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17 November 2017 № 337

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Champagne LALLIER: work and passion

Aÿ’s winemaking history dates back almost 1,700 years to the Roman era.  In the 16th century, Henry IV, ”His Majesty of Aÿ and good wine’‘, created the reputation of still white wines from Aÿ throughout his kingdom.
Around two hundred years later, the invention of blending, and the control of secondary fermentation in bottle, gave birth to Champagne, the sparkling wine that we know today.

The first bottle labels signed by Champagne LALLIER date back to 1906, when the Champagne house was founded by René LALLIER (1861 – 1938), who had married into a prestigious Champenois family.
LALLIER has been deeply rooted in the village of Aÿ ever since. The shield that proudly adorns its labels symbolizes the historical roots of the Lallier name.
In 1936, Aÿ was one of the seventeen villages to be classified as ‘‘Grand Cru” in Champagne, a clear indication of the quality of the grapes that grow on its famous hillsides and the remarkable wines they produce.
In 1996, René-James Lallier, the founder’s grandson, took the brand in a new direction. He carried out major modernization work on the production facilities in Aÿ and refurbished the cellars in which LALLIER champagnes are left to age for many years.

In his quest for outstanding quality, he enlisted the help of Francis Tribaut, who worked at the time as advisor to some of the most prestigious names in Champagne, as well as managing his family’s wine domaine in Romery.
As a result of their relationship of trust and their common desire to see their work carried forward, when René-James Lallier wanted to sell his business, he naturally asked Francis Tribault if he was interested in buying it. 
The latter took up the challenge, convinced of the potential of this already lovely brand. The years that followed proved him right and firmly established the reputation for excellence which LALLIER Grand Cru Champagnes enjoy, year in, year out.
Francis Tribaut is the heir to four generations of winemakers and Champagne producers in the Marne region. He graduated from the Dijon School of Oenology in 1987 before working his way up through the ranks of prestigious Champagne houses where he gradually developed his technical expertise.  He devoted himself to his family’s wine domaine in 1991 while continuing to act as a consultant to prestigious Champagne houses. LALLIER was one of them. He took over from René-James Lallier in 2004 when he became its new owner.

Lastly, Francis Tribaut is the Cellar Master, responsible for both the ageing cellars and the winery where each cuvée is expertly crafted, like the grand vin it is. 100% ownership of the company means Francis Tribaut has complete independence in decision-making.
He is also the estate Manager of the Domaine LALLIER (a vineyard of 15 hectares, the majority of which is Grand Cru). He also personally manages the supply of grapes from partner wine growers.
Francis Tribaut is supported in his task by a small dedicated team. A man of great conviction and insight, he knows how to listen to people and to identify trends. Constantly good humoured, he also appreciates fine wine and quality cuisine!
LALLIER produces highly expressive Champagnes with their own unique and distinctive style. Production levels are voluntarily limited to around 400,000 bottles per year due to its exacting quality demands during the selection of raw materials and throughout all stages of production.

And what if we took the time to savour the moment, to become aware of our senses, and to appreciate all the flavours and aromas to the full? LALLIER is firmly rooted in the modern day and shares the ‘neo-epicurean’ approach of chefs and the world of gastronomy: respecting the seasons, using high quality ingredients, and embracing a mix of world influences and flavours in order to rediscover our origins. LALLIER Champagnes are sensorial and well-suited to gastronomy.
Around the world, whether enjoyed with family or friends, the LALLIER “moment” is one of respect, understanding and discovery, with the senses awakened. Thanks to its manageable size, LALLIER remains accessible and attentive to its customers’’ and drinkers’ requirements.

Francis Tribaut’s forward-thinking approach has convinced him that there can be a new way of working between the independent, and often single vineyard  producers , and the major, and sometimes impersonal, Champagne houses. This unique vision is at the core of LALLIER’s production processes, where the Champagne house’s”craftsmen” create champagnes of exceptional quality in the Oger cellars.
 These cellars combine state-of-the art facilities with traditional techniques ensuring that ancestral skills and experience are backed up by technical innovation. 

LALLIER’s art is built on a very fine balance between an in-depth understanding of the champagne making process, respect for the unique personality of the terroir, and the ability to express the true emotion of a prestigious Cru of Champagne in each and every glass.

LALLIER operates from an elegant and traditional house with breathtaking views across the rooftops of Aÿ and situated close to the surrounding vineyards. It is first and foremost a place to welcome visitors – in its elegant sitting room, reception room or, when the weather is warm, outside in the paved courtyard under the shade of a parasol. We want you to feel at home in our Champagne house. Whether you are from the wine trade or simply a wine lover, you are always welcome to visit us and experience the diversity and quality of our champagne collection. 
This beautiful house lives in time with the changing seasons and the work in its cellars. It is in the natural environment of our cool, dark cellars that all our base wines and champagnes are aged. Time is left to work its magic… and tranquility is just an illusion!

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