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Ultradition is the cuvée that Aurélien Laherte, seventh generation vigneron, is most proud of. It comprises a varietal blend of Meunier (60%), Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Noir (10%) and is remarkable in its ability to highlight the individual personalities of each variety.
All grapes are biodynamically and organically farmed from several plots spanning eight villages of the Côteaux Sud d’Epernay and the Vallée de la Marne. Vines have an average age of 30 years and are rooted in limestone and chalk soils. Vinification occurs in a range of vessels (such as Rousseau tronconique casks, old barrels, foudres and concrete), and malolactic fermentation is partially allowed.
Ultradition remains a blend of a single vintage (60%) and barrel-aged reserve wines from previous years (40%). It is always disgorged by hand and finished with a low dosage. The current release is based on the 2019 vintage and was disgorged in July 2022.
The new bottle labelling for Ultradition is also a sight to behold. Previously a replica of a family original, the label now sports a beautiful illustration by Swedish artist Hanna Albrektson. Bright and eye-catching with gorgeous natural scenery illuminated in gentle brushstrokes, Ultradition’s new label is inviting and soothing—perfectly attuned to the comfort and pleasure derived from enjoying this faithful classic.
Being uniquely Meunier-dominant, Ultradition offers aromas of crunchy red apple, brown pear and dewy florals with a touch of almond. Ripe and abundant on the palate, stone fruits combine with apple and pear—complete, with their skins—as Chardonnay provides a cleansing citrus acidity. A glorious parade of saline minerals, maraschino cherry and chalk frame the fine finish, captivating and charming on a pillowy bed of cream.
Best enjoyed from the Lehmann A. Lallement, No. 4 handmade glass.
Wonderful as an apéritif, or paired with oysters, and tuna or salmon sashimi.
Laherte Frères was founded in 1889 in the small village of Chavot-Courcourt on the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay, in the south of Épernay. Initially growing and selling grapes to the local cooperative, the Laherte family steadily expanded their Estate over generations and began bottling champagne under their eponymous label when Thierry and Christian Laherte, brothers and sixth generation vignerons, became proprietors. Now, Aurélien Laherte, Thierry’s son, represents the seventh generation and heads the entire family Domaine, patiently tending to 11ha of vines across 10 different villages in the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
All seven permitted grape varieties in Champagne AOC are grown over 75 plots that are farmed either organically or biodynamically. Each plot is meticulously vinified on its own, and 80% of the House’s cuvées are fermented and matured in wooden vessels. As a result, the growing repertoire of unique champagnes that Laherte Frères produces today are fascinating, undeniably terroir-driven and a devoted paean to sustainable viticulture in the modern age of global warming. The wines reflect an impervious civic duty and moral responsibility to protect Champagne’s future while preserving nature. As Aurélien humbly explains, ‘Nature [comes] first. You follow nature and you help’.