Benoit Tarlant and his sister, Melanie, are the 12th generation of vignerons in Champagne, the Tarlant's have been growing in the region since 1687. The family first bottled wine under their own label back in the 1920s. They have 14ha in total, divided into 57 plots of old vines all around the village of Oeuilly. The proximity of the vineyards to the river results in very broad, full-flavoured champagnes. The house works entirely organically and sustainably, with no chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertiliser. Benoit is also farming some of his plots biodynamically. Every small parcel is pressed and vinified separately, all by hand.
Since the 1970s, Tarlant's wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts in old barrels (about 70%). He's also using some ceramic amphora since 2012. These wines never have any malolactic fermentation, and the majority are Brut Nature (now representing 60% of their production). Unlike some dry Champagnes, these are never austere, they still retain a fresh liveness with great acidity and finesse. While many larger producers are just beginning to explore zero dosage wines, Benoit is quick to point out that his father had been producing a Zero Dosage since the early 1980s.These wines also have extremely long aging on the lees, from 10-15years. Total production is a mere 120,000 bottles annually.
The family have a huge passion and love for their terroir which is rich in varied soil types and microclimates. The result is some incredibly interesting single vineyard Champagnes from very old vines going back to the 1940s, many from varieties not often seen by themselves. Old vines have much deeper roots and lower yields, thus are better at expressing the terroir. These are absolute must tries for any Champagne and wine lover.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Arbanne, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier