Champagne J. Lassalle 2009 “Cuvée Angéline” Brut (Premier Cru)
Price for The Champagne Society members: $72 (regular price $85)
A superb summer in the 2009 vintage of Champagne produced a clean crop of high quality fruit, with particularly good Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. For our August selection we chose to highlight this with a cuvée comprised of 60% Pinot Noir from the Premier Cru village of Chigny-les-Roses in the Montagne de Reims.
Champagne J. Lassalle 2009 “Cuvée Angéline” is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from vines with an average age of 50 years. Only made in great years with a maximum production of 500 cases, this singular Champagne is aged a minimum of seven years on the lees before disgorgement. The result is a wine of depth and purity that bursts from the glass with a rush of expressive fruit, dried flowers, cool herbs and honey.
Jules Lassalle established this family-owned Champagne house in 1942. When he passed away in 1982 his wife, Olga, and their daughter, Chantal Decelle-Lassalle, stepped in and took over the estate, upholding Jules’ high standards and progressively pushing the domaine to the next level. In 2006 Chantal’s daughter Angéline (namesake of the Cuvée Angéline) joined the estate as winemaker.
Champagne J. Lassalle works with all three varietals authorized in the region (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier) on 39 acres of vineyards, all of them Premier Cru. These tough, hardworking women continue to follow the vinification methods established by Jules in the forties: they use the same wooden basket press he installed in the winery over fifty years ago, pressing and vinifying the individual plots separately. All cuvées are aged extensively once in bottle—even the non-vintage cuvées, which are a minimum of five years old. This results in an astonishing complexity and depth from the beginning of their range up to the luxury cuvées.