La Vigne Royale Brut Nature
BY SPECIAL ORDER ONLY 100% Pinot Noir. Tarlant's blanc des noirs from a single parcel of vines called "Mocque Tonneau", planted in 1972 by the Tarlants' maternal grandfather Maurice on a steep, chalky hillside in Celles-lès-Condé at the junction of the small Dhuys and Surmelin rivers (a favorite gathering place for the royal court of the Bourbon kings, hence the name of this bottling). The fruit was hand-harvested and gently pressed; the juice was fermented in stainless steel vats with natural yeasts. The wine was aged in barrel with no malolactic fermentation before being bottled in May 2004. Aged sur lattes, hand-riddled, disgorged in June 2014 and finished with 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 (La Vigne d'Antan, La Vigne d'Or, La Vigne Royale, BAM!) 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 Royale is an example of this (see front-label photo next to this entry). 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, in 2003 it is "La Matinale").