100% old vine Pinot Meunier. Les Vignes d'Autrefois (the vines of another time) is made from a single four-tonne press of grapes from old vines planted between 1947 and 1964 that grow in several chalky terroirs in Chavot and Mancy. The sites in Chavot (La Potote and Les Rouges Maisons), sit on deep clay and silt soils, with a presence of flint and small stones. In Mancy are Les Hautes Norgeailles and Les Bas Putroux, where the vines are rooted in clay soils over chalk. The viticulture at these sites is entirely biodynamic. As well as referencing the age of the vines, the name also refers to the fact that these vines are all massale selections (i.e. non-clonal). There is even a soupçon of ungrafted vine material scattered throughout these vineyards.
Aurélien uses old Burgundy barrels for the aging (including some sourced from Montille and Leroux) and there was no malo. All-up the wine was aged for seven months in barrel followed by 30 months on lees in bottle. The very low dosage of three grams per litre allows the iodine minerality of these chalky terroirs to sing through. Emblematic of the quality being achieved at Laherte today, and reflecting the tension and low-yield intensity of the fruit, this offers wonderful balance between penetrating, spicy and fleshy red jube fruit and salty, racy deliciousness. One of the great Meunier bottlings. We're also loving cherry blossom label this year.
"The 2017 Extra Brut Vignes d'Autrefois, 100% Meunier from vines planted between 1947 and 1964, offers plenty of depth, texture and resonance. Orchard fruit, spice, ginger, dried fruit and plum meld together in a Champagne of real gravitas. There is certainly plenty to look forward to. The 2017 is perhaps just a touch slender, but in exchange it will drink well pretty much upon release." 93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous