La Vigne d'Antan Brut Nature Non-Greffée


100% Chardonnay. From a plot of ungrafted (non-greffée appears on the label) vines, planted by the Tarlants' grandfather in 1962 and named "Les Sables" for the sandy soil, in the village of Oeuilly. "Antan" or "yesteryear" is a reference to the old-school method of propagating these own-rooted vines. 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 barrel; 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.

96 points
"The 2002 La Vigne d'Antan is utterly breathtaking from the very first taste. A vivid, crystalline wine, the 2002 emerges with the essence of crushed rocks, salt and bright, citrus-infused fruit. Hints of white pepper and flowers add elements of exoticism in a striking, pure Champagne loaded with class. Readers who can find the 2002 should not hesitate as it is magnificent."
Antonio Galloni,
Vinous Media
, 5/1/14
94 points
"Enticing hints of honeycomb and candied kumquat on the nose continue on the finely detailed palate of this bright and elegant Champagne, enriching flavors of dried apricot, oyster shell and salted almond. Fresh and lightly zesty on the smoke-laced finish. Disgorged October 2016. Drink now through 2027."
Alison Napjus,
Wine Spectator
, October 14, 2020

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