I have a friend who believes so strongly in garlic that when she speaks I too become convinced that magical properties thrive within the clove. That’s just my imagination. I don’t for a moment believe objects possess magical powers, but if anything, garlic does. And Champagne. When I tasted Jules Lassalle's Champagne I realized there had always been an ideal Champagne in the back of my mind: a vaguely steely, earthy, gun smoke; exhilarating and inebriating, cold and full of warmth at the same time, at once luxurious and austere, almost severe, reflecting perhaps the severity of Champgne’s northern climate and chalky earth. As far as I know, this is the first Champagne from a single propriétaire available in California. That is to say, Lassalle buys no grapes; he controls his product from the planting and pruning of his vines through the harvest and vinification to putting the sparkling beauty into bottles. The quality? See for yourself.
[from the November 1981 newsletter]
In the 1970s, Kermit was the first to begin importing artisanal, grower Champagne, and the Lassalles have been in the KLWM portfolio longer than anyone. Today, we are proud that the relationship has continued into the third generation of the Lassalle family. Here are our current offerings.
With a base wine that is a minimum of four years old, Cachet Or would be a reserve wine at most Champagne houses. But J. Lassalle isn’t any Champagne house. This is their entry-level and most affordable Champagne. Hand-riddled in the family cellars underneath their winery in the picturesque village of Chigny-les-Roses on the Montagne de Reims, Cachet Or is a rich, luxurious bubbly built around the charming workhorse grape of these hills, Pinot Meunier. We have partnered with Lassalle to bring this Champagne to the US at a price that ensures it can be enjoyed as widely as possible. À votre santé!
The wines of J. Lassalle are among the first, and certainly the longest-standing, “grower Champagnes” present in the United States. While the house style is deeply rooted in the terroir of Chigny-les-Roses, a small village in the Montagne de Reims, a vigneron’s touch—or a vigneronne’s, in the case of the three generations of Lassalle women to manage the estate—can also help define a house style. Their twenty-eight-year tradition of “une femme, un esprit, un style” (one woman, one spirit, one style) holds true today more than ever: one can point to their use of malolactic fermentations and careful blending of different climats and cépages as the key to their lush, creamy, sublimely refined Champagnes. The Lassalle women craft a pale, elegant rosé Champagne, all about delicacy and lovely, plush fruit. Aged extensively sur latte before disgorgement, this soft, round rosé maintains a great balance of richness and refreshing acidity. It will provide utter satisfaction sipped as an apéritif, or all throughout a meal.
The Lassalle ladies—three consecutive generations to lead the estate, with a fourth toddling around the cuverie—are characterized by fierce character, fine taste, and quintessential Champenois gracefulness. The same could be said of their Champagnes—lush, elegant representations of the Chigny-les-Roses terroir with exquisite balance and freshness. Don't miss this 2008 Blanc de Blancs, a powerful yet refined tour de force from one of the region's most consistent and talented growers.
The latest release of the Lassalles’ tête de cuvée marries the power and drive of the vintage with a velvety texture acquired from a seven-year élevage. This blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a Champagne of luxury, from its decadent golden tinge to the fine, persistent bead that playfully caresses the palate. Uncorking this euphoric elixir will guarantee a ceremoniously delicious occasion.
Lassalle’s Champagnes tell a family story that can be traced back to founder Jules Lassalle, grandfather of current winemaker Angéline Templier. The common thread through the generations is the elegance and finesse that characterize each bottling—a result of meticulous work in the vines and cellar. The Spécial Club represents an elite association of growers who abide by such strict standards of quality, and the pedigree is evident with this 2007 release. It is a cellar selection of the estate’s best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—a lively, gloriously textured Champagne exuding the class and refinement consistent with generations of family tradition.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa