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For previous "Champagnes of the Month", check out our Œnothèque in the drop-down menu.
Our “Champagne of the Month” for April 2019 is taken from our œnothèque and was purchased during a visit to Laherte Frères in September 2013. The domaine, created in 1889 is located in the village of Chavot on the crest of the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay where the village church is clearly visible from the plains to the north. Since 2005, Aurèlien Laherte has been in charge of the 11 hectare domaine with 75 plots located in the villages of Chavot-Courcourt, Moussy, Vaudancourt and Mancy on the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay, Vertus and Voipreux on the Côte des Blancs, Le Breuil and Boursault in the Vallée de la Marne and Épernay.
Aurèlien takes a hands-off approach to winemaking to limit human intervention in an effort to produce wines which speak of their terroir. Work in the vineyards is carried out as naturally as possible to further enhance this ethos. In the winery, 80% of the wines benefit from fermentation and vinification in oak and there are two traditional 4000kg presses. As well as the Chardonnay, Meunier and Pinot Noir, the domaine also have plots of Arbanne, Fromenteau, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc.
The Millésime 2005 is a vintage wine consisting of 85% Chardonnay from Chavot and Épernay which has limestone and chalky soil with 15% Meunier from Chavot, Mancy and Vaudancourt where the soil is clay and silty with chalky subsoil. Natural alcoholic fermentation takes place in oak barrels of which 40% are new, six months aging on the lees with regular bâtonnage and light filtration; the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Bottled in spring, the wine was disgorged by hand (à la volée) with 2.5gl dosage and sealed with a Mytik cork.
Tasted: 19th March 2019, 17:25hrs
Appearance: Pale, gold.
Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of honeysuckle, chamomile, green apple, spiced poached pear, quince, peach, damson, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange zest, cantaloupe melon, pineapple, lychee and mango. Secondary notes of toasted brioche, shortbread biscuit, coconut, vanilla, butterscotch and coffee. Tertiary aromas of almond, marzipan, hazelnut, praline, fudge, caramel, marmalade, dried apple, dried banana, ginger, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is long with a delicate mousse. Alcohol is at 12% abv.
This is a glorious wine, elegantly poised with the perfect balance between tension and generosity. It is aging beautifully – an example of how you can be repaid for affording the right wine more time in the bottle. Outstanding.
Price when bought at source September 2013 = €27.00