For the past 20 years, Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet have been scrupulously practising traditional methods: respect for the soil, control of yields, optimum grape ripeness, vinifying each separate parcel, under wood and on its lees. These demanding methods have but one purpose: to allow the great terroirs of Champagne to express their full character in their wines.
Champagne is at the northernmost limit where it is possible to cultivate vitis vinifera successfully. Jacquesson’s home village of Dizy lies at a latitude of 49°04 north; its mean annual temperature is a mere 10° C (50° F). The harsh local climate is partly responsible for the typicity of this very special region, and requires great skill and care in the husbandry of the vineyards to allow them to develop and express the distinctive nuances which set them apart.
Jacquesson’s vineyard holdings are based in two very different areas: - The Grande Vallée de la Marne: the Grand Cru of Aÿ and the Premiers Crus of Dizy, Hautvillers and Mareuil sur Aÿ. South-facing, with sloping hills and with chalk ever present in the sub-soil at varying depths depending on altitude. - The côte des Blancs: the Grands Crus of Avize and Oiry. The vineyards mainly face east and the chalk hers is lying on the surface. In these Crus, Jacquesson directly controls 30 hectares with an additional 10 hectares owned by contract growers who are neighbours and friends.
One need only sample the distinctive personality of some of the plots to realize the richness and diversity of the Champagne region. It is the rare blend of certain – sometimes intangible – factors that give a certain terroir an outstanding typicity – always provided that man helps nature's potential to be fully realised by careful and correct husbandry of the vines. Jacquesson has several of these exceptional lieux-dits: Dizy : « CORNE BAUTRAY » « TERRES ROUGES » Avize : « CHAMP CAÏN » Aÿ : « VAUZELLE TERME »
In 1798, Memmie Jacquesson founded the House of Jacquesson at Chalons-en–Champagne His son Adolphe increased sales, and improved champagne-making techniques: he worked together with Dr. Jules Guyot, whose name is associated with the pruning technique widely used today; and, in 1844, invented and registered a patent for the muselet, the wire basket for the champagne cork that is still in use today. In the 1860s, Adolphe's two sons died in their early twenties, bringing the family line to an end and leading to the temporary decline of the business from 1875 onwards.
1925, Léon de Tassigny breathed new life into the ailing business. This great Champagne courtier from Reims had links with the best growers and suppliers and acquired 11 hectares under vine in the Grands Crus of Avize and Oiry. His great-nephews Christian, Olivier, and Hervé de Tassigny still own and run these vineyards for Jacquesson, following the House’s viticultural philosophy.
In 1974, the Chiquet family purchased Champagne Jacquesson and established its headquarters at Dizy, in the midst of their own vineyard holdings. For the past 20 years, Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet have been scrupulously adhering to traditional methods: respect for the soil, control of yields, optimum grape ripeness, vinifying by separate parcels, under wood and on its lees. These demanding methods have but one purpose: to allow the great vine-growing regions of Champagne to express themselves in the final product
It is a privilege to work with great terroir but great wine does not make itself, it needs help. In Avize and Oiry: Bertrand, Isabelle, Reynald and Yoann. In Aÿ, Dizy, Hautvillers and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ: Sylvain, Benoit, Christophe, Didier, Eric and Jérome. he first and most important stage of this is careful husbandry of the vineyards. We believe in traditional methods – we use little or no soil improvers, we plough, we encourage grass between the rows, we short-prune – to control the vines’ natural tendency to vigorous growth and to bring out the diversity of the different plots. This hard work is the price that needs to be paid if the soil is to express its special character and if the wine is to faithfully transmit the influence of the minerality of the terroir.
At Jacquesson, wine making is a very hands-off process. The essence of a wine is in its grapes, and our vertical presses extract the grape juice gently and precisely. The resulting must -100% cuvée – is so pure that only a natural settling is needed, with no intervention required other than that of gravity. Fermentation then takes place in large oak foudres, which allow the wine to breathe. The wine then nourishes itself on its lees, which are stirred at weekly intervals for several months. These demanding methods have but one purpose: to allow the great vine-growing regions of Champagne to express themselves in the final product.
Fermentation then takes place in large oak foudres, which allow the wine to breathe. The wine then nourishes itself on its lees, which are stirred at weekly intervals for several months. These demanding methods have but one purpose: to allow the great vine-growing regions of Champagne to express themselves in the final product. After secondary fermentation, the wine is left in bottle to age on its lees; it takes years for for the wine to develop its full panoply of aromas. Some of our Cuvées spend fifteen years in our cellars before being released.
The wines from dozens of parcels from the same vintage are rounded by the addition of several wines from preceding years, the vins de réserve, which have been kept in tank for this purpose. Our intention is to retain the best characteristics of each harvest and not to disguise the variations that each year brings. We number our Cuvées in order to identify them and to emphasise and acknowledge that each has its own personality.
Some come from a single Cru, or a single plot, these wines very accurately express the personality of their terroir. Others are the result of a blend from one single vintage and will have had the benefit of prolonged ageing. These vintage wines faithfully convey the specific qualities inherent in a single year.
Champagne Jacquesson 68 rue du Colonel Fabien 51530 Dizy Tel : 33 (0)3 26 55 68 11 Fax : 33 (0)3 26 51 06 25 E-mail : info(at)champagnejacquesson.com