Tarlant

The Tarlant family has been a pioneering presence in the Vallée de la Marne of Champagne since 1687, when Pierre Tarlant cultivated the first family vineyards, in fact that first vines at all, in the Aisne area; the family moved to the village of Oeuilly in 1780. At the turn of the 20th century, Louis Tarlant was not only the the mayor of Oeuilly but also a leader in the “Champagne Revolution”, a movement by growers to codify, regulate and protect Champagne production, and in the creation of the Champagne AOC in 1927. In 1928, Louis became the first in the family to bottle Tarlant wine as such. The modern-day brother-sister team of Benoit and Mélanie are the 12th generation to carry on the traditional yet progressive spirit of the Tarlant family’s wine history, in conjunction with their father who still works in the vineyards.

The estate today consists of 14 hectares of vines spread over 55 parcels of Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (20%) in the Marne valley. Small amounts of Champagne's "forgotten"grapes" (Pinot Blanc, Arbanne and Petit Meslier) are also planted. The soils in this area west of Epernay are diverse, sandier and sometimes full of fossils near the river, and chalkier up the hill, including a clay-chalk combination referred to as Sparnacien. Benoit is focused on growing and crafting terroir-centric wines. To that end, farming is sustainable--chemicals are never used and biodiversity is prioritized--and adapted quite specifically on a parcel-by-parcel basis. Harvest is by hand and by parcel, with each of the mulititude vinified separately. Most of the production is barrel-fermented; does not go through malolactic fermentation; spends extended times on their lees before disgorgement; and is bottled with little to no dosage, a relative rarity in Champagne (notably, the Tarlants include a world of detail on their back labels). The Tarlant style is vibrantly expressive, pure and intense, not unlike the current generation running this small house.