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Champagne Laherte Frères Les Empreintes Extra Brut 2016 Wine - Last Bottle
Champagne Laherte Frères Les Empreintes Extra Brut 2016 Wine - Last Bottle

Champagne Laherte Frères Les Empreintes Extra Brut 2016

A complex and vinous, bright and fresh, serious yet enticing extra brut Champagne for true aficionados!

$90
$150

Retail

40
Flavor Profile: Lemon oil, white flowers, spearmint, crab apples, dry Fino sherry, sour cherries, golden apples, Bartlett pears, marzipan, white pepper, toasted almonds, sourdough bread, ginger, and pink peppercorns
Dosage: 2 g/L
Farming Method: Sustainable Practices

Why We Love It...

My first encounter with Laherte Frères was many years ago at a wine shop with an excellent Champagne collection, where I saw the pretty, artsy bottles lined up on the shelves. “Should I?” I thought to myself. And yes, I did. I’m consistently blown away by the quaffability yet seriousness of these amazing wines – and this one is undoubtedly one of the best in the portfolio.

In the century-plus that the Laherte Frères family has kept watch over their estate in Chavot, they’ve amassed 11 hectares of land, along with a diehard following of Champagne fanatics. They produce a pure and expressive style of wine that is impressive as all get out, and the 2016 Les Empreintes Extra Brut is truly a unique, palate-delighting wonder I simply can’t get enough of. 

The sixth and seventh generations currently co-run the operation at Laherte Frères, with brothers Christian and Thierry Laherte heading up the business and land-management side, and Thierry’s son, Aurélien, acting as the winemaker. Their goal is singular: to allow the terroir to speak through the wines they craft.

This cuvée’s fruit is a symmetrical portion of both pinot noir and chardonnay, pulled from two prime parcels in the village of Chavot – outside of Epernay and the connecting point of Champagne’s Côte des Blancs to the Marne Valley. The segue from the land of chardonnay into the realm of pinot, if you will – and something expressed in this top cuvée. Noting first the chardonnay – it comes from the plot of Les Chemins d’Epernay from vines planted atop clay dotted with silt deposits above a chalky subsoil. The vines are more than 65 years old, and about a third of the grapes are a special clone of chardonnay (chardonnay muscaté) that’s applauded for its high tone and floral essences. The pinot noir grapes, on the other hand, come from deeper soils, where clay, limestone schist, and flinty silex are intermixed within the 40-year-old plot of Les Rouges Maisons.

“Les Empreintes” translates to “fingerprints” in English, perhaps a play on the uniqueness that is this Champagne. Floating with aromas of lemon oil, white flowers, spearmint, and crab apples, with a touch of oxidative and dry Fino sherry, this wine is ever-lively, bright, and fresh, with loads of sour cherry, golden apple, and Bartlett pears on the palate. Accents of marzipan, white pepper, toasted almond, and a sublime loaf of sourdough, followed by a minerally flint kick and notes of pink peppercorn and ginger to finish, give this wine an ethereal, dexterous effect that will lure you in for another sip time and time again. It is vinous and ageworthy, but also now-worthy – perfectly ready to drink today. The 2016 base vintage gives it a maturity that shows readiness, but it’s also fresh and lively, ready to be aged longer if needed or desired. So excited I get to pop this open tonight! Aurelien Laherte performed masterfully with this fine Champagne. As it were, only a few cases remain, so make your move if this sounds like the Champagne of your deepest desires – it certainly is ours!

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Technical Details

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Appellation: Cote des Blancs
Varietal: Champagne Blends
Blend: 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Aurélien Laherte
Farming Method: Sustainable Practices
Oak: Aged 7 months in oak barrels
Alcohol: 12.5%
Pair it with: Thai coconut curry chicken

Champagne Laherte Frères Les Empreintes Extra Brut 2016

$90
$150

Retail

40

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