Text by Linden Wilkie
We are delighted to present to you Champagne Chartogne-Taillet, described in Decanter by Champagne expert Peter Liem as one of the top ten grower Champagne houses to know.
This is a small family domaine producer, with 12 hectares, led since 2006 by Alexandre Chartogne – ‘one of Champagne’s brightest rising stars’.1 Chartogne, whose family have been involved in winegrowing here since at least the 15th century, had learned his craft working for Anslem Selosse.
Chartogne uses no chemicals, herbicides or insecticides, instead, focusing his viticulture on ploughing the soil, and maintaining the health in the vineyards through natural fertilizers from sheep and chickens on the property, organic treatments, and the cultivation of cover crops. He is a believer that healthy vineyards are the key to transmitting the terroir of each site, and that is his focus here.
Grapes are pressed pneumatically, and fermentation is with native yeasts. (Even the second fermentation is done with retained native yeasts). Primary fermentation is done mostly in 228l and 600l oak, though there is also stainless steel and concrete eggs, and the wines usually go through malolactic fermentation.
The house wines here are ‘Cuvée Saint-Anne’ Brut and ‘Le Rosé’ Brut. ‘Cuvée Saint-Anne’ is 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier, a blend from across the vineyards Chartogne works. It is vinified in stainless steel, aged on lees for three years, and made with low dosage. We highly recommend you try this to get a sense of the house style. Quality is very high for the price. The Rosé Brut, a 60% Chardonnay 40% Pinot Noir blend, includes some Pinot Noir from ‘Les Orizeaux’, it is also fermented in stainless steel, and sees two years on lees, and again, low dosage style. It is a vibrant, mineral-driven rosé.
In the single parcel series, we have 3 wines to offer you.
2017 ‘Les Couarres’ Extra Brut
A 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir blend from the single vineyard ‘Les Couarres’, 50 year old vines, on sand, tufa and clay soils at the heart of this estate’s home village of Merfy. Primary vinification is in oak barrels, with four years ageing on lees, bottled with low dosage (~5g/L). The wine is round and fresh.
2016 ‘Les Orizeaux’ Extra Brut
A 100% Pinot Noir from the single vineyard ‘Les Orizeaux’, 50 year old vines in Thanetian sands over layers of limestone and Campanian chalk. Primary fermentation is in old Burgundy barrels, and it receives very low dosage (~3g/L). It has a supple texture, with a slightly rich mid-palate.
2016 ‘Les Barres’ Extra Brut
Is a very interesting Champagne, made from 100% Pinot Meunier, from a 50 year old ungrafted single vineyard, in Thanetian sands over Campanian chalk. Amazingly phylloxera has never managed to penetrate this vineyard. Yields are very low. Primary fermentation is in 228l oak, and it also receives very low dosage (~3g/L). With a saline mineral edge and a subtle touch of orange, this is a super interesting Champagne.
Why not try these three together, side by side?