We tasted: Jacquesson Champ Caïn 2008

tasting in October 2020, Puerto de Mogán Canary Islands, Spain

With a large, intense and surprising history, the champagne house Jacquesson is producing outstanding cuvées based on special environmental sustainable techniques. The story of the house started in 1798 in Châlons-sur-Marne (now called Châlons-en-Champagne), a town situated south-east from Epernay. Claude Jacquesson and his son, Memmie, the founders, bought a domain and started digging the future cellars directly into the Saint-Michel hillock and building the Jacquesson Castle close by. In 1804 they became associates with François-Félix Juglar (Memmie’s cousin) and their debut was highly successful; rumours say their champagne became Napoleon’s favourite (the famous emperor awarded Claude, Memmie and François-Félix with his prestigious Golden Medal – médaille d’or – in 1810). In 1832, Adolphe, Memmie’s son, also joined the house which changed its name to Jacquesson&Fils.

Adolphe was fascinated by all the processes of champagne making and he had been searching a solution to the ‘jumping corks’ while the bottles were manipulated. In 1844 he invented the muselet and the capsule — the metal wire and the capsule that together keep the cork from jumping off the bottle. An enlightened mind, Adolphe also invented a method to wash empty bottles before filling and the reflectors to illuminate the cellars.

By 1867, with Adolphe on charge, the Jacquesson & Fils house reached the performance to export one million bottles a year but then, due to the accidental death of both his sons, the champagne house fell down and the business was put under the control of three notaries. Sadly, three years later, in 1876, Adolphe died in Paul Krug’s Parisian apartment (Paul’s father, Johann-Joseph Krug, the founder of champagne house Krug, has been previously cellar master at Jacquesson & Fils). From this moment on, the champagne house had been sold and bought various times until 1925 when Léon de Tassigny, a rich and powerful aristocrat from the region, became the owner. Under his leadership, the house is reinforced with 11 Grand Cru hectares of vines in the famous villages of Avize and Oiry. In 1974 the house was bought by Jean Chiquet and now is being under the control of his two sons, Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet. In the last years, the house philosophy has changed from producing quantity to producing quality. Using just grapes from its own 30 hectares (most in Avize, Oiry, Aÿ, Hautvillers, Dizy), Jacquesson voluntarily limits its production to a maximum of 350,000 bottles a year, using biodynamic methods and wood barrel fermentation.

Few months ago we had the pleasure to taste this cuvée and we were impressed by its huge minerality, fine crispy mousse and abundant complexity. On the nose, apart from the strong minerality we found citric matured notes, white flowers, honey and hints of mushrooms and toast. On the palate it reveals complexity and is very structural and harmonic with flavours like citrus, grapefruit, toasty almonds and honey. Long and beautifully complex aftertaste. This cuvée has huge potential for keeping, but, for our taste, now it reached its plenitude, that delicate balance between its own specific uniqueness and maturity.

CLB score

93

*take a look at our CLB scoring

Type of champagneExtra Brut
Vintage2008
Grapes100% Chardonnay
MaisonJacquesson
Village/terroirAvize (1.30ha planted in 1962)
DegorgementApril 2018
Agedon lees for more than 9 years (grapes picked on 26th of September 2008, mise en bouteille on 18th of May 2009)
Dosage2.5g/L
Sizebottle (75cl)
Number of bottles8296 (and 402 magnums)
Price range (euro)175-190
Chef de CavesJean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet
Other considerentsnon filtré, élevage en foudres (non filtered, first alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in wood barrel)

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