When the Swedish natural wine importer Vin & Natur invited PAJP to collaborate at a unique Champagne tasting with one of the youngest and brightest Champagne makers, Aurélien Laherte, at an event in Stockholm, Sweden, we couldn’t say no.
Aurélien has been in charge of the old family owned domaine Laherte Frères for about 10 years. He’s one of the young and passionate Champagne makers today who’s part of a new wave of Champagne-growers that take the renowned bubbly beverage to a whole other level. A few years ago, Aurélien converted the production to biodynamics. He only uses the absolute minimum dosage, which result in greater complexity and elegance: a mineral saltiness, which doesn’t over-ride the delicious freshness and distinctive fruitiness. Élevage is done mainly in old Burgundy-barrels relying on indigenous yeasts.
The domaine itself is located in the village of Chavot in Coteaux Sud d’Épernay and was founded in 1889 by Jean-Baptiste Laherte. At the time it was a total of 5 hectares (12,4 acres). Today, five generations later, Aurélien reigns over a total of 10 hectares (24,7 acres).
Most Champagne areas dominated by the usual suspects Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The beauty of Laherte’s way is that they have since the get-go grown other, less-known varieties such as Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc & Fromenteau. These varieties were accepted and allowed varieties in Champagne making once upon a time, but today (unfortunately) the strict rules prohibit growing and using them if you want to call your wine Champagne. Laherte produces a cuvée with all the seven aforementioned grape varieties. It’s called ”Les 7”. If you find it, buy all you can get!
Aurélien himself thinks that the greatest future cépage in Champagne making is Pinot Meunier, either blended or on its own. It’s a grape variety that’s seldom highly talked about but is often poured in our glasses.
By: Palle / Viniologi Translated: Edith