Voted the third best of all Champagne Houses (after Bollinger and Krug) in 2005 La Revue Des Vins De France, Jacquesson has really come of age. Based in the evocatively named town of Dizy, just to the north of Epernay, the House is run by the Chiquet brothers (cousins of our own Gaston Chiquet). The brothers are long-term advocates of the modish philosophy of zero dosage: this is put to the test in extremis with the equally modish move to release late disgorged cuvées: the juxtaposition of minimal sugar and extended lees ageing has produced these, some of the purest and most poised of all Champagnes, showing at their very best in magnum of course! The house philosophy of releasing a clearly categorised Brut NV persists therefore, somewhat at odds with the historical precedent in the region which deliberately declines specifically to equate a batch with a certain vintage. Jacquesson's policy of so doing, albeit tangentially, is both a reflection of their adherence to the values of terroir and vintage diversity and a self-belief which over-rides any of the specific anxieties felt by the Champenois in relation to the conditions at a specific harvest.
These are very serious Champagnes with an emphasis on minerality and complexity of fruit. The wines have significant gravitas, are good food companions and age beautifully. Cuvée 742 is based on the 2014 vintage – a varied year in Champagne that required meticulous selection. The Chiquet brothers are constantly fine-tuning, and this year saw the wine aged on lees under cork rather than crown cap, and two months further ageing in oak. The result is even more complex than previous releases. Full of orchard fruit and cinnamon, tarte tatin, Chantilly cream, white blossom and savoury depths – this elegant wine has the texture of pure silk. Intelligent, supple and full of energy.