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Alfred Gratien according to Champagne Club by Richard Juhlin
‘Founded in 1864 in Épernay, this is one of the most traditional Champagne houses. All wines are fermented in small oak barrels and the reserve wines are stored in large oak foudres (vats). Malolactic fermentation is also avoided. 1,000 used oak casks on the premises – the third largest collection after Krug and Bollinger. The chief reason Gratien does not make wines as great as Bollinger or Krug is that the grapes purchased from outside are not always of the highest class.
Pinot Meunier also makes up a surprisingly large proportion of the grape content. The wines made by Nicolas Jaeger, the son of Jean-Pierre Jaeger are, on the other hand, very good: true Champagnes for the cellar, full of youthful acidity. The ’55 is historic, but the house refused to release any of their three last bottles for the Millennium Tasting. Gratien is more simililar to Krug than to Bollinger with their high age friendly acidity. All wines are serious and of a really high class.’