Monday, January 31, 2011

NV Laherte Fréres "Les Clos", Champagne

Blend: 18% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Meunier, 8% arbanne, 15% petit meslier,17% Pinot Blanc and 10% fromenteau
Dosage: 0 g/l
Vintage: This is the debut release of the Les Clos Solera project - 2005/2006 vintage.
Vineyard: 1 ha in Chavot - planted in 2002.
Bonus: All 7 grapes are picked and pressed together.
This is Bio-stuff
Glass: Spiegelau Adina "Red wine"

Before we go into some more glass talk - let's taste some wines.

Admitted – being so much into wines, it happens that you are drawn to the unique; the rare and wines that can add some sort of storytelling to their character.

A Champagne with 7 different grapes are for sure unique and holds lots of storytelling by embracing and bringing back historical varietals from the Champagne region.

I can’t help to start my TN like this, as it’s really important to know how this Champagne is composed and especially that all 7 grapes are harvest and pressed together. Why you may ask, as not all of these grapes has the same cycle of life and maturity date? The answer is simply to show terroir, by actually not focussing on the grapes individuality.

Having tasted it 4-5 times already, I really felt the comfort zone on a Friday evening, but the Champagne completely took me by surprise. I mumble a lot about energy, don’t I? This Champagne has an outrageous level of energy. It’s like a lime bomb with razor blades has been buried inside the glass, providing obscure intensity and freshness. Even when it rises in temperature and the mousse settles down, it doesn’t stop. On top of this you have the freakiest spices, which is almost impossible to describe. They took me on a journey of; black/green tea leaves, spicy peach, wet hay and nutmeg. There are so many “voices” coming from the fruit core, like all 7 grapes are singing their song. The other notes are of course this intense lime note, citrus, yeasty components, baby banana and apple zest.

Taste is incredible sleek, fresh and with intense acidity.

Utterly sensational Champagne!!!!!

4 comments:

Voodoo Child said...

Well Thomas,
We are on the same bandwagon, Les Clos is a genius in winemaking, my January Champagne......
I really admire these old grapes, why were they dismissed?
This is real terroir, harvest at one time and then ,lets see how it is, Bravo!

Thomas said...

Hi Ebbe,

Yes it’s awesome. I hope you get the chance to meet the winemaker Aurélien Laherte someday; he is such a nice person.

I have no clue why the old grapes where dismissed. I would suspect, it has to do with some sort of quality measurements from the A.O.C.. Yet again – this wine was sort of allowed to carry the Champagne label – so at least they are not forbidden – maybe just forgotten?

Maybe M&M knows?

Have a nice weekend.

/Thomas

P.s. I think the name “Les Clos” will change to “Les 7” in future.

Anders a.k.a. dumikeren said...

Came across your blog when searching for info on Vouette et Sorbée. I'm a Champagne person myself, however not as experienced as you seem. i was quite surprised when a read your review on Les Clos. I've tried it myself once and remember it as a closed and simple with an acidity borderlining sour. But having read your review I must give it another try, because my own notes must be lying to me. Maybe it caught me on a bad day.

This is also underlined by the fact that I completely agree with you on your experience with 2006 Jêrôme Prévost, La Closerie, therefore I must re examine Les Clos.

Keep on blogging

Please ignore my ridicoulos identity name, it was made for different purpose a long time ago

Cheers,
Anders

Thomas said...

Hi Anders,

Cool name ;-).

Well Les Clos is not the kind of Champagne, which is made to stroke you with a velvet brush. It’s frightful high in acidity and as said in the TN all the grapes are harvest at the same time, so for sure some might be a little greenish.
Anyway – Les Clos appeals to my palate. I was brought up with Riesling and not Chardonnay, so I like this high clarifying acidity, which for sure I can understand why some perceive it as bitter and sour components.

Les Clos is also made in an Extra Brut version with about 4g/l of dosage. I have it – but haven’t tasted it.

Make sure you also check out the 2008 La Closerie – I have only tasted it once, but it was so promising.

Best,
/Thomas