The Laherte family has a long history in the region. Founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte, the estate was originally made up of vines primarily in the village of Chavot. Fourth generation vigneron Michel Laherte expanded the family estate which then covered about five hectares. With his wife Cécile, the two young vignerons modernized the press and tanks, but soon realized that too much modernity such as the use of herbicides and pesticides would prevent full terroir expression in the wines. They began working the soils, gently vinifying the juices, and remaining humble and patient as the wines developed. This philosophy is the foundation of the estate and has endured through the generations.
Today, under the direction of Aurélien Laherte who took over in 2005, the estate has become one of the most progressive and dynamic "rising stars" in the appellation. Like many of Champagne's top practicioners, the estate has begun to produce a series of tiny production, single-vineyard/single vintage cuvees (around 3000 bottles ea) from some of their most unique and expressive Biodynamically-farmed parcels. These wines are all vinified in used Burgundy barrels, without malolactic fermentations, and are bottled without fining and filtration. They are then finished with little or no dosage so as to not mask the individuality of the underlying terroirs.
But the mainstay of the Laherte range are the Brut, Extra Brut and Rose, which are called Ultradition (see descriptions below). Aurelien has also initiated a cuvee of super racy and mineral-driven Blanc de Blanc done in Brut Nature from chalky soils in and around Chavot.
The Laherte vineyards are situated largely in the Coteaux Sud D'Epernay, an interesting sub-region sandwiched between the Cotes des Blancs and the Vallee de la Marne, with pockets of soils that greatly resemble these two fine and geologically diverse regions. The vineyards themselves total 10.5 hectares (over 75 separate parcels), seven of which are farmed biodynamically and certified organic, with the rest farmed uncertified organic.
Blanc de Blancs Nature (NV)
VINEYARD: Sourced fromt he very best parcels, located on the south slopes of Epernay and the Cote de Blancs. From the terriors of Chavot, Vaudancourt, Voipreux 1erc Cru and Epernay.
SOIL: Limestone soils with the presence of fine silts and chalk. Chalky sub soil.
FARMING: Traditional methods are used in a sustainable way. Short pruning for limited production. Manual and careful work with regular ploughing to obtain a healthy grape.
VINIFICATION: Alcoholic fermentation in foudres and barrels with regular lees stirring. Partial malolactic. No Dosage.
Champagne Brut Ultradition (NV)
VARIETALS: 60% Pinot Meunier, 30 Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir.
40% of which are reserve wines of past years kept in barrels.
VINIFICATION: Alcoholic fermentation in foudres (20%), tanks(20%) and barrels(60%) with regular stirring of the lees. Partial Malolactic fermentation.
Rose de menieur (NV)
Sourced from vineyards with an average age of 25 years and more than 40 years for the parcels that are selected for the elaboration of the red wine
Blend of 30% macerated Meunier, 60% white wine (immediately pressed Meunier) and 10% still red Meunier. Grapes are picked up by hand when fully ripen. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in in vats, foudres and barrels. Malolactic fermentation is partly made.
Ageing for 6 months and light filtration before bottling during the spring time. 2.5 grs dosage; disgorged April 2018
Les 7 Extra Brut(NV)
18% Pinot Meunier, 18% Chardonnay; 17% Pinot Blanc, 15% Petit Meslier; 14% Pinot Noir, 10% Fromenteau 8% Arbanne
All seven indigenous grape varieties co-planted by Thierry Laherte in a 1.7 hectares pacel behind the winery in Chavot. This was intended to add to the heritage of the winery and serve as a "test plot" for better understanding the character and potential of the individual varieties.
Grapes are picked up by hand when fully ripe, then pressed. Natural alcoholic fermentation in neutral Burgundy barrels. No malolactic fermentation.
OZ WINE COMPANY | 41 ROGERS ROAD, HAVERHILL MASSACHUSETTS 01835 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | P: 978-373-9463 F: 978-373-4583