Champagne Tarlant
Zero and low dosage specialists

Website: www.tarlant.com


Benoit Tarlant

Champagne Tarlant are a dynamic family house with a wide range of Champagnes. They have 14 hectares spread through 4 different crus: Oeuilly, Boursault, St-Agnan and Celles-les-Condés, all in the Marne Valley. Altogether this adds up to some 55 parcels, which are farmed sustainably.

The estate is currently run by Jean-Mary Tarlant, with the help of his son Benoit. Other members of the family are also involved. Benoit has taken many of the Champagnes in the direction of using very low or no dosage, with the dosage levels now ranging from 0–6 g/litre. ‘My father began to do brut zero 20 years ago,’ he says, ‘so it is not a new thing.’ Tarlant is so convinced by non-dosage wines that he is committing his efforts to it. ‘Ten years ago it represented 5–10% of our production; now, it is around 60% of it.’ He adds that it is still a very small segment in Champagne.

What are the keys to success with this style? ‘The first key is the people. It’s really a goal for me to achieve this style of Champagne wine. I make every possible effort at all production steps to do it. We have to be ready for risks, we have to like to play with acidity. The next step is picking mature grapes (not just by alcohol level, but also physiologically), respectful pressing and then natural vinification, in which we follow the wines rather than forcing them. One particular key is we work half in tanks, half in barrels. If vineyard origin is well selected, barrel fermentation can open more taste sensations. A blend of the three grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) helps to get a better balance, but that's a point of view. We also blend with a good proportion of reserve wine (between 30 and 50%), which have been also aged in barrels. We also allow respectful ageing in the bottle.’

Benoit initially labelled his wine as ‘Brut Zero’, but unfortunately Freixenet (the Cava company) have trademarked the term. They gave Benoit two years to change his labels, so the wines are now labelled ‘Brut Nature’.

THE WINES

Champagne Tarlant Reserve Brut NV
Tight, toasty and fresh with a lovely savoury depth. Quite youthful and mineralic. 88/100

Champagne Tarlant Vintage 1998
Complex, warm herby nose. The palate is concentrated with lovely herby, lemony complexity. A bold, mouthfilling style of real intensity. 92/100

Tarlant Tradition Brut NV
Deep coloured. Broad, warm toasty nose with lovely complexity. The palate is herby and rich with a dry savoury character. Complex and full. 90/100

Champagne Tarlant Brut Nature
Focused, slightly appley, herby nose is savoury and intense. The palate is appley with a fresh citrus finish. Savoury but well balanced. 90/100

See also:

Visiting Champagne Bollinger

Wines tasted 03/09
Published 12/10  

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