Merfy, Champagne, France
Alexandre comes from a long line of Champagne winegrowers from both Chartogne and Taillet sides with a history that dates back from the 17th century. In 1920 Marie Chartogne married Etienne Taillet and so was built the estate carrying both of their names. In 1978 Philippe Chartogne took over the estate and since 2006 his son, Alexandre is in charge. Philippe Chartogne, trained in Beaune where he learned the respect for the terroir, began the renewal of the estate putting an emphasis on each parcel distinct characteristics. Alexandre Chartogne who has been working alongside Anselme Selosse, is following his father’s steps even increasing the trend towards more focused and pure wines.
Champagne Chartogne-Taillet is produced exclusively from grapes grown in the family’s vineyards mostly in Merfy. The vineyards of Merfy, seven kilometers north of Reims, lies on the southern slopes of the Massif de Saint-Thierry in the Montagne de Reims, an area with intriguing parcels of Grand Cru height. The estate counts thirty parcels totalling 11 hectares of vines averaging 25 years old composed of 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Meunier.
Alexandre put into practice Selosse’s ideas both in the cellar and in his vineyards of Merfy. The viticulture is centered on preserving the singularity of each terroir, the particular soil of Merfy (a combination of sand, clay and chalk) implies a lot of work in order to fully extract the real minerality it carries.
Each parcel is vinified individually some in stainless steel and a growing number in neutral barrique as well as in concrete eggs. The dosage levels have recently been decreasing here in response to riper fruit, resulting in a more vibrant balance and intensity.
With Alexandre the wines have increasingly gained in complexity, they are more vinous in expression, strongly driven by the terroir, reflecting the focus on a more sensitive viticulture. St Anne, the classical house Champagne, offers a sensorial picture of Merfy, typical blend of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir it is very racy and clean, concentrated with an impressive finesse.