Champagne Charles Ellner
1999 'Séduction' Brut
Pinot Noir - Chardonnay
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Art of Complete Seduction
Operative: Agent Sparkle
Objective: Secure an exceptional full-bodied vintage Champagne.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Champagne Charles Ellner
Wine Subject: 1999 ‘Séduction’ Brut
Winemaker: Pierre Ellner
Originally considered a fault for wine to have a secondary fermentation in the bottle, Champagne has become among the most sought after wines. While Dom Perignon is credited with inventing Champagne in 1690, evidence suggests that the legendary monk spent most of his time riding his wine of its effervescent qualities. Checking our history, the 1718 manuscript Memoire sure le Maniere de cultiver la Vigne et de Faire le Vin de Champagne, discusses the creation of this sparkling masterpiece at least six years before Dom Perignon arrived in the region.
Considered a specific wine with a designated AOC, Champagne is usually made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc. Champagne is also different in that it is ‘Assembled’, or blended with as many as 50 or more base wines, hence many Champagnes are Non-Vintage. Champagne is also always categorized with an Eschelle des Crus which indicates the base price and quality of the grapes used. The highest eschelle is grand cru and represents only the top 1% of grapes. Premier Cru represents grapes in the 90-99% range.
Today’s selection is a vintage Champagne with all the grapes coming from the same harvest year. Usually the best fruit from only the better vintages, are reserved for the vintage Champagne.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale straw yellow with golden hues. Along the edge the color fades to almost clear and tiny effervescent bubbles rise to form a delicate mousse.
Smell – Medium in intensity this wine blends creamy biscuit, hints of oak with ripe spiced apple and fresh fig. Complex notes of toasted hazelnut, dried fruit, candied citrus, orange blossom honey and subtle butter mix with its chalky limestone minerality.
Feel – Smooth and dry initially, this medium-to-full bodied Champagne has a creamy texture that is balanced by its crisp acidity and tingling effervescence. This wine’s minerality lingers over the palate and into the finish along with a touch of sweetness.
Taste – Bountiful flavors of red and green apple interlace with yeasty biscuit and chalky minerality on the first pass. As this wine dances over the palate, hints of Meyer lemon and citrus custard along with subtle honey, toast, nuts and vanilla emerge.
Finish – Clean, with balanced creaminess and crispness, this wine lingers with apple, citrus, biscuit and minerality.
Conclusion – The Champagne Charles Ellner 1999 ‘Séduction’ Brut is a classic vintage Champagne that shows its rich and creamy biscuit and characteristic toastiness well, but does so with fresh apple and citrus keeping the flavors fresh and lively.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Champagne Charles Ellner 1999 ‘Séduction’ Brut
DATE OF BIRTH: March 22, 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH: Epernay, France
WINE EDUCATION: Fermentation Sciences, University Of Reims
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Terroir Expression, Pure Fruit Structure
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Chardonnay
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Aging Vintage Champagne
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Once I found what chalky soils can do with high quality grapes, i was in love!
AGENT SPARKLE: Greetings, We are thrilled to be showing your 1999 ‘Séduction’ Brut today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKER: The pleasure is mine
SPARKLE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: Yes, my family and their respect for the vines of Champagne.
SPARKLE: And where did you learn the most about wine-making?
WINEMAKER: From working in the vineyard and the cellar.
*SPARKLE *: What is your wine-making style or philosophy?
WINEMAKER: The purest fruit flavors allowed to age gracefully with the slight influence of oak.
SPARKLE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your wine-making style?
WINEMAKER: The village of Mesnil and the small growers who grow Chardonnay there gave me my inspiration for well structured and age worthy Champagnes.
SPARKLE: How long have you been making wine?
WINEMAKER: 18 Years
SPARKLE: Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKER: the greatest variety of wine enthusiasts who appreciate fine champagne.
SPARKLE: Tell me, what makes the Champagne region so special?
WINEMAKER: The quality of the soil, the ability to keep the bottles in the cellar, owning your own vineyards.
SPARKLE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
WINEMAKER: find a mentor to work with in the cellar.
SPARKLE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKER: always working to keep our wines fresh in style.
SPARKLE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
WINEMAKER: the Séduction 1999 is an amazing wine, so rich and complex, I believe most people have never tasted a champagne like this before. It has aged for more than 7 yrs on it’s lees in the cellar, creating a richness of flavor that is very exciting.
SPARKLE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: The Séduction 1999 is rich enough to pair with chicken dishes very well.
SPARKLE: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
WINEMAKER: I love Champagne!
SPARKLE:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
WINEMAKER: Cabernet Franc
SPARKLE: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
WINEMAKER: Firstly, with a very open mind, secondly, do not expect anything, just let your palette tell you about the wine.
SPARKLE: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
WINEMAKER: Vintage Champagne
SPARKLE: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
WINEMAKER: How does this wine compare to famous brands of vintage Champagne?
It does not compare to how expensive famous brands of Champagne are, and it far surpasses them in quality and complexity, as they cannot age their wines as we can.
SPARKLE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
WINEMAKER: The pleasure is mine.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Champagne Charles Ellner in Epernay can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points – Wine Spectator – This shows refinement. The mousse is supple and the structure bright, providing he stage for roasted almond, mushroom and toast flavors. Has fine length, with a chalklike sensation on the finish. Drink now through 2015. 500 cases made. – BS (Dec 31, 2007)
About This Wine:
A robe of a luminous pale gold colour. A delicate woody nose with hints of brioche. Well structured and persistent in the mouth, It brings notes of nuts and dried fruit. A sound tasting Champagne to be saved for special diners. It will be in perfect harmony with poultry for example!
This Brut has a long and elegant life ahead of it due to its perfect balance. The lively and fine Nose is due to the exceptional vintage, showing rich balance, mature flavors and an agreeably soft, elegant texture with a long finish.
Seduction’s special and elegant bottle is presented as a replica of a traditional design formerly used by the House of Ellner.
About The Winery:
In the heart of a superb wine-producing region, the House of Champagne " Charles ELLNER " is particulary proud and happy to present his History, his House of Champagne, his Know-how and his Vineyard.
History: It is interesting to note that “Charles Emile ELLNER” the founder of the House, began acquiring small vineyards in Epernay while he was at the start of a career as a professional “riddler”. This marked the beginning of his adventure in the world of “Champagne”
In addition to the work of cultivating his vines, his independent nature and his passion for wine led him to vinify and blend his wines and to sell them to a private clientele.
From the start, he set up in business as a grower and producer. He was admirably assisted by his only son, Pierre, thanks to whose energy and foresight the House made remarkable headway.
A born vinegrower, Pierre was ably assisted by his wife and subsequently by his four sons and so was able to continue the acquisition of new vineyards, to increase sales, improve brand recognition and to modernise equipement.
The house is still a family business and each son his responsible for a specific sector corresponding to his own particular interests and professional ability such as oenology, administration or management of the vineyards. Nowadays, the numerous grandchildren also take part in the many and varied business activities.
Savoir Faire: From the wine-press to the bottle, the “Cuvées” are meticulously tended for many years. The work is carried out in our cellars which are of traditional design. The temperature in the cellars is maintained at a constant level by natural processes and is a vital aid to the patient work of the winemaker.
In our 13,000 hectolitre-capacity vathouse, which is equipped with stainless steel vats, the juice undergoes the first fermentation under the eagle eye of the oenologist. Hygiene and modern equipment go hand in hand in the blending of our wines.
The cellars comprise 2 kilometers of galleries and contain a permanent stock of between 2,500,000 and 3,000,000 bottles.
The annual sales exceed 1,000,000 bottles of which 60 % are exported, particulary to E.E.C countries.
Vineyards: The House of ELLNER possesses more than 54 hectares (140 acres) of vineyards in 15 villages situated in the principal vinegrowing areas of Champagne ;
Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne, Région de Sézanne, Aube, Aisne, and finally, the hillsides overlooking Epernay, the “birthplace” of the house of ELLNER. The vineyards produce 70% of the total grape crop. More than 50% of the total area under vine is planted with the Chardonnay grape-variety, thus enabling the house of "Charles ELLNER " to produce “cuvées” of great finesse, elegance and distinction.
As with all great wines, Champagne originates from the alliance between soil and climate.
Throughout the year, the vines are tended with great care and according to strict regulations.
Varietals: 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir.
Aging: Oak Barrels