La Vigne d'Antan Brut Nature Non-Greffée


100% Chardonnay. From a plot of ungrafted ("non-greffée") vines, planted by the Tarlants' grandfather in 1962 and named "Les Sables" for the very sandy, siliceous soils. The historical way of propagating these special vines led to the name "Antan", meaning essentially "yesteryear". 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. The 2002 Antan was bottled in 2003, disgorged in 2017 and received no dosage.

It is worth noting that the Tarlants distinguish between terroir wines and vintage wines. This can be a little tricky to discern at first. The terroir wines--Antan, Vigne d'Or, and Vigne Royale--feature those names prominently on the front label, while the vintage is is tucked on the back in tiny type. The vintage-focused bottlings--of which there is a single one made annually from a blend of parcels most reflective of the personality of the vintage--feature the vintage in large type on the front with the whimsical name in much smaller type below the vintage.

94 points
"The 2002 Brut Nature Vigne d'Antan is powerful and exotic, with notable aromatic and flavor intensity to match its deep, resonant personality. Mint, spice, hard candy and white flowers shape the finish in the Vigne d'Antan. This is a rare, 100% Chardonnay planted on beach sand. Even so, the Vigne d'Antan offers notable richness and resonance. In my view, though, the first release with 2 grams of sugar, was the best. "
Antonio Galloni,
Vinous Media
, August 2016

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