Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Tasting: Tarlant "Cuvee Louis" Champagne Extra Brut Marne Valley France


Tarlant "Cuvee Louis" Champagne Extra Brut Marne Valley France

Founded in 1687, Champagne Tarlant is a classic Champagne house located in Marne Valley, more precisely in the little village of Œuilly about 14 kilometers north-west of Epernay and about 40 kilometers south-west of Rheims, the capitale of Champagne.

Tarlant has always been one of my favorite champagne houses, crafting medium to full bodied, complex and rich yet elegant and racy Champagnes from mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir planted on their 14 hectares spread out on 4 different "crus", with a total of 55 parcels located in the village of Oeuilly, Boursault, St-Agnan and Celles-lès-Condé.

The Tarlant family feels that it is particularly important that their wines reveal the diversity of the sub-soil, the vineyards and the blends of their estate. Each parcel posseses  its own identity and the various blends bring the complexity and uniqueness to each of the 11 different Cuvees produced.

Recoltant Manipulant (RM) and family run since its creation, Tarlant "savoir faire" consistency and quality were traditionally passed on to each generation with the will to do better than the previous one yet respecting the house taste, profil and character. Currently, Jean-Mary Tarlant represents the 11th generation. He crafted this particular "Cuvee Louis" Extra Brut, which has been named to pay hommage to Louis Tarlant, talented vine grower and winemaker as well as founder of the family estate.

From parcels of vines planted on chalky soil in a "lieu dit" called "Les Crayons", here are some technical facts about today's "Cuvee Louis":

  • A blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. 
  • From 65 years old vines
  • A blend of various vintages: 1998 (about 80%), and 1997 & 1996 (for the remaining 20%)
  • Only issued from juice from the first fermentation in "Fût de Chêne" (oak barrel)
  • No Malolactic fermentation
  • Bottled in May 1999
  • Disgorged in March 2009
  • Roughly spent 10 years on its lees
  • Liqueur de dosage at 3g/L (3 grammes of sugar per liter)
  • Consequently classified as an Extra Brut
It also says on the back label that it could age further for more than 5 years. However, we are in 2013, and this Champagne is showing so superbly that it could last for another 10 years. I love it. 



Tarlant Cuvee Louis Champagne Extra Brut Marne Valley France

In the glass, it presents a very pale yellow color with light, bright golden reflects. The bubbles were slightly big at first while pouring it in the glass but rapidly became really small, numerous and fast. The nose is fragant, a touch rustic but in a good way, with yellow fruit and "fresh hay" aromas mixed with attractive yeasty, slightly toasted, brioche, mineral and floral notes. The palate is medium to full, rather rich, ample and complex with flavors of yellow fruit mingling with citrus zest and refreshing acidity to balance it. Harmonious, long, flavorful and superbly balanced, the finish is definitely calling for another glass; making this bottle hard to let go and to share. I highly recommend it. On its own or as an aperitif with canapes, but a more complex fish dish with creamy sauce will do more justice to this refined Champagne amateurs delight. And that cleansing, zesty citrus acidity is lingering as I'm writing these last few words, I love it. But this is not a surprise as Cuvee Louis is surely the best of their portfolio.  

Enjoy!

LeDom du Vin

For more details, go their website at: http://www.tarlant.com 


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