Jacquesson is one of the oldest Champagne houses in Dizy, and for what it's worth, received a gold medal from Napoleon Bonaparte for the quality of their cellar some 200+ years ago. The Jacquesson name experienced a slight decline after the death of Adolphe Jacquesson, and it was not until Jean Chiquet bought it in 1974 that the name began to come back to its former glory. The Chiquet family revitalized the House utilizing more Grand Cru grapes, oak barrels for complexity, and overall more scrutiny over the quality of the Champagne produced. While their Serial Number Cuvee is always a great buy, the single-site wines from Jacqesson really uncover what this address is all about. Champ Cain is a 1.3-hectare 100% Chardonnay lieux dits in Avize that was planted in 1962, located on the bottom of a south-facing hill with sandy clay and limestone soil with silt, chalk, and gravel. If the age of the vines weren't enough to get some serious concentration and complexity here, the vineyard is planted to a staggering 12,000 vines per hectare utilizing a Chablis pruning method, which further reduces yields. Grapes here see vinification in oak barrels over nine years on the lees and see a very low dosage of 1.5 not to mask this single site's unique expression. Jacquesson compares the 2009 vintage here to that of 2002 with its excellent level of ripeness and maturity. The 2009 Champ Cain is an exercise in Jacquessons mastery and is an ultra-complex Champagne with outstanding depth and presence. We were able to get a few cases of this excellent bottle at very friendly pricing, and if you are a follower of Jacquesson or love seeking out the best Champagne has to offer, this is a perfect choice.
John Gilman 94 points! "As I mentioned last year in my note on the 2008 vintage of this bottling, the single vineyard bottling of Champ Caïn in Avize hails from a lieu à dit located at the bottom of the slope in this commune, with a due south exposition. Jacquesson owns 1.3 hectares of vines here that were planted in 1962. The 2009 vintage was barrel-fermented and the vins clairs were aged in casks prior to being bottled for second fermentation, it was disgorged in May of 2019, after nine-plus years of aging sur latte and was finished this year with a dosage of 1.5 grams per liter. The bouquet is deep, complex and shows the sunny side of this vintage, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of apple, fresh-baked bread, a touch of hazelnut, just a hint of tangerine, a beautiful base of chalky soil tones, white flowers and a bit of buttery oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a superb core of fruit, fine mineral drive, elegant mousse and a long, poised and beautifully balanced finish that is quite a bit more open than the 2008 was at a similar stage of evolution a year ago. This is excellent."
Wine Advocate (William Kelley) 94 points! "Disgorged in May 2019 with 1.5 grams per liter dosage, the 2009 Extra-Brut Grand Cru Avize - Champ Caïn is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of pear, blanched almonds, freshly baked bread and mandarin. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and precise, it's elegant and refined, with a pinpoint mousse, discreet depth at the core and a long, chalky finish. Beautifully balanced with minimal dosage, it shows the results the Jacquesson brothers' viticulture were already delivering over a decade ago."
Decanter (Yohan Castaing) 94 points! "This has a sumptuous bouquet of mint and anise, pear and peach, flowers and mineral tones. With a bit of air, the bouquet possesses some orchard fruits and almond notes. The palate is elegantly fleshy, perfectly balanced with white fruit aromas, lots of minerality and a seemingly weightless finish. 100% Chardonnay. Dosage: 1.5g/l. Disgorged April 2019."