The vineyards of Merfy, seven kilometers north of Reims, lie on the southern slopes of the Massif de Saint-Thierry in the Montagne de Reims. These slopes were planted shortly after the arrival of the Romans and monks of the neighboring Abbey of Saint-Thierry expanded the vineyards in the 7th century. By the 9th century, the vines surrounding the abbey represented the single largest concentration of vines in Champagne and the wines from Merfy earned a great reputation and found their way to the Royal table.
Today, Chartogne-Taillet remains the only RM producer in the village and under Alexandre Chartogne’s guidance, the wines of Chartogne-Taillet are some of the most sought-after Champagnes being produced. Alexandre worked with Anslem Selosse, who he describes as “my wine father”, returning home in 2006. The first wine that he produced was the 2006 vintage of Les Barres, a very special parcel of ungrafted Meunier, planted in 1952. The soil in this parcel is sand for almost 3 meters before the roots reach the chalk bedrock, allowing the vines “to live in two environments”.
Tasting Notes from Vinous:
The NV Brut Cuvée Ste.-Anne is an absolutely stunning Champagne for its complexity, value and soulfulness. Rich and creamy on the palate, with tons of resonance, the Cuvée Ste.-Anne is absolutely impeccable. Dried orchard fruit, spice, pastry, baked apple tart and lemon confit all infuse the Cuvée Ste.-Anne with striking complexity and depth. I can’t think of too many Champagnes that deliver this level of quality for the money. Not surprisingly, I have seen it offered by the glass in a number of top restaurants around the world. Alexandre Chartogne does a fabulous job with this cuvée. Don’t miss it.