Jacquesson was founded in 1798. Not only it was born before Krug, in fact, it gave birth to Krug when Johann-Joseph Krug left Jacquesson to form his own house in 1843.
Despite its centuries of history, Jacquesson never ceases to innovate.
What matters most - consistency or quality?
In wine making, vintage variations are a fact of nature. Producers in Champagne, through its non-vintage releases, try to smoothen out the differences by blending across vintages and produce a consistent “house style.”
Over time, this becomes boring. This becomes a tradeoff between consistency and quality, and in Champagne, most houses have opted for consistency.
Jacquesson chooses the otherwise. So rather than making a consistent wine every year, they set out to make the best possible blend each vintage. They chose expression over consistency.
With the 2000 vintage, Jacquesson retired its 150-year-old non-vintage label (Perfection Brut) with a numbered, vintage-based cuvee (the first being ‘728’). Each year, a new-subsequently numbered- cuvee is released, with cuvee No. 734 based on the 2006 vintage, Cuvée No. 733 on the 2005 vintage, etc.
Cuvee No. 736 is based on the 2008 vintage, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from its Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards. The winemaking is no different from its other top cuvees: vinification in large old oak barrels, on the lees, with weekly batonnage, minimal dosage and no filtration. In each cuvee, there is also a certain percentage of reserve wine.
So committed is Jacquesson to this idea that it has decided, beginning with the 2009 harvest, to no longer make its vintage-dated prestige cuvee. Jacquesson explains the decision in the form of a question: how can we call the 700 Series as the true expression of Jacquesson’s vineyards if we withhold some of the best fruit? This is a real devotion to quality that is seldom seen in Champagne (or many other wine regions) today.
Terrior expression – single-vineyard Champagne
Alongside the esteemed 700 Series, the house produces tiny quantities of its wines, with each from a unique parcel of vines. These Champagnes showcase some of the region’s finest vineyards.
The lieu-dit (single-vineyard) lineup includes: Champ Caïn, 100% Avize Chardonnay; Corne Bautray, 100% Dizy Chardonnay; Vauzelle Terme, 100% Ay Pinot Noir; and a saignee rose, Terres Rouge, which, from 2007 onwards, will be produced entirely from Pinot Noir.
For example, for our featured wine, Jacquesson Dizy Corne Bautray 'Non Dose' 2000 was harvested in 2000, from a lieu-dit (usually refers to a single vineyard) called Corne Bautray located in Dizy, Champagne. The wines spent 8 years on the less before disgorgement in 2009, with no dosage treatment. Only 5000 bottles of this wine were produced from this 1-hectare vineyard with Chardonnay vines planted in 1960.
If you haven’t already become fans of Jacquesson, you will likely be converted after trying these wines. =)