Twelfth generation grower-makers Benoit and Melanie Tarlant now manage Champagne Tarlant, which was founded in Oeuilly in 1687. This wine is a blend of equal parts Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Meunier (32 percent apiece), with the remainder a blend of minor champagne grapes Petit Meslier, Arbanne, and Pinot blanc. The bottling is principally from the 2013 harvest along with reserve wine, and was disgorged in September 2020 and left brut nature (without dosage).
The wine opens gradually (it doesn’t like being too cold), yielding a fragrance of sage and chamomile, dried lemon peel, and wet clay. The palate is cleansing, direct, and lemony, with lip-smacking green apple freshness and just a hint of almond and bread. This is a linear wine, with no sweetness or toasty autolytic notes to stand in the way of its targeted acidity.
It was outstanding with Humboldt Fog, an ashy, bloomy goat’s milk cheese, the acidity copacetic, the fat of the cheese, especially its cream line, a vector against the wine’s sharp citrus. I would like to try it with oysters or sashimi, or, headed in the opposite direction, with fettuccini in a cream sauce with morels. Or maybe somewhere in the middle, with pale fish baked with lemon and capers, lightly drizzled with brown butter.
NV Tarlant Zero Brut Nature Champagne
12% ABV | $62; imported by Louis/Dressner Selections