Like many small family fish in the champagne sea, the Tarlants have been living in the heart of Champagne (in Oeuilly just outside Epernay) since the time of Dom Perignon, but only started making and selling their own champagnes after The Wall St Crash of 1929. The family owns thirteen hectares of vineyards, divided into 48 parcels in four different crus, located mainly in north facing vineyards on the south side of the Marne, close to the river. They have many different soil compositions to play with: sand, small pebbles, limestone and chalk and the family is well versed in technical winemaking, so they insist on vinifiying each plot separately, use the latest technology as required and yet ferment in barrel whenever possible.
12th generation and present day winemaker Benoit Tarlant, whose father Jean-Mary Tarlant was president of the Institut Technique Viticole, has already established his mark on the house style, by adding two non-dosage cuvees (NV and rose) as well as two terroir-driven small parcel wines to an otherwise traditional yet already low-dosage range of champagnes.
Tarlant champagnes are well-structured and precise wines with great aromatics and flavours. Tarlant Brut Zero is literally quite breathtaking and sold ‘by the coupe’ in trendy eating spots in Reims, heart of Champagne. Benoit was recently joined in the family business by his younger sister Melanie, so its still very much a family affair. Melanie takes care of communciations (find them on twitter and on facebook) whilst Benoit takes care of winemaking – everyone agrees it’s a dream team.
As a small business the latest generation have totally embraced and mastered the power of social media to build their brand (at a global level) amongst not only the early adopters in the wine trade and wine media, but of course the all important blogging community as well. Peer to peer recommendation has always been priceless, and I for one love all the little images and videos they post on social media websites so that viewers feel like they have actually been invited inside the vineyard – it demystifies champagne and makes it more accessible.
Here Benoit takes Champagne Jayne TV on a tour of the different champagne styles produced by his vineyards.
Meet The Champagne Makers Ep 7: Champagne Tarlant
Champagne Jayne TV talks to 12th generation winemaker Benoit from social media savvy Champagne Tarlant about his delicious low dosage wines
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