Aurélien Laherte, is part of the young generation of winemakers that are making big changes to the way grapes are grown and the way wine is made. He takes a natural approach to his winemaking that allows the terroir to speak for itself. He and his close friend, Raphael Bereche, founded a group for Champenois producers called "Terres et Vins." The group includes 23 winegrowers who are some of the most avant-garde producers of the region and who all have similar progressive beliefs on quality wine production.
The Laherte's have vineyards in no less than 10 villages with 7 different grape varieties spread over 80 plots. Although he is technically classified as an NM (négociant manipulant : a producer who buys all or some of their grapes from other growers, anything less than 94%) due to his various family members who sell grapes to him, he acts like a true RM (récoltant manipulant : a grower-producer who uses a minimum of 95% estate fruit) working out in the fields that his family owns and making sure they are up to his standard (very high).
The attention to detail continues in the cellar, where he uses barrels to ferment and mature individual parcels separately. This allows him to focus on the expression of terroir and less on a house blend or standard cuvee. They are quite proud of each individual parcel, and really love to highlight their differences. Passed down from generation to generation, the ultimate goal is balance in their wines. Year after year, they care for each barrel and parcel differently, following their instinct and trying to understand the individual needs of each wine.
The wines we will be serving:
Brut Ultradition : 60% Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. The vines are around 30 years old. Partial malolactic fermentation and aged on lees for 6 months. 4.5g/l of dosage.
Rose Ultradition : 100% Meunier which is 30% maceration, 10% red wine, and 60% white wine. Partial malolactic fermentation with 7g/l of dosage.
Brut Nature : 100% Chardonnay that are the very best parcels with vines that are 35 years old. 50% reserve wine is added from previous vintages that are aged in barrels on lees. Partial malolactic fermentation. Aged for 6 months on the lees. No dosage.
Les Vignes d'Autrefois : 100% Meunier that was planted between 1947 and 1953. No malolactic fermentation, however it is aged on the lees for 6 months. 2-4g/l dosage.
Les 7 : 10% Fromenteau, 8% Arbanne, 14% Pinot Noir, 18% Chardonnay, 17% Pinot Blanc, 18% Meunier, 15% Petit Meslier. The lost grape varieties of Champagne were planted to recreate the taste of Champagne similar to that of something from 250 years ago. No malolactic fermentation, but wine is matured for 6 months in barrels with regular stirring of the lees. 40% reserve wine is added, which is a blending of several vintages as far back as 2005. 4g/l dosage.