This domaine is quality focused, and has 13 hectares of vineyards spread among 4 crus, with all six permitted varieties planted (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Arbanne, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier). As is increasingly common in the Champagne region, they’ve taken a viticulture raisonée approach: they use organic fertilizers, concentrate on encouraging populations of beneficial insects, and use pheromones to create sexual confusion among pest species. ‘Our treatment of the land is designed give long term and sustainable biodiversity and to protect the micro-organisms which live in it’, they say on their website, which incidentally is a very good one with an excellent video-based blog.
Tarlant are well known for their non-dosage wines, which make up a remarkable 60% of their production. For those unfamiliar with the term dosage, this is the sweet liquid (liqueur d’expedition, typically a wine sweetened with grape juice) added at the end of the Champagne production process to balance the wine out. Typically a Champagne labelled ‘brut’, which is most of them, will have around 9 grams of sugar per litre added in this way: it doesn’t make the wine taste sweet, but merely balances the high acidity that would otherwise stick out. Some Champagne makers have tried using little or no dosage: to do this, the wine must already be quite well balanced, and the result is called Brut Zero, or Zero Dosage, or Ultra Brut, or another similar term. Such wines are still quite rare in Champagne and there is some discussion about whether they work or not.