Grower Champagne Club – April 2016

Tarlant, Brut Nature “Zero”
Records show that Pierre Tarlant began cultivating vineyards in 1687. He was the first winegrower in the village of Gland, near Château-Thierry in the Valley of the Marne. About a decade later the family moved to the Marne village of Oeuilly, and since then, despite several intervening wars that devastated the region, the estate has continued to be passed down through the generations. In the 1920s Louis Tarlant decided to stop selling their fruit to the large negociants and made Tarlant one of the first independent estates in Champagne. According to the importer, his efforts contributed to the establishment of the official Champagne AOC in 1927. Today Benoît Tarlant and his sister Mélanie represent the twelfth generation of the family to run the estate. They currently own 14 hectares, consisting of 55 parcels spread throughout four villages in the Marne Valley. Their focus is on producing terroir-driven, authentic wines that express the identity of their diverse vineyards. To that end, they bottle the majority of their wines without dosage, to let the pure flavor of the fruit express itself. Because they pick their fruit carefully, at perfect maturity, they are able to do this and still produce wines with remarkable depth and elegance. Their “Zero” (for zero dosage) is their entry level cuvée and is a blend of one third each Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. While it sees no oak and doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation, five years of lees ageing adds inviting creaminess and complexity to this fresh, clean Champagne. This bottling, though non-vintage, is mostly from 2007 fruit with a bit of reserve wine (which does see some oak). It is $55 and ready to enjoy anytime, on its own or with sushi or seafood.