Ployez Jacquemart "Liesse d'Harbonville" Champagne 2002
This is one of our favorite Champagne houses, run by the phenomenal Laurence Ployez. Since 1930, the Ployez family has been crafting artisanal Champagne in their idyllic hamlet of Ludes, in Champagne. Her family's history significantly predates their commercial beginnings. An intricate, centuries-old network of chalk caves, called crayères, lies beneath their estate buried 25 meters below-ground, ideal for aging their cuvées before release.
Nearly every Champagne house showcases a range of bottlings; their top wine, known as a tête du cuvée, is meant to be the most revered and exceptional showcase of what they can do. Louis Roederer has their "Cristal"; Bollinger has "La Grande Année"; Moët & Chandon with "Dom Pérignon"; and Ployez Jacquemart produces their "Liesse d'Harbonville."
Crafted in only the best vintages, "Liesse d'Harbonville" is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir from Premier Cru and Grand Cru villages, fermented and aged in their heirloom oak barrels. The oak deepens and broadens the wine; after bottling it rested on its lees (the yeast) for more than a decade-and-a-half before disgorging with a minimal 3 gram dosage, technically rendering it an extra brut! The outstanding 2002 vintage is a long-haul keeper, evolving still.
Lemon oil, orange marmalade, cherry pit, woodsmoke, minerals, toasty croissant, dried jasmine, and beeswax burst from the glass. It shows age-defying youth now and hints at a long life ahead. When speaking by the phone with their U.S. importer he exclaimed, "You're not drinking this now, are you?!"
Extremely rare, this current release is an immaculate, perfectly-aged vintage Champagne of the highest order. Free shipping on only one bottle, but honestly this is a wine you'll want to open once a year for the next decade and watch its evolution gloriously unfold.