100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Avize and Merfy. All of the top wines are done in neutral oak, with full malolactic fermentation. This is top Champagne and we are very happy we have a few bottles squirrelled away.
Notes on the producer
Chartogne-Taillet based in Merfy just north-west of Reims and run by Alexandre Chartogne is hitting new heights of excellence. Starting out in 2006 at the age of just 23, Alexandre worked briefly with Anselme Selosse, who has heavily influenced his ideas on viticulture (although their winemaking styles are radically different).
Setting out to understand all his terroirs and sub-soils (clay and sand over chalk), Alexandre has worked closely with renowned soil analysts Claude and Lydia Bourguignon, comparing the still wines he made from each lieu-dit to 17th-century family records of barrels of wine from the same terroirs. These were sold to the monks in a local abbey, who knew their stuff and paid up to ten times more for wines from certain parcels, and Alex notes that there was an incredible correlation between the plots highlighted for their qualities by the Bourguignons, and the monks preferred parcels. Focus here is always on the health of the individual soils – soil and place are of vital importance. Chickens and sheep are allowed to roam around in the vines to eat bugs, grubs and control pests, and help manage weed control. Grass is partially allowed to grow, ploughing is done by horse (50% of the surface) or light tractor to avoid soil compaction, no herbicides or pesticides, bouillie bordelaise against oidium/mildew but no certification although organic farming has been practised at the domaine since 2002