Read all about grower Champagne Chartogne-Taillet, plus Peter Liem picks which of their wines to try.

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Region: Montagne de Reims, Champagne

Village: Merfy

Grape varieties: Pinot NoirChardonnay – Pinot Meunier – Arbanne

Vineyard area: 11 hectares

Since taking over his family’s 12ha estate in 2006, Alexandre Chartogne has emerged as one of Champagne’s brightest rising stars.

The village of Merfy, northwest of Reims, is distinctive for its sand and clay soils, and while it has been renowned for its wines since the Middle Ages, it’s been largely ignored of late. Chartogne is the sole contemporary champion of this forgotten terroir, and his viticulture aims to express these soils with clarity and precision. He uses organic treatments, promotes biodiversity through cover crops, and encourages deep-root systems through regular ploughing, often by horse rather than by tractor. In the cellar, each parcel is vinified separately with indigenous yeasts, in either oak barrels, stainless-steel tanks or concrete eggs, depending on the individual wine. Chartogne-Taillet’s non-vintage brut, called Sainte-Anne, serves as a fine introduction to both the estate and the village, while his series of single-vineyard Champagnes from sites such as Les Barres, Orizeaux and Heurtebise explore Merfy’s terroirs in greater detail.

Wine to try: Chartogne-Taillet, Brut, Montagne de Reims 2008

From the clay-rich vineyard of Les Couarres, this blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay combines ripe fruit with zesty acidity… Read more here.

Address: 37 – 39 Grand Rue, 51220, Merfy, France

Website: www.chartogne-taillet.com

Written by Peter Liem