing season in 2000 had the highest average temperature recorded since 1956. June was hot, July wet and cold with hailstorms, while August was hotter but still on the wet side. The end of August saw good weather at last, and this held throughout September. Jacquesson began its harvest on September 18th. This is a richly ripe, dry, full-bodied Champagne composed of 50% Chardonnay from Avize “Champ Caïn” and Pinot Noir from Verzenay (20%), Dizy (20%), and Ay “Vauzelle Terme” (10%).