Champagne Tarlant, Champagne Cuvée Louis Brut Nature (2000 base) NV


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50% Chardonnay/50% Pinot Noir. Cuvée Louis is named for Benoît’s and Melanie’s great-great-great grandfather Louis, who was the first to bottle the family’s estate wines (in 1928); their parents created this prestige cuvée in his honor. Though the wine is in fact a cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it is not a blend of sites! It features the fruit from a single parcel of 65-year-old vines called Les Crayons--its name is an indicator of the high chalk (craie) content of its soils--near the Tarlants' home village of Oeuilly. The base wine is 2000, blended with barrel-aged reserve wines from 1996-1999.

The fruit was hand-harvested and gently pressed; the juice was fermented with natural yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation before being bottled in May 2001. The bottles were aged sur lattes for 15 years. Hand-riddled and disgorged in September 2016 and finished with zero dosage. It is the most powerful and rich of the Tarlant wines, balanced with intense minerality and acidity.

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