Founded in the 1960s, when vines were planted in Montgueux for the first time, Champagne Jacques Lassaigne has been led by Emmanuel, Jacques’s son, since 1999. Driven by a desire to express Montgueux’s unique terroir, Emmanuel’s focus shifted from selling fruit to estate-bottling, catapulting the House to stardom as a Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) specialist and pre-eminent pioneer, champion and custodian of this exciting viticultural landscape.
Montgueux’s terroir is a fascinating anomaly of the Aube, containing an isolated outcropping of chalk that bears little resemblance to its nearest neighbour—the growing region of the Côte des Bar, where Pinot noir dominates in clay and limestone soil. Despite sharing comparable Blanc de Blancs renown, Montgueux’s terroir also differs from the legendary chalky terrain of the Côte des Blancs in being composed of soil that is 15 million years older—and with greater chalk porosity—than its counterpart in the north.
Farming a total of 3.5ha of vines and leasing a small amount from respected growers in the village, Emmanuel avoids chemical usage, even those permitted to support organic viticulture, and vinifies each parcel separately, with a portion fermented in barrel. There is no fining or filtration, and disgorgement is always by hand with zero dosage; each of these exacting winemaking decisions is designed to convey Montgueux’s distinct personality with the utmost respect and precision. As Montgueux’s warmer microclimate ripens Chardonnay with ease, Emmanuel crafts refreshing and vinous Blanc de Blancs champagnes with vivid mineral content and notes of ripe, tropical fruit, with a sumptuous mouthfeel that always maintains a seam of racy acidity, in remarkable tribute to a promising and prodigious village.