Champagne Tarlant, France, Champagne
The labels of the wines from this family run estate, one of the most dynamic in Champagne, show their origins – Champagne in its purest form.
At the heart of the left bank of the Marne Valley, Benoit Tarlant is gradually taking over from his parents the 14 ha vineyards. He cultivated this vineyard with care, using only organic fertilisers. His vinegrowing is painstaking, perfectly adapted to the mosaic of different soils and subsoils with flint-bearing sand, through clay and limestone to pure chalk.
A real policy of vintages has been adopted and like the very best Champagne houses, the Tarlant only release their wines at their peak after eight to ten years cellaring.
A palate of Terroirs, in the heart of the Marne Valley
The Tarlant family feels that it is particularly important that their wines reveal the diversity of the sub-soil, the vineyards and the blends of their estate. Each parcel lays claim to its own identity and they listen to that complexity and do all they can to let it sing into the wine that they make
Surface: 14 hectares on 4 different ‘crus’
Layout: 55 parcels located in the village of Oueilly, Boursault, St-Argan and Celles-les-Conde
Geology: Chalk, Sparnacien (clay-limestone), Sand, Limestone, Small Pebbles,
The valley and river Marne are crucial to the micro-climate from which their hillside planted vines benefit. The influence of water on the climatic balance, and the phenomenon of the ‘three suns’ also play their parts in the individuality of their wines.
Overall: Suspended between maritime and continental climates
Position: At the northern limits of wine growing
Average temperature: 10 degrees celcius
Average rainfall: 675mm per year
The Tarlant family has always been deeply concerned about the environment, and their viticulture is guided by the nature. Treatment of the land is designed to give long term and sustainable biodiversity and to protect the micro-organisms which live in it.
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Arbanne, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier
Plantation density: 9000 vines per hectare
Age of vines: 31 years old
Harvest: Healthy grapes are picked manually at perfect ripeness thus respecting the unique characteristics of each of their terroirs
In 1687, according to local records, Pierre TARLANT (1648-1744) began cultivating vineyards. He was the first winegrower, in Gland, in the Aisne district. Then Michel Tarlant (1687-1744) and his son Michel (1716-1773) both continued in the direction that was to be the destiny of future generations.
In 1780, Louis Tarlant (1750-1806) and his wife Marie-Madeleine went to live in Oeuilly in the Marne, and started planting their vineyards, an inheritance which was to be handed down from generation to generation.
In 1814 Napoleon’s army was in retreat and the Russians came to Champagne. During this Cossack invasion Louis Honoré Roch Tarlant (1814-1872), son of Louis Nicolas Tarlant (1779-1825) and Marie Catherine, was born. The family had fled the Russians and young Louis was born behind a rock on Festigny’s Hill. To this very day anyone out for a walk can come across Tarlant’s rock.
At the time the Tarlant vineyards were cultivated by the whole family, especially Alexis Theodore Tarlant (1842-1928) and his wife Julie, who created a white and a red wine mainly sold in Parisian inns and cabarets.
Louis, first winemaker / creator
In 1911 Louis Adrien Tarlant (1878-1960) took part in the “Champagne Revolution” to recognise the AOC worldwide. Louis, as Mayor of Oeuilly, and his colleagues were instrumental in specifying the AOC Champagne area in 1927.
The First World War devasted the vineyards, but despite the seven long years when the Patriarch Louis was away, the destiny of the Tarlant family remained unchanged. Upon his return, little by little he recreated the estate and decided with his wife Julia to create the first Cuvee Tarlant.
When Louis returned he rebuilt everything and with his wife Julia decided to create the first Cuvee Tarlant. The Tirage (bottling) began in 1928 and in 1929 they started marketing it under the name of “Carte Blanche“. Between the two world wars this Cuvee became a success in the home market.
Generations of the 20th century
During the harvest in September 1938, Georges Tarlant (1908-2008) was drafted into the Army. His wife, Germaine, helped by her father-in-law Louis and son Georges (1928-2007) did all they could to save the vineyards damaged by the Second World War.
In November 1945, when his father returned, Georges Tarlant became a winemaker in his own right, buying several plots of vines. With Denise, his wife, they lived through the real expansion of Champagne in the 50s. They perpetuated the family tradition and adopted with intelligence the improvements available in winemaking machinery.
From 1972, their son Jean-Mary Tarlant (1951-) and Micheline his wife started to prove themselves in the family estate. They have two children, Benoît (1976-) and Mélanie (1980-) who joined them in the business at the dawn of the 21st century.
Wine Maker – Benoit Tarlant
Before joining the Estate, Benoît visited many different winegrowing regions world-wide while studying for his master’s at the OIV (International Wine Office). Open-minded and cultivated, and as an inheritor of the precious legacy of knowledge of previous winemaking generations, his style of winemaking demonstrates his rigour, his passion and his avid exploration of taste. With weather, terroir and fruit transcended by his winemaking choices, he wants each wine to express its very essence. The audacity of his experiments adds a new dimension to the edifice that is Tarlant.
On Ewineasia.com, you can find many of Champagne Tarlant wines that best defines the expression of its terroir, ethical viticulture and wine-making philosophy.
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