Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Ste.-Anne Champagne
No Meunier this time, though it could return in the future. 80% 2006 and 20% '05-'04,
i.e., a year older than any of the others NVs. 60% CH 40% PN, disgorged late 1/10 and
the rs is about half what it was even two years ago. This is becoming very fine, and
watch out; it's entirely different from its old apples-and-butter form, more oystery and
chalky and ginger and talc, with the apple-butter thing skulking in the mid-palate. It's
racy, on the tensile side.
The terroir in the village of Merfy, where Chartogne-Taillet resides, could be described as over looked'.
Many of Merfy's growers are still selling all of their fruit, replanting vines before they obtain significant age in order to harvest higher yields.
This is why the wines of Chartogne-Taillet stand out because they are in a village where they are the only récoltant-manipulant ("grower Champagne"), forging a place for Merfy's consideration amongst great terroir. The young Alexandre Chartogne is certainly the Grower working most diligently in Merfy. He maintains older vines, cultivates the unique terroir and works toward harmonious and often organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard. "Respect for the terroir means preserving old vines as long as possible, limiting yields and analyzing the soil of each parcel in respect of nature," words of Father Philippe Chartogne.
Understanding of true terroir is tradition in the Chartogne family which has had vines here since 1683!
By putting in this extra effort, Alexandre and his family have been able to grow their vine's root systems to depths of 20 meters or more, where the vines are "living in two different environments," Alexandre says.
One, in the thick top soil made of sand and clay Alexandre claims this is what brings out the soft roundness of fruit in the wine. The sub-layer is pure chalk, where these deep roots extract real minerality.
The Cuvee St. Anne is a gentle crowd pleaser of a wine that makes a wonderful, versatile accompaniment to most any meal.