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Laherte Frères

Laherte Frères Extra Brut Les Empreintes 2016



Country: France

Region: Champagne

Type: Champagne

Grape: Chardonnay/Pinot Noir

Laherte Frères is run by Aurélien Laherte, who has been at the helm of his family estate since 2005. Laherte Frères was founded in 1889 in the village of Chavot in the Coteaux Sud D'Epernay, and over the generations the vineyard holdings have slowly grown to 10.5 hectares, always with an emphasis on allowing full terroir expression in the wines through careful farming. Aurélien farms 7 hectares biodynamically and certified organic, with the other vineyards farmed uncertified organic or, at minimum, sustainably. Under Aurélien's leadership, Laherte Freres has begun to produce a series of single vineyard and single vintage cuvées vinified in Burgundy barrels without malolactic fermentation and bottled without fining or filtration.

50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir grown organically/biodynamically in the home village of Chavot where the goal of this wine is to present the terroir of the village, pure and simple. The soils here are predominantly clay with flint and schist on top of a solid limestone bedrock. The vineyards are organically farmed and sometimes plowed by horse. Hand harvested and pressed in the traditional upright Champagne press, the clear wine is aged for 6 months in neutral oak barrels and bottled in springtime for extended lees contact (3-4 years). Disgorged by hand, the dosage is minimal to express the subtleties of the local terroir.

Richness, power and finesse are all backed up by a firm mineral backbone and high natural acidity (no malolactic fermentation here) combined with the nutty, creamy notes imparted by the extended bottle age.