Our cuvée of the month for December comes from Champagne Laherte Frères, located in the village of Chavot-Courcourt on the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay.
Strictly speaking the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay forms part of the Côte des Blancs but due to the individual characteristics of this area (principally Pinot Meunier) which also comprises the neighbouring villages of Moussy, Pierry, Vinay, Saint Martin d’Ablois, Brugny-Vaudancourt, Monthelon, Morangis, Mancy and Grauves it has gained its own regional classification.
Sitting on a hillside to the south of Epernay and overlooking the capital of champagne, the vineyards of Laherte Frères are farmed biodynamically with all work in the vines undertaken by hand. The chalky-clay and pebbled soil, partnered with a traditional approach to winemaking ensure their wines are full of flavour.
“Les 7”, so named because it is made with seven grape varieties is a representation of how champagnes would have been 250 years ago. When some of the lost varieties were discovered in old plots, work began in 2003 to create a single plot for the conception of this wonderful wine.
This cuvée consists of 8% Arbanne, 10% Fromenteau, 14% Pinot Noir, 15% Petit Meslier, 17% Pinot Blanc, 18% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Meunier. Just as work in the vines is very much traditional so is vinification. Natural alcoholic fermentation takes place in Burgundy barrels which have a minimum age of 10 years. The wine is matured on the lees for 6 months with regular bâtonnage and there is no malolatic fermentation or filtration. The wine is made using the perpetual blending (or Solera) technique beginning with the 2005 harvest. Dosage is kept to 4gl meaning it is classified as an Extra Brut. The wine we tasted was disgorged in January 2013. The only break from tradition is the use of a Mytik cork to ensure this great champagne reaches the customer in perfect condition.
This champagne is full of character with hints of brioche, orange peel and exotic fruits. There is good acidity and a real depth of flavour and minerality.
Laherte Frères is an exciting domaine with a wide range of excellent wines. They are really on top of their game and are well worth keeping an eye on as we suspect they will soon be in very high demand.
Price at source = €48.00
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