Terry Theise calls this Champagne a "poster child for farmer fizz." This cuvée is based on 80% from the powerful 2006 vintage and 20% 2005. 80/20 Pinot/Chard. This stuff slays me. You could not imagine a more perfect convergence of terroir and Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy. Theise writes about Lallement as an "atmospheric" Champagne (as opposed to "aromatic" I think), precisely because it is so immediate and primal. It doesn't taste/smell like forest floor, sweet wood smoke/camp-fire, roasted grains, so much as it is all of those things. It's one of those wines that bypasses the frontal lobes and goes directly to your lizard brain. Theise: "What really does one say any more? Ripe vintages, amazing wine; almost an oat-bread dough tertiary flavor. Was it ever better? People use terms like "Heirloom apple, barley, brown butter, mead, hops" to depict this wine, and I'm sure there's as many more associations as there are imaginative tasters." Btw, not to show off (too much), but by way of saying what an AMAZING FOOD WINE this is, we had this wine with pan-seared salmon, roasted butternut squash purée, toasted pumpkin seeds and a Michigan apple cider cream sauce at Naha a few weeks ago and it was one of the best food and wine synergies I've ever experienced. The fatty/rich/sweet Salmon and the earthy-sweet squash and smoky-sweet toasted pumpkin seeds with apple cider cream was Lallement perfectly rendered in vegetable and animal. Brilliant. Very Arcimboldo. (Google it. I did.)
Theise: "Tiny producer, just two wines, but what wines! Original, complex, distinctive and yummy, all from a young vigneron who's restlessly improving every year. The charateristic flavor of Verzenay is a singular flavor and Lallement's virile style exemplifies it. If it were Burgundy it'd be Nuits-St.-Georges; animal and sauvage. The vineyards are spread between Verzenay and Verzy both Grand Cru. It's 80%/20%, Pinot Noir/Chardonnay, as you'd expect in these parts. There are twenty different parcels, about half of which are older than 30 years. Yes to malolactic. These are magnificent, original Champagnes. They'll be very scarce (150 cases or so, per year). Grab them!"
•Vineyard area: 4.5 hectares
•Annual production: 1,700 cases
•Soil type: Limestone
•Grape varieties: 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
"The NV Brut Grand Cru (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay) is a very pretty, nuanced Champagne with gorgeous detail in its exotic, perfumed fruit. Medium in body, the wine shows lovely balance in a very distinctive and highly personal style. Mint, flowers, kirsch and anise linger on an ethereal, slightly alcoholic finish. The NV Brut Grand Cru is a touch rustic, but quite beautiful all the same. This bottle was disgorged on April 21, 2009 and is 80% 2006 and 20% 2005 juice, with 6 grams of dosage. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2012.
"This is a beautiful set of new releases from Lallement, a small grower located in the village of Verzenay with additional holdings in Verzy. Production is set to increase over the next few years as a contract with one of the region's most well-known houses expires. There is also a vintage wine in the works (2005 will be the first year). The Lallement wines are fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. Lallement favors malolactic fermentation, but the wines are neither filtered nor cold-stabilized prior to bottling. Dosage ranges from 4-6 grams per liter, which is to say towards the low end of the spectrum. All of the wines share a fleeting, high-toned quality that makes them somewhat elusive and contemplative."