Review Score 94
Champagne

NV Champagne Laherte Frères Les 7 Extra Brut

$347.00
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The Collective Review

The focus on terroir expression and meticulous viticulture, along with the unique terroir of the Coteaux d’Épernay, are the keys to understanding these expressive and delicious wines.

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Previous base. “The NV Extra Brut Les 7 is a blend of the seven authorized grapes in Champagne, co-fermented, done in a perpetual reserve style that goes back to 2005. It is one of the most intriguing wines in the range. Citrus, orchard fruit and floral notes abound as this crystalline, taut Champagne reveals its stunning beauty. Les 7 is finished with no dosage, but there is more than enough natural richness to keep the wine in balance. I loved it.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
94 POINTS
Antonio Galloni MW - Vinous

Previous base. “The NV Extra Brut Les 7 is a blend of the seven authorized grapes in Champagne, co-fermented, done in a perpetual reserve style that goes back to 2005. It is one of the most intriguing wines in the range. Citrus, orchard fruit and floral notes abound as this crystalline, taut Champagne reveals its stunning beauty. Les 7 is finished with no dosage, but there is more than enough natural richness to keep the wine in balance. I loved it.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

This is one of the most distinctive wines made in Champagne—a super-complex, fleshy and savoury (peppery, nutty) wine that is as delicious as it is fascinating. If you are interested in Champagnes with a genuine personality, this is a wine not to be missed.

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Winemakers Note

Les 7 is a single-parcel field blend from a plot in Chavot, planted by Thierry Laherte in 2003 to make use of the heirloom vines of Fromenteau, Arbanne and Petit Meslier already growing within the family’s oldest vineyard plots. The addition of Chardonnay and Pinots Noir, Meunier and Blanc have made a unique co-planting of all seven allowed grape varieties of Champagne.

 

The varieties were harvested and pressed together, all fermentation was natural, and the wine was produced using a perpetual (or continuous) reserve, stretching back to 2005. Each year the blend is roughly 60% of the new vintage wine (2018 for this bottling) with 40% of the reserve, and so this release spans the harvests of 2005 to 2018. Disgorged by hand with no dosage.

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is hard to understate how far the wines of this producer have come over the years. Aurélien Laherte’s terroir-centric wines are now at a level that bears comparison with many of the best grower wines in Champagne—and let’s not forget that we are talking about a vigneron barely into his forties.

The wines of Laherte Frères bring something unique and delicious to our suite of grower Champagnes. This is our first grower from the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay (slopes to the south of Épernay) where they are certainly the benchmark. They are based in Chavot, where most of their vines are situated, but they also have some parcels in other villages of the Côteaux Sud area as well as some tiny holdings in the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley. This domaine’s 10 hectares of vines are fragmented into no less than 75 parcels spread across 10 different villages. In Laherte’s home village of Chavot itself—not a large place by any means—Aurélien has identified no less than 27 distinct terroirs. Many of these parcels are planted to old vines from sélection massale cuttings. Such Burgundian-style diversity has given rise to a series of limited bottlings, sometimes comprised of just a single barrel’s worth of Champagne.

The focus on terroir expression and meticulous viticulture, along with the unique terroir of the Coteaux d’Épernay, are the keys to understanding these expressive and delicious wines.

The distinctive, geologically complex terroir of Chavot and the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay in general is very different to the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims areas where our other growers are based, and the style of wine is creamier and with more fruit generosity (to generalise). It’s a deliciously textured, yet racy style of Champagne that adds another impressive string to our Champagne bow.

The vineyard practices at Laherte Frères are impressive. Most of the estate is biodynamically farmed except for those vineyards that are too far away to do so (mainly those in the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley). These latter sites are still managed organically, with the soils cultivated and no herbicides or pesticides used. The high standards continue in the cellar. Aurèlien uses the traditional Coquard wooden Champagne presses. He has two of these (very unusual for an estate of this small size), which allows him to press more quickly and to keep small parcels separate. The wines are moved only by gravity. Fermentation occurs with natural yeast, and more than 80 percent of the wine is fermented and matured in large foudres and old barriques (as all Champagne once was pre the 1950s). Interestingly, Aurèlien buys barrels from Benjamin Leroux and the Liger-Belair family (of la Romanée fame).

We took on this grower because we could see the potential taking shape—in his terroirs, his work in the vines and in the wines we tasted from barrel. Since that time, the tireless level of viticulture practiced here has become ever-more intensive and meticulous. In the cellar, the amplified use of reserve wine, longer time on lees and lower dosage have also played a crucial role in raising Laherte’s wines to yet another level. They are very different from anything else in our portfolio and are bound to be enjoyed.

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Delivery Details

Marketplace Product: Dispatch from Sydney warehouse in approximately 8 business days. Vintages for Marketplace items are subject to change, and we cannot guarantee the specific vintage you ordered will be delivered. Generally, the latest available vintage will be delivered to you.


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