Laherte Freres Les Empreintes Extra-Brut 2017, Valle de la Marne, Champagne, France

50% Chardonnay (1/3 of Chardonnay muscaté) from vines in Les Chemins d’Epernay, which were planted in 1957. 50% Pinot Noir from vines in Les Rouges Maisons, which were planted in 1983. Multiple parcels, varied exposure. Vineyards are farmed organically, soils are worked (sometimes with a horse). Grapes are picked up by hand when fully ripen, then traditional pressing. Natural alcoholic fermentation in barrels from Burgundy (aged of 10 years minimum). No malolactic fermentation. 6 months of barrel ageing with regular stirring of the lees. Disgorged ‘a la volee’ (by hand) Extra Brut @ 3 gr/l dosage. The 2017 Extra Brut Les Empreintes is delicate, nuanced and understated. The savory, vegetal quality of the vintage is impossible to fully escape, as is the wine’s slender construction slightly grainy feel.