Emmanuel Lassaigne works 4.7-hectares in Montgueux, in the Aube. The vineyards have prime southeastern exposures and consist entirely of Chardonnay. Montgueux, often referred to as the Montrachet of Champagne, is located near the gates of Troyes—the former capital of Champagne. It’s a unique terroir, and essentially a viticultural island: an isolated outcropping of chalk some distance south of the Côtes des Blancs, but north of the Côte des Bars. The chalky soil encouraged Montgueux’s growers to plant Chardonnay, perfectly suited to the soils. However, Montgueux does not have a history of viticulture and was only planted to vine in the 1960s. According to Peter Liem, the Chardonnay from Montgueux, with its broad, almost tropical character, was popular with négociants, particularly Piper-Heidsieck. Now, there are a handful of independent growers in Montgueux; amongst them, Lassaigne is the best.
The majority of Lassaigne’s vines are planted across the street from his house overlooking the valley between Montgueux and Troyes. He farms four hectares in total and buys small quantities of grapes from trusted farmers in the village. He works exclusively without any chemicals and has done so for years.
Lassaigne vinifies all parcels separately and the fermentations are done in stainless steel, though he uses some oak for “Le Cotet” and “Colline Inspirée.” The primary fermentations are completed with native yeasts and the second fermentations with a neutral yeast strain that imparts no aroma to the wine and promotes a very long, cool second fermentation. This long, slow, cool second fermentation develops fine bubbles, an integral part of the finest Champagne.
Lassaigne’s wines are absolutely stunning - crafted by a perfectionistic and creative vigneron. Each bottle is disgorged, alavole, by Emmanuel himself. Don’t miss them!