The ripples created by the young Aurèlien Laherte, since he joined his family's Estate in 2002 have now grown into fully fledged waves. Since he has taken full control of the vineyards and the cellars (from 2007) this 30 year old's ever more distinctive, characterful wines have been making a splash in the wine world.
The current release was disgorged in October 2018. Base wine 2016 vintage. Biodynamic and organic fruit. There are now two reserve vintages blended in, giving more complexity and oomph, and the reserve wines now make up 40% of the blend, with 60% of that barrel-aged material. As usual, the blend is 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from a total of seven different parcels across the Côteaux Sud d'à‰pernay and Vallée de la Marne, namely Chavot, Mancy, Morangis, Le Breuil, Boursault, Moussy and Vaudancourt. The vines average 30 years of age.
This is simply a top value grower wine; bright, pure and juicy with loads of delicious red currant, apple skin Meunier fruit, and a punchy, mineral close. The quality being delivered for this price is outstanding.
Based in Chavot, in the Champagne region of Coteaux Sud d'Epernay, Aurelien Laherte is making waves amongst the grower-producers of Champagne. The distinctive, geologically complex terroir of Chavot and the Coteaux Sud d'Epernay in general, yields a style of wine that is creamier and with more fruit generosity - deliciously textured yet still with a racy acidity that adds vibrancy and tension. The winemaking philosophy at Laherte is one of a minimal interventionist approach. The grapes are grown biodynamically with no herbicides or pesticides used, and only naturally occurring yeasts are used for fermentation in the winery. Finally, Aurelien uses traditional barrel-ageing for all of the parcels, maturing them in large foudres and old barriques. It is these practices, along with a focus on terroir and the meticulous viticulture he uses, that allow Aurelien Laherte to craft some of the most expressive and delicious Champagnes in the market today.
ANTONIO GALLONI MW - VINOUS
The NV Extra Brut Ultradition is a gorgeous wine at its level, and also a terrific introduction to the Laherte Champagnes. Translucent and energetic, the Ultradition has a lot to offer. Pear, almond and dried flowers meld together as this creamy, ample Champagne shows off its distinctive personality. The flavors are brilliant and chiseled throughout. What a gorgeous wine this is. The Ultradition is based on Meunier (unusual for a NV Champagne), with 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir.'
Slightly sherry-like oak/aldehyde characters evident here, with a trace of quince paste. Quite ripe and rich, the palate full and rounded, very ample on the tongue and fills the mouth, then an arrow of green apple acidity shoots through it all. Very interesting, and different. I like it. It would be better with fish to mop up that acid though.'
PETER LIEM - CHAMPAGNEGUIDE.NET
Bright, appley and fragrant, this feels fresh and easy to drink, buttressed by taut, lively acidity. As usual, it's made from a majority of Meunier (60 percent), blended with 30 percent Chardonnay and ten percent Pinot Noir. It finishes with brightly citrusy fragrance, its tangerine-like flavors showing energy and vigor.'