When I was in Champagne late last year visiting Raphael Bereche he happily suggested that I pay a visit to his friend Aurelien Laherte who in Raphael’s opinion is producing some of the most unique mineral and terroir driven wines in the region. Needless to say this turned out to be one of the best recommendations of the entire trip!
The Laherte family has deep roots in the village of Chavot, located in the Valee de la Marne and the Cotes des Blanc. This means that Aurelien is quite fortunate enough to be working with some of the finest terroirs, old vines planted by his grandfather, and lesser known rarer heirloom varieties. He brings to this a dedication to vineyard work(some of the land is farmed biodynamic and the rest is organic).and a thoughtful approach to the cellar as well. The results are quite impressive indeed. Most of his small production is made into two cuvees:the non-vintage Brut Tradition and the Blanc de Blanc. Both are great examples of a drier, racier style of Champagne, and will benefit from some bottle aging. In contrast, the recent Les Empreintes was amazingly fruity showing a great deal of minerality, elegance and focus reflecting the character of the 2007 vintage which it is bases on. On the more esoteric side, I really enjoyed the stunning Les Clos, a blend of 7 varieties from the 2008 harvest. Certainly these are Champagnes to search for and are absolute musts for the collector and lover of grower Champagnes.