Floriane Eznack, the poised young (30ish) female cellar master and head winemaker at Champagne Jacquart since 2011– not many women have made this jump in Champagne or much of the whole of France – met our group of #LAWineWriters in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Luxe Hotel’s “On Sunset Restaurant” in Brentwood a couple of weeks ago. I was delighted to have been one of the attendees.
“I’m pleased to have you discover or re-discover Jacquard,” Eznack began. Jacquard Champagne is “a young brand, celebrating their 50th anniversary last September.” And with “no rules to follow and I can make my own rules and work for the future of the brand and my successor.”
Eznack said that she works with three other cellar masters and that “the art of champagne is in the blending…and the grape variety dominates the blend.” The weather is “cold most of the year (see my review of the DVD, A Year in Champagne, for more general info) but that’s good for the grape’s acidity…and helps with the grapes and the aging potential.”
We also learned that Eznack, like any winemaker, would be making her mark on the vintage bottles, and clearing the way for more female winemakers to be of demand. Only one other winemaker competed against her for the coveted role of cellar master at Jacquart, and she won the nod. Prior to that she was at “the yellow house” which we knew to be Veuve Cliquot, where she was one of many winemakers under one cellar master.
Now the lady is rooted at the helm.
In a nod to others that work with Jacquart Eznack said, “The grapes are owned by the growers and are our shareholders, all are involved in the process. They are not just suppliers of the grapes. Of about 1,800 growers on 2,400 hectares of vineyards – Champagne Jacquart owns 7% of the total appellation. And there are about 200 workers involved in the wineries.”
And as timed near for lunch and for tasting Eznack commented, “Blending gives you style and aging gives complexity.” Now we were ready to do our own taste test.
Tasting Champagne Jacquart
Aromas and flavors separated by ;
NV Brut Mosaique (from the word “mosaic”) The wine is a blend of different wines with the majority being Chardonnay. And as it’s a non-vintage wine that must taste the same from year to year, they use 30% of reserve wines from different years in the blend. Aged four years, well beyond the laws in Champagne, before released.
With aromas of peach, apricot, sweet pink grapefruit, toasted French bread and Brie cheese; bright acidic fruit, cling peaches, white pepper, whipped cream cheese.
2006 Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay)
Cheddar and bleu cheeses, Meyer lemon, and a hint of jasmine; like a nice plate of hard cheeses and seeded crackers, with a little lemon acidity to round it off in the finish. Very refreshing and lively with my Ahi Tuna salad.
Can be created in Champagne by blending 45% Pinot Noir as a red (macerated grapes for about 10 days and producing a still red wine) then add 34% Chardonnay wine and 21% Pinot Meunier.
Fresh strawberry, pebbly stream, Japanese plum wine; sweet plums, pineapple, peach jam, refreshing acidity again, great balance
2006 Vintage Cuvee
50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir
Most aromatic flavor yet, grilled cheese, sourdough toast; same flavors come through in the mouth with the addition of pink grapefruit and lime.
30 small families, mainly from the Cote des Blancs where Chardonnay dominates, founded Jacquart, the original “grower champagne”, in 1962. The early days were difficult but the small co-op had a big leader and before long growth and expansion took place.
Jacquart’s ascendancy is a major success story in the history of modern Champagne. By the year 2000 the 30 small grower’s had swelled to a hearty 700 and the company joined the powerful Alliance Group making Jacquart part of the largest land owning grower’s co-op in the region, controlling 7% of the appellation’s total.
Jacquart’s 350 hectare portion of that encompasses sixty separate crus, all rated above 90 (the average is 96). The house style leans toward Chardonnay and emphasizes an intentional low dosage. This results in friendly wines that are fresh and balanced with firm structures and fine flavors.
Champagne Jacquart has built its reputation on delivering value. This model has driven rapid international expansion making Jacquart one of the most visible contemporary Champagne brands. View all Champagne Jacquart Wines
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com