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.
Benoît Tarlant is the 12th generation working the land under his family name. Benoît is the real deal: his great understanding and respect of history, tradition and nature, coupled with his experimental, forward thinking tendencies have been the driving force of some truly next level, terroir-centric Champagnes. With his sister Mélanie joining the family business in 2003, things are more than ever a family affair.
The estate consists of 14 hectares of vines spread far and wide over 55 parcels of Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (20%). Small amounts of Champagne's "forgotten"grapes" -Pinot Blanc, Arbanne and Petit Meslier- are also planted. In the vines, chemicals are never used and biodiversity is prioritized. Because of the Marne's extremely diverse terroirs, Benoit adapts his viticultural approach parcel by parcel, using the soil, grape and micro-climate to guide him. 12 generations of know-how doesn't hurt either!
Benoît is a sensitive viticulturist, working each of his parcels according to its specific needs, and eschewing all chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers. Each parcel is pressed and vinified separately, and about half of Tarlant’s production is fermented in barrel without malolactic, often with indigenous yeasts. Here in the Vallée de la Marne, the proximity of the vineyards to the river results in broad, full-flavoured Champagnes, and Tarlant’s wines combine this intrinsic power with a deft liveliness and finesse. The diversity of soils in this sector also offers a complex array of terroir signatures, which Tarlant explores through several single-vineyard Champagnes such as La Vigne d’Antan, a blanc de blancs made from ungrafted Chardonnay vines, and La Vigne d’Or, a pure Meunier Champagne from a vineyard planted in 1947.
In 2012, siblings Benoit and Melanie Tarlant began experimenting and finally creating an absolutely breathtaking Champagne – the Argilité 2012. Only 170 bottles of this was produced, vinified in Amphora, where the blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Meunier is slow pressed by gravity, and left alone for spontaneous fermentation for 7 months on the lees in red clay amphorae from Terres d’autan. The juice is then aged for 50 months on lees in the bottle and finally disgorged on June 5th, 2017.