Jacques Lassaigne

Attending producer: Emmanuel Lassaigne

Montgueux is a relatively new terroir in Champagne, planted only since the 1960s. Jacques Lassaigne was one of the growers involved in the original plantings of Montgueux, selling most of his grapes to the négoce. His son Emmanuel took over the property in 1999 and sought to increase the amount of estate-bottled champagne, with the aim of expressing the distinctive character of Montgueux’s terroir. Emmanuel created a label called Alexandre L to sell some bottles that his father had previously produced for sale to private clients, but once Emmanuel’s own champagnes were ready for sale beginning in 2002, he discontinued the Alexandre L brand and now labels everything as Jacques Lassaigne.

Lassaigne’s four hectares of vines are all on the very eastern end of the imposing Montgueux slope, and are all between 25 and 45 years old. In order to source grapes from the more typical, south-facing vineyards in the heart of the village, he registered as a négociant-manipulant, and now purchases about one hectare’s worth of grapes every year to supplement his own produce, choosing particular parcels where he has control over viticultural methods and dates of harvest. All of the grapes are pressed in Lassaigne’s traditional Coquard vertical press—he does not buy any juice.

Each parcel is carefully kept separate in the cellar, and even different pressings from the same parcel are vinified separately. Although Lassaigne purchased some used barrels in 2004, the majority of the vinification is done entirely in stainless steel. Fermentation involves indigenous yeasts as much as possible, and the wines are lightly fined before bottling but not filtered.

Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©