Champagne Tarlant in the snow

Feb 21, 12 Champagne Tarlant in the snow

Posted by in Champagne, France, Travel

I was in Champagne a few weeks ago when most of Europe was suffering through a bitterly cold “cold-snap”. How cold was it? In the vineyards of the Valle de Marne, in the Champagne region (where I happened to be), it was -18 Celcius, that’s O degrees Farenheit. However, when you get invited to go out and taste the ┬áchampagne with a member of the wine making family, how can you say no? Which is how I found myself sitting in the middle of one of Champagne Tarlant’s vineyards, going through a tasting of their range with one half of the brother and sister team that run Champagne Tarlant day to day, Melanie Tarlant. Champagne Tarlant is unique in the region as they are one of the few champagne growers who make the majority of their wine with zero dosage. Zero dosage has a bit of a reputation in the wine world as being mouth puckeringly acidic and citric. Zero dosage means that no sugar is added after disgorgement. Champagne makers add a dosage to sweeten the wine, the reason being that the wines may still be a bit thin and acidic due to whatever reasons and so they add sugar to make it a bit more palatable, adding a sweetness to counteract the acidity. Melanie doesn’t think that adding sugar is the answer. They began making zero dosage in the 1970’s when a client asked her father to make one for him and since then. Her brother Benoit, who is the family winemaker, ┬áhas upped the production to 80% of their champagne being zero dosage. Her family believe that adding sugar is like adding make-up to an already beautiful woman, she doesn’t need it to be gorgeous. Zero dosage can be tricky because it all goes back to the beginning of the wine making process, they can’t or won’t add sugar later to cover up any mistakes or faults in the wine. That is another quality that makes them stand out, they make...

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