Rosé "Zéro" Brut Nature (2015 Base)
50% Chardonnay/44% Pinot Noir/6% Pinot Meunier from organically farmed, hand-harvested estate vines across 63 parcels in 4 villages near Oeuilly in the Vallée de la Marne. The main focus of Benoît Tarlant's approach the rosé is making the perfect Pinot Noir, which makes up nearly half of the wine and is the starting point of the wine (as opposed to adding a bit of red later to a white base). Judging the appropriate levels of color, tannin and red-fruit flavors is a crucial challenge, given its high proportion in the final blend and its long aging.
The Pinot Noir is destemmed, very slowly pressed, briefly macerated and put into Burgundy barrel for a spontaneous fermentation and 6 months of aging; the Chardonnay is direct-pressed, then naturally fermented and aged in barrel. The wines do not go through malolactic fermentation; sulfur is used in tiny quantities during pressing but not afterward. The blending is a barrel-by-barrel, blind-tasting process; given that Tarlants' 60+ parcels are individually vinified, making the choices for both the rosé and white Zéro wines is an elaborate and extensive process. The final blend is typically around 75% current-vintage wine with 25% reserve wine: in this case this base is 2015, with about a quarter of it reserve wines from 2013 and 2014. It was bottled in July 2016 and disgorged in February 2021; as the name "Zéro" suggests, there is never a dosage.