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Our “Champagne of the Month” for June 2017 is the cuvée Zero by Champagne Tarlant. Benoît Tarlant is a dynamic vigneron, the latest generation from a rich line of winegrowers dating back to 1687. Tarlant have been cultivating vines in Œuilly, a village in the Vallée de la Marne since 1780. Today they own 55 parcels making up 14 hectares in the villages of Œuilly, Boursault, St-Agnan and Celles-lès-Condé. Here the soils are a mixture of chalk, Sparnacien (clay-limestone), sand, limestone and small pebbles.
In the winery, each plot is pressed separately with gravity fed Coquart presses that help to limit oxidation of the juice and the need for extra sulphur to be added. The wines undergo regular bâtonnage, without fining or filtration and malolactic fermentation is blocked. All reserve wines are aged in oak barrels.
Cuvée Zero is so called due to the fact that it is without dosage. It consists of equal parts, Chardonnay, Meunier and Piniot Noir; vinified in thermostatically controlled stainless steel tanks with the addition of the oak aged reserve wines. The base wine for our bottle came from the 2007 harvest (current bottles are 2008), bottled in 2008 and disgorged in September 2014. Our bottle was purchased in April 2015 and stored in a specialist wine cooler.
Appearance: Clear, medium intensity, pale gold in colour with a fine and persistent mousse.
Nose: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of freshly squeezed lemon, lemon zest, mandarin, peach, nectarine, stewed apples, apple compote, roasted apricots and wet stones. Secondary aromas of butter shortbread, toasted brioche, vanilla, butterscotch, toast and smoke with tertiary aromas of almond and hazelnut as a result of the deliberate oxidative style, marmalade, honey caramel and hay.
Palate: Pronounced intensity with primary notes of fresh lemon, grapefruit, candied lemon, green apple, peach, apple compote and passion fruit. Secondary notes of toast, shortbread, brioche, fresh dough, vanilla and butterscotch. There are tertiary notes of almond, marzipan, hazelnut, toffee, caramel, nutmeg, honey and cinnamon swirl buns!
This is a complex and decadent wine with intense flavours and a long finish. In all honesty, the price does not reflect its outstanding quality, pure joy.
Price circa €31.00