Champagne

NV Champagne Laherte Frères Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature (Base TBA Disg. May 2023)

$163.00
Save an extra $12: $1,944.00 for 12 bottles
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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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

This is a stunning release that combines the supple fruit of Pinot Meunier, the vinosity of Pinot Noir and the salinity of the chalky soils. It’s a beautifully vibrant and deep colour. The nose is flush with fresh summer fruit, red flowers and chalky minerals, which are mirrored on the harmonious and balanced palate. Nervy tension, tensile energy and live-wire freshness close out a very pure, mouth-watering wine.   In the cellar, Laherte naturally ferments the vins clairs in aged barrel and foudre, the wine completes malo and is bottled without dosage, to, says Aurelien, “respect fruit intensity and mineral freshness.”  

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Winemakers Note

New cuvée. 2020 base (100%), disgorged April 2022. This gorgeous new Blanc de Noirs sits in the range alongside Laherte’s dazzling Blanc de Blanc Brut Nature. It’s a blend of 50% Pinot Noir from Le Breuil in the Marne Valley and 50% Pinot Meunier from the Côteaux Sud d’Epernay (Chavot and Moussy). The first release is a half-and-half blend of 2020 and 2019.  

Disgorged in April 2023. This gorgeous new Blanc de Noirs sits in the range alongside Laherte’s dazzling Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature. It’s a blend of 50% Pinot Noir from Le Breuil in the Marne Valley and 50% Pinot Meunier from the Coteaux Sud d’Épernay (Chavot and Moussy). The current release is a half-and-half blend of 2021 and 2020.
In the cellar, Laherte naturally ferments the vins clairs in aged barrel and foudre. The wine completes malolactic conversion and is bottled without dosage to “respect fruit intensity and mineral freshness”.
 

Champagne Laherte Frères
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 8 business days. Vintages may vary for Marketplace items. Generally, the latest available vintage will be delivered to you.


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