"La Vigne d`Antan" Brut Nature


100% Chardonnay. From a plot of ungrafted or non-greffée vines on very sandy soils in Oeuilly, planted by the Tarlants' grandfather, and unsurprisingly named "Les Sables". The name "Antan" means essentially "yesteryear", a reference to the historical roots of this bottling as well as the old-fashioned layering method called provignage by which the vineyard was propagated. The organically farmed fruit was hand-harvested and gently pressed; the juice was fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel vats. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation before bottling in May 2005. The bottles were aged sur lattes, disgorged in 2020 and finished with zero 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 (La Vigne d'Antan, La Vigne d'Or, La Vigne Royale) are often vintage-specific--but the vintage is not the emphasis--as evidenced by the fact that the vintage only appears in very small type on the back label. La Vigne d'Antan is an example of this. On the other hand, the vintage-focused bottling, of which there is only one per vintage, features the year in large print on the front label, with its name essentially appearing as a smaller subtitle below the vintage; the name of the vintage bottling also changes each year (for example, the 2004 is  'L'Aérienne" and the 2005 "La Lutétienne").

95 points
"The 2004 Brut Nature La Vigne d'Antan emerges from a parcel of own-rooted Chardonnay planted on sand. A wine that has benefitted from time in bottle, the 2004 is positively stunning today. Lime, grape fruit white flowers crushed rocks and white pepper are delineated with striking precision. The 2004 has always been terrific, but today it sizzles with a level of energy I don’t recall seeing in the past. La Vigne d'Antan remains one of the most unique and compelling wines in Champagne. "
Antonio Galloni,
Vinous Media
, July 2019

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