In Champagne’s Vallée de la Marne, Benoît and Mélanie Tarlant manage their vines and their cellar the way a mad scientist runs his laboratory. A pinch of that, a dash of this; everything is done painstakingly by hand and with keen attention to every detail.These 12th generation vignerons buck the trends of the Marne, where Pinot Meunier dominates. Instead, the Tarlants have planted half of their 13 hectares to Pinot Noir, and just under a third to Chardonnay.Tarlant père, Jean-Mary, made waves in Champagne in the ‘70s by producing some of the region’s first Brut Nature wines, with no added dosage; the aim here is to allow the purity of the fruit to beam through the glass, without any manipulations. With all of the extraordinary terroir, meticulous farming and winemaking techniques practices in use at Tarlant, you’d think the wines would sell for a ton of money—but no, somehow, over 12 generations, the Tarlant name has remained under the radar.
What importer Bowler Wine has to say about this wine...
57% Chardonnay/29% Pinot Noir/14% Pinot Meunier. Each year the Tarlants make a single multi-parcel wine intended to encapsulate that particular vintage: the name Etincelante evokes the “glimmering” nature of the sunny 2002 harvest, "a dream harvest" per Benoìt Tarlant. From six parcels across four villages on a mix of chalk, flint and limestone soils with vines averaging 40 years old. The vines are organically farmed and harvested by hand and the clusters very slowly and gently pressed. The juice ferments spontaneously with native yeasts in Burgundy barrels; the wine does not go through malolactic fermentation. L'Etincelante was bottled in 2003,disgorged in 2018 and received zero dosage.