Pinot Meunier + Pinot Noir + Chardonnay from Champagne, France
Champagne Laherte Freres Ultradition NV 375 mL
It was disgorged in April 2018 and was made from both biodynamic and organically reared fruit. There are now two reserve vintages blended in, giving more complexity and oomph. The current release is based on 2015 with the reserve wines coming from 2014 and 2013. The reserve wines now make up 40% of the blend (a key to the leap in quality), with 60% of that, barrel-aged material. In terms of the varietal mix, the blend remains 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from a total of seven different parcels across the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay and Vallée de la Marne, namely Chavot, Mancy, Morangis, Le Breuil, Boursault, Moussy and Vaudancourt. The average age of the vines is 30 years. Aurélien naturally ferments the wines in a mixture of vessels?including two 50 hl Rousseau tronconique casks, old barrels, foudre and concrete. Regardless of vessel, the wines are always on lees and the malolactic fermentation is partially completed (around 60-70% on average). Dosage here is only 4 g/L. This is simply a top value grower wine; bright, pure and juicy with loads of delicious, red currant and apple skin Meunier fruit and a punchy, mineral close. The quality being delivered for this price is outstanding. Bright, appley and fragrant, this feels fresh and easy to drink, buttressed by taut, lively acidity. As usual, it’s made from a majority of meunier (60 percent), blended with 30 percent chardonnay and ten percent pinot noir. It finishes with brightly citrusy fragrance, its tangerine-like flavors showing energy and vigor. Peter Liem, champagneguide.net The NV Extra Brut Ultradition is a gorgeous wine at its level, and also a terrific introduction to the Laherte Champagnes.