The (2009) Heurtebise Brut Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay from 40+ year-old vines on sandstone soils that is fermented and aged in concrete eggs. Not declared as a vintage, but entirely from 2009 ,it offers a deep, intense and rich bouquet with some smoky and very complex mineral flavors. Pure and elegant on the palate, this is a substantial, multilayered and very mineral wine with great purity, grip and a persistent length. Great aging potential. Disgorged in October 2015 with less than five grams per liter of dosage.
I like the clear, pure, breathy, elegant and vinous style of Alexandre Chartogne, who has presented me a range of his lovely, mineral, single vineyard vines in early March. Among them a second Pinot Meunier from almost 60-year-old, ungrafted vines: Beaux Senses. As readers might know, the single vineyard Champagnes of Chartogne-Taillet are entirely based on vintages, but not declared as such. Only the cuvée Sainte-Anne is a classic blend of vineyards, varieties and vintages, and a perfect Champagne to discover the very dry but complex Chartogne style. Chartogne-Taillet's 12 hectares of more and more organic (or biodynamic) farmed vineyards are located in and around the village of Merfy, in the Montagne de Reims, where they grow on sandy, sandstone and tuff soils. Alexandre's experiments with concrete eggs for the fermentation pays off in the greatly pure and mineral Heurtebise Blanc de Blancs. Other containers are made of oak and stainless steel. All wines are fermented without the addition of cultured yeasts and the malolactic fermentation is also allowed to occur naturally. After the ageing process of eight to 18 months, the wines are bottled unfiltered. The dosage is no religion here, but tends to be rather low.