Champagne ‘Cuvee de Jean Fanniere Origine’ Extra Brut, Varnier-Fanniere
cépage 100% Chardonnay
assemblage 50% 2012, 50% 2011
info/source 100% Cramant Grand Cru mostly from ‘Chemin de Chalons’
60 year old vines
élevage Stainless steel
sur latte 48 months
Cote de Blancs
This homage to Grandpappy is the driest wine in the range (apart from two zero-dosage wines I don’t like), and it’s now 100% Cramant, from the lieu-dit Chemins de Chalons, right over the commune line from Avize, and out in the plain where the soil is chalkiest.
The cuvée is half/half 2011/2012, it’s disg. 10/2016, and it’s actually outstanding, as the power of the ’12 subdues any bugginess from ’11; salty, doughy and balanced, Denis’ most savory umami wine, and one needn’t “forgive” the presence of ’11, because the wine is simply excellent
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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.