"L'Etincelante" Brut Nature


57% Chardonnay/29% Pinot Noir/14% Pinot Meunier. Each year the Tarlants make a single multi-parcel wine intended to encapsulate that particular vintage: the name Etincelante evokes the “glimmering” nature of the sunny 2002 harvest, "a dream harvest" per Benoìt Tarlant. From six parcels across four villages on a mix of chalk, flint and limestone soils with vines averaging 40 years old. 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. L'Etincelante was bottled in 2003,disgorged in 2018 and received 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--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.

93 points
"The 2002 Brut Nature captures so much of what makes the Tarlant Champagnes so compelling. It is at once quite focused and yet the radiance of the year along with long aging in the cellar provides more than enough depth to balance the wine’s natural energy. Readers will find a reserved, understated 2002 endowed with tremendous pedigree that shows the complexity of a wine that spent 15 years on the less and that now has nearly four years of post-disgorgement under its belt. The blend is 57% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay and 14% Meunier. Disgorged: September 27, 2018"
Antonio Galloni,
Vinous Media
May 2022
95+ points
"An assemblage of 57% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir and 14% Pinot Meunier, the 2002 Millésime Prestige l'Étincelante (literally: the sparkling one) opens with an exciting bouquet that displays lovely matured yet precise fruit aromas along with brioche, stony and flinty notes. On the palate, the 2002 is intense, firm and vibrantly fresh, showing a juicy, chalky texture and stimulating salinity in the long yet still young finish. This is one of the best vintage Champagnes I have tasted here so far. Tasted in April 2018."
Stephan Reinhardt,
Wine Advocate
238/August 2018
94 points
"A very complex chardonnay-dominant (57 per cent) blend that has abundant bready, nutty and toasty aromas and pithy lemon and grapefruit on the palate. Super fine, creamy and elegant. Very long, savory finish. Drink now."
James Suckling,
James Suckling
July 2018

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