Champagne ‘Cuvee de Jean Fanniere Origine’ Extra Brut, Varnier-Fanniere
cépage 100% Chardonnay
assemblage 33% 2008, 33% 2009, 33% 2010
info/source 100% Cramant from a single climat called Chemin de Chalons
élevage Stainless Steel
sur latte 54+ Months
Cote de Blancs
The homage to Gramps is the driest wine in the range (other than two Brut zeroes) and this is the best edition I’ve ever had of it. It’s now 100% Cramant (Chemins de Chalons), deg 12/2015, and amazingly 60% 2011 and 40% 2012. The climat is on the flat land just over the border from Avize—and remember, the locals claim the chalk is most vivid and the topsoil shallowest in the flat vineyards, not the sexy-looking ones up on the slope.
At last, a healthy ’11—no critters in sight. Superb balance, precise, doughy and creamy, with Cramant wintergreen and green tea; detailed, classy, chalky; the dryness expresses as carbonized mineral and even graphite. I don’t know how he did it, but I’m glad!
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Press & Reviews
Hints of smoke and bread dough accent subtle notes of apple, lemon peel and cream in this open-knit, lively bubbly, with a moderate finish. Disgorged June 2008. Drink now. –AN
(100% chardonnay, from Cramant and Oger, half from 2008 and half from 2007; disgorged in May, 2013 after four years on its lees): Bright straw. Intensely perfumed scents of chalky minerals, pear skin, lemongrass and white flowers, with a smoky quality building with air. Dry, racy and precise, offering vibrant melon and citrus fruit flavors and a deeper note of poached pear. Finishes with excellent clarity and striking length, leaving mineral and floral notes behind.
This is the inaugural release of this new cuvée, selected from vines over 40 years old. It’s blended from roughly equal proportions of 2005, 2004 and 2003, and dosed at just three grams per liter. The nose shows an ample breadth, although it’s much more dominated by notes of chalky soil than by fruit; the fruit emerges on the palate in full force, with a concentrated burst of mango, passionfruit and yellow peach flavors, backed by hints of curry powder, citrus oils and apple skin. It feels sleek and seamless, combining richly confident depth with racy, chalky finesse and structure, and despite its obvious girth, it’s extremely well-poised and harmonious. While already showing well now, it could use another year or three to develop further. Last tasted: 9/08
The NV Extra-Brut Cuvée de Jean Fannière Origine is gorgeous. Beautifully layered, textured and expressive the Jean Fannière boasts great balance and exceptional finesse. Almonds, hazelnuts, dried pears and sweet spices flesh out in an inviting, textured Champagne loaded with class and personality. Here Varnier captures a striking interplay of fruit and minerality that is compelling. Next to the Cuvée St. Denis, the Cuvée de Jean Fannière Origine is a bit deeper, richer and darker. The current release is old-vine Chardonnay from Cramant and Oger, equal parts vintages 2008 and 2007. This bottle was disgorged in May 2013.