Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Hors Série GC BdB Extra Brut 2017 750ml
Vineyard: Avize - Cote de Blancs, 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay
Varieties: 100% Chardonnay, Avise Grand Cru.
Year of planting: 1927 - 1986 Internal surface of clay: 247 m2/g
Vinification: Aged in Oak Barrel
Harvest 2017, Bottled: July 2018, Disgorged; June 2022 . (4yrs on lees)
Production: 3,398 btls - Only 30 btls imported
96/100 Vinous.com From: 'Champagne: 2021 New Releases' (Nov 2021)
"The 2015 Hors Série is a new 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Avize and Merfy. A rich, potent Champagne, the Hors Série offers up a striking interplay of rich Chardonnay fruit along with the more oxidative notes that are typical of this style. Apricot, tangerine, spice, baked apple, tart and a touch of oak build into the huge, dramatic finish. This is a fabulous 2015. I can hardly wait to taste subsequent vintages. Dosage is 1 gram per liter. Disgorged: October, 2020. Drinking Window 2021 - 2030." - By Antonio Galloni on November 2021
Alexandre Chartogne’s new releases are just magical. Tasting them made me feel like I was in the winery. There is a purity to the wines this year that hasn’t always been present in the past. Stellar wines abound in this range. Take your pick. I found the 2016 Les Barres, 100% Meunier to be transcendentally beautiful, but there are a number of offerings that are just as compelling, including the 2016 Hors Série, 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Avize and Merfy. All of the top wines are done in neutral oak, with full malolactic fermentation. As has been the case now for some time, the Cuvée Ste.-Anne is one of the very best values in the world of wine, sparkling or not.
The Wine Advocate: William Kelley
"In the beginning was Anselme," recounts Alexandre Chartogne, when I ask him to tell the story of his meteoric rise to number among the stars of the grower Champagne movement. "It was Anselme Selosse who taught me that a winegrower's responsibility is to understand his terroir. So I came home to Merfy and started digging holes." Chartogne duly discovered that his soils were very different from those of the Côte de Blancs, finding inter-fingering layers of marine sands, loess, sandstone and clay in around ten different configurations in his different parcels. Those differences, he noted, corresponded to the delimitation of Merfy's climats, and looking back to the village's pre-revolutionary history, Chartogne attributes that precision to the Benedictine monks who once farmed this region—harking back to a terroir-focused viticultural era when wine growing in Champagne had more in common with wine growing in Burgundy. Today, Alexandre Chartogne is trying to recapture that spirit.
Chartogne, it will be clear, is a thoughtful man, seriously committed to letting each of his various parcels express its own identity. In the vineyards, that means no herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, as well as cultivated soils—half of his parcels are plowed by horse. In the winery, fermentation takes place with ambient microflora, and Chartogne favors wooden barrels or demi-muids. Dosage is minimal. That translates to a vinous, incisive style that's increasingly concentrated and tightly wound. Clearly differentiated by site, Chartogne's wines sometimes show a delicate patina from their time in barrel, but that tends to integrate with a little bottle age. Like the wines of his mentor, Anselme Selosse, these are very far from being fruit-driven wines despite their scale and power, for they're undeniably mineral and soil-driven. Since Chartogne is keeping back more and more wine, the quantities of his elusive single-vineyard bottlings are smaller and smaller, and these are not easy Champagnes to find. But happily, his largest cuvée, the tank-fermented Saint-Anne, is an excellent offering that remains great value, and I see no substance in accusations that its quality has deteriorated as Chartogne produces more and more lieu-dit bottlings.