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When brothers Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet took over domain Jacquesson from their father in 1988, that was the beginning of a big transformation. Jacquesson was a classical champagne brand with a good reputation. The brothers however had something else in mind. The Chiquets look at champagne as wine, made of grapes from a specific location and from a vintage year that is different than the previous year.
They chose to lower production and focus all their attention on terroir: the grand cru vineyards of Aÿ and in Côte des Blancs, the premier cru vineyards of Dizy and Hautvillers. Nowadays, with close to thirty hectares, they produce about 250.000 bottles annually. Jacquesson is in the vanguard of the grower champagne movement (smaller domaines working their own vineyards) and is widely considered a consistently high quality producer with its very own style.
In the vineyards the vigour of the vines is kept under control, and the aim is for fully ripe fruit: low acidity is never an issue in a cool region like Champagne. In cellar patience is everything. The grapes are gently pressed in vertical basket presses and only the first pressing is used. Fermentation takes place in old oak casks; after that the wines stay there for quite some time on their lees. Bottling for second fermentation is usually scheduled a year after harvest.
Jacquesson is best known for its 700 series: consecutive wines expressing their vintage year. Reserve wine is added to reinforce the character of each wine, not so much to produce a 'house style'. Not actual vintage champagne, yet different, identifiable champagnes. For this reason the 700 numbers are used. When they started the series in 2000, it was the number 728 champagne in the Jacquesson cellar book. Cuvee 742 has 2014 as its base year.
The 700 champagnes are allowed about four years of aging in cellar and they turn out to have wonderful aging potential. That's why Jacquesson keeps part of the wine in cellar to mature some more and degorge much later. The Degorgement Tardif champagnes get some nine years of cellar aging on the lees. They are wonderfully layered, matured champagnes that make great companions at the dinner table.
In addition to this Jacquesson produces several single vineyard champagnes, homages to specific vineyards that have produced great fruit for generations.
To Jacquesson, champagne is wine, not so much a luxury item. A perspective that is reflected in the sober, strong graphic design of the labels.