Barely in his 30s, Aurélien Laherte farms all of his family’s (astonishing) 75 parcels of vines biodynamically or organically. These sites are mostly scattered across the hills south of Épernay. Through microscopic attention to detail, hand harvesting and exemplary wood based élevage, Laherte has put this part of Champagne back on the grower map. All of his wines are naturally fermented with wild yeast with no additions and are hand disgorged with very low dosage.
The current release was disgorged in January 2018. Biodynamic and organic fruit. Laherte’s entry Champagne continues its skywards trajectory. There are now two reserve vintages blended in, giving more complexity and oomph, and the reserve wines now make up 40% of the blend, with 60% of that barrel-aged material. As usual, the blend is 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from a total of seven different parcels across the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay and Vallée de la Marne, namely Chavot, Mancy, Morangis, Le Breuil, Boursault, Moussy and Vaudancourt. The vines average 30 years of age.
The current release is based on 2015 with the reserves coming mostly from 2014 and a little from 2013. Aurélien naturally ferments the wines in a mixture of vessels – including two 50 hl Rousseau tronconique casks, old barrels, foudre and stainless. Regardless of vessel, the wines are always on lees and the malolactic fermentation is partially completed (around 60-70% on average). Dosage for Australia’s bottling is just 4 g/L. It’s simply a top value grower wine; bright, pure and juicy with loads of delicious, jubey and red apple Meunier fruit. The quality being delivered for this price is outstanding. This is an extra brut (4gm dosage) and is all the better for it! Do not hesitate here. Towered over most Grand Marques NV champagnes in our tasting! This will impress!
“Bright, appley and fragrant, this feels fresh and easy to drink, buttressed by taut. lively acidity. As usual, it ‘s made from a majority of meunier (60 percent), blended with 30 percent chardonnay and ten percent pinot noir. It finishes with brightly citrusy fragrance, its tangerine like flavors showing energy and vigor.” Peter Liem. champagneguide.net
93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous “The NV Extra Brut Ultradition is a gorgeous wine at its level, and also a terrific introduction to the Laherte Champagnes. Translucent and energetic, the Ultradition has a lot to offer. Pear, almond and dried flowers meld together as this creamy, ample Champagne shows off its distinctive personality. The flavors are brilliant and chiseled throughout. What a gorgeous wine this is. The Ultradition is based on Meunier (unusual for a NV Champagne), with 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir.”
“The small village of Chavot. in the Coteaux d’Épernay… is also home to the Laherte family, whose 10ha estate is a model of what can be achieved in less well known terroirs by careful study of the soil, a viticulture of the highest order and precepts of winemaking that are the best sort of evolved tradition. In their rich variety, though the estate’s policy of separate bottlings from specific parcels, Burgundy comes to Champagne, and the true identity of the vine is revealed.” Michael Edwards, The Finest Wines of ChampagneSku: 2217