Champagne Tarlant, Champagne Brut Nature Cuvée Louis 2002-2003 Base NV


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45% Pinot Noir/28% Chardonnay/27% Pinot Meunier. Hand-harvested very early in the morning (hence the “Matinale” moniker) in this very warm vintage, from multiple estate parcels with vines averaging 45 years old on chalky soils. The fruit was gently pressed and the juice 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 2004. Aged sur lattes for 10 years before being hand-riddled, disgorged in July 2014 and finished with zero dosage.

It is worth noting that the Tarlants distinguish between terroir wines and vintage wines. This can be a little tricky to discern at first. The terroir wines ( La Vigne d'Antan, La Vigne d'Or, La Vigne Royale, BAM!) are often vintage-specific--but the vintage is not the emphasis--as evidenced by the fact that the vintage only appears in very small type on the back label. On the other hand, the vintage-focused bottling, of which there is only one per vintage, features the year in large print on the front label, with its name appearing as essentially a subtitle below the vintage; in 2003, the vintage-focused wine was the Matinale.

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