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We're proud to offer a full portfolio of Champagnes from Melanie and Benoit Tarlant, the 12th generation to be working the land under the Tarlant name. This is an historically important estate, as Tarlant was one of the earliest independent producers and Louis Tarlant was instrumental in creating and strenthening the Champagne AOC in the early 20th century. Melanie and Benoît are the real deal: their great understanding and respect of history, tradition and nature, coupled with their experimental, forward thinking tendencies, have been the driving force of some truly great, next level, terroir-centric Champagnes.
The estate consists of 14 hectares of vines within 31 lieu-dits of Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (20%), along with small amounts of Champagne's "forgotten"grapes" - Pinot Blanc, Arbane and Petit Meslier. From empirical observation, Benoît and Mélanie have singled out 63 parcels that they vinify individually each vintage, permitting unparalled precision in blending decisions for base and reserve wines, but also letting them highlight single vineyard expressions of their land.
In the cellar, the grapes are gently pressed and racked by gravity to Burgundian barrels, where each parcel ferments and ages individually. Malolactic fermentation almost never occurs but is not blocked: Benoît feels that through careful pressing, attention to temperature and the correct viticultural practices, Champagne's naturally cold climate gives them grapes with low PH and high acidity, a combo that does not incite malo. Sulfites are are only added in microscopic doses at press and intermittently to casks of reserve wine. The wines are never filtered.
In the vines, chemicals are never used and biodiversity is prioritized. Organic farming methods have been used for the past two generations, and the entire estate is now certified. "Our father fought for grass in the vines and to stop having garbage from cities being thrown in the vines as a fertilizer. It took five years. That was his fight. Organics seems like the challenge of our generation." Vineyard work includes minimum soil disturbance, shallow plowing under the rows and natural grass cover in between the rows, herbotherapy treatments, Chablis pruning with Poussard method and green manure or organic fertilisers.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the vast majority of the production is bottled without dosage. While the idea of Brut Nature Champagne has slowly but surely gained momentum since the early 2000's, this was unheard of at the time. Representing 70% of the total production, "Zero Brut Nature" is the Tarlant's calling card and consists of a non vintage, no dosage wine made from equal parts Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay. "Zero is a reflection of the four villages we work in and the goal is to express a Champagne without the external sugar masking the land's characteristics.” Zero Brut Nature Rosé is 50% Chardonnay/44% Pinot Noir/6% Pinot Meunier. The blending is a barrel-by-barrel, blind-tasting process; given that Tarlants' 60+ parcels are individually vinified, making the choices for both the rosé and white Zéro wines is an elaborate and extensive undertaking. The final rosé blend is typically around 75% current-vintage wine with 25% reserve wine, in this case the base being 2015. It was bottled in July 2016 and disgorged in February 2021 with zero dosage.
Single vineyard cuvées:
2011 Base Brut Nature "BAM" 27% Pinot Blanc/27% Arbanne/46% Petit Meslier. "BAM!" is an acronym of these three relatively rare, low-yielding Champagne varieties. The vines were planted in 2003 on sandy, silica-rich limestone soils in the lieu-dit of Four à Chaux-Sablé in Oeuilly and are certified-organic like the rest of Tarlant's sites. This blanc des blancs is composed of the 2011 harvest with "perpetual reserve" beginning in 2007. Disgorged in June, 2021, 900 btls produced.
2005 Brut Nature "La Lutétienne" 80% Chardonnay/20% Pinot Noir, from “Mocque Tonneau," “Four à Chaux," “Le Métier” in Celles-lès-Condé and “Les Forgeottes" and “L’Enclume” in Œuilly featuring Lutetian limestone soils. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation before being bottled in spring 2006. The bottles were aged sur lattes and disgorged in February 2020 with no dosage.
2004 Brut Nature "La Vigne D'Or" is a Blanc de Noirs from a parcel of Pinot Meunier planted in the sparnacian clay of the Vallée de la Marne. The vines are 65 years old and were planted by Benoît and Mélanie's paternal grandfather, Georges Tarlant. Disgorged in June 2021.
2004 Brut Nature La Vigne d'Antan" 100% Chardonnay. From a plot of ungrafted or non-greffée vines on very sandy soils in Oeuilly, planted by the Tarlants' grandfather, and unsurprisingly named "Les Sables." The name "Antan" means essentially "yesteryear," a reference to the historical roots of this bottling as well as the old-fashioned layering method called provignage by which the vineyard was propagated. The organically farmed fruit was hand-harvested and gently pressed; the juice was fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel vats. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation before bottling in May 2005, disgorged in 2021.
2004 Brut Nature "Cuvee Louis Tarlant" 50%Chardonnay/50% Pinot Noir. Created by the Tarlants' parents back in 1982, the prestige cuvée Louis is named for Benoît’s and Melanie’s great-great-great grandfather. Louis was the first to bottle Tarlant estate wine (in 1928) and the one who planted this 0.9 hectare of selection massale Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (in 1946-48). The lieu-dit is named "Les Crayons" in reference to its particularly chalky make-up and is a flat site near the Marne in the Tarlant home village of Oeuilly that yields a "river wine," as the Tarlants refer to it, of fuller body and richer character. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation until bottling in 2005. Aged sur lattes until disgorgement with zero dosage in early 2021.
2002 Brut Nature "L'Etincelante" 57% Chardonnay/29% Pinot Noir/14% Pinot Meunier. Each year the Tarlants make a single multi-parcel wine intended to encapsulate that particular vintage: the name Etincelante evokes the “glimmering” nature of the sunny 2002 harvest, "a dream harvest" per Benoìt Tarlant. From six parcels across four villages on a mix of chalk, flint and limestone soils with vines averaging 40 years old. The juice ferments spontaneously with native yeasts in Burgundy barrels; the wine does not go through malolactic fermentation. L'Etincelante was bottled in 2003, disgorged in 2018 and received zero dosage.
Wines arrive Jan 31 please allow a few days before pick-up or shipping
"The new release of Benoît and Mélanie Tarlant’s “Zero” Brut Nature is from the base year of 2014 and was aged fully six years sur latte prior to its disgorgement in February of 2021. The wine is roughly equal amounts of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, with four percent of the blend comprised of more exotic grapes such as arbanne, petit meslier and pinot blanc. The wine contains a significant percentage of reserve wines in the cuvée as well. It offers up a lovely bouquet of apple, fresh-baked bread, chalky soil tones, dried flowers, a touch of hazelnut and plenty of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with lovely mineral drive, a fine core, elegant mousse and a long, well balanced and bone dry finish. By giving the wine a long elevage on its fine lees, the acids here have mellowed out nicely and the wine is drinking very nicely, despite its lack of dosage. Fine juice." John Gilman, View from the Cellar
"The current release of the Tarlant family’s Brut Nature “Zero” Rosé was aged just under five and a half years sur latte and disgorged in September of 2021. The cépages this year is fifty percent chardonnay, forty-four percent pinot noir and six percent pinot meunier. The wine is a beautiful salmon color and offers up a deep, complex and expressive bouquet of rhubarb, blood orange, rye bread, a lovely base of soil tones, dried rose petals and a touch of brown spice in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, full bodied, focused and complex, with lovely depth at the core, superb mineral drive, elegant mousse, nicely mellowing acids and a long, classy and impeccably balanced finish. I so admire the Tarlant family’s commitment to aging their non-dosé bottlings for long enough prior to release to allow the acids to mellow out and the wine to start to drink with generosity. Fine, fine juice." John Gilman, View from the Cellar
Few wines are truly historical, but BAM! has the potential of being a harbinger cuvée for Champagne. Before Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Meunier came to represent 95% of grape varietals planted in the region, other, lesser known and often lesser valued grapes had a foothold. As Climate Change alters the average temperature of Champagne’s growing season, bold and innovative growers like Benoît & Melanie Tarlant are offering delicious solutions. "The NV Brut Nature BAM!, Tarlant’s Pinot Blanc, Arbanne and Petit Meslier blend, is terrific. It offers notable energy and tension, with lovely complexity from the perpetual reserve that is used to complement the base vintage, in this case 2011. Lemon confit, marzipan, dried flowers, tangerine oil and lightly honeyed notes linger nicely, with a whole range of bright saline accents that lend further energy and focus. This release is terrific. Disgorged: June 1, 2021." Antonio Galloni, Vinous
80% Chardonnay/20% Pinot Noir. From “Mocque Tonneau," “Four à Chaux," “Le Métier” in Celles-lès-Condé and “Les Forgeottes" and “L’Enclume” in Œuilly featuring Lutetian limestone soils. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation before being bottled in spring 2006. The bottles were aged sur lattes and disgorged in February 2020 with no dosage. "The 2005 Brut Nature La Lutétienne is a gorgeous wine, especially for the year. Dried pear, spice, dried flower and hazelnut nuances suggest the 2005 is in its first plateau of maturity. I wouldn't push my luck on aging, but the 2005 is undeniably beautiful today. " Antonio Galloni, Vinous 11/20
Created by the Tarlants' parents back in 1982, the prestige cuvée Louis is named for Benoît’s and Melanie’s great-great-great grandfather. Louis was the first to bottle Tarlant estate wine (in 1928) and the one who planted this 0.9 hectare of selection massale Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (in 1946-48). "A blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the 2004 Cuvee Louis Tarlant is fabulous. Hints of orange peel, tangerine oil, mint, cinnamon, chamomile and dried flowers all grace the 2004. There is a gorgeous sense of transparency to the 2004, a Champagne that is at once vibrant, but also mellowed by the passage of time" Vinous
100% Pinot Meunier. A blanc des noirs from a single parcel called "Pierre de Bellevue", planted in 1947 in Oeuilly by the Tarlants' paternal grandfather Georges on Sparnacian clay-limestone soils (a type specific to the Marne Valley). "The NV (2004) Brut Nature Blanc de Meunier La Vigne d’Or is another superb wine in this range. It offers up a compelling mélange of ripe pearl, lemon confit, almonds, white flowers and spice. Sixteen years on the lees has allowed notable complexity and texture to develop. This is such a gorgeous and inviting Champagne. Disgorged: June 5, 2021." Antonio Galloni, Vinous
From 80 year-old ungrafted Chardonnay vines--one of the only ungrafted vineyards in Champagne. Vinified in used barrique, no malo, very low sulfur, bottled without dosage. The current disgorgement spent almost 16 years on the lees. From the sandy soils of Les Sables in Oeuilly, the 2004 Vigne d'Antan has a pale yellow gold robe with an ultrafine bead. The nose offers an array of stone fruit and citrus blossom aromas with fine notes of brioche and sea spray. The palate is ripe on the attack with a muscular mineral character and fine cut and a core of stony intensity that culminates on a bracing, mouthwatering finish. The balance of energy and earthy depth to this Champagne is compelling and beckons sip after sip. Highly recommended. John McIlwain
57% Chardonnay/29% Pinot Noir/14% Pinot Meunier. Each year the Tarlants make a single multi-parcel wine intended to encapsulate that particular vintage: the name Etincelante evokes the “glimmering” nature of the sunny 2002 harvest, "a dream harvest" per Benoìt Tarlant. From six parcels across four villages on a mix of chalk, flint and limestone soils with vines averaging 40 years old. "The 2002 Brut Nature captures so much of what makes the Tarlant Champagnes so compelling. It is at once quite focused and yet the radiance of the year along with long aging in the cellar provides more than enough depth to balance the wine’s natural energy. Readers will find a reserved, understated 2002 endowed with tremendous pedigree that shows the complexity of a wine that spent 15 years on the less and that now has nearly four years of post-disgorgement under its belt. Disgorged: September 27, 2018" Antonio Galloni, Vinous