The biggest challenge in the wine business is trying to find out who in the future are going to be the big names and get allocations from them before the prices explode.
In the Champagne there are a number of candidates: Lacourte-Godbillon, George Remy and Chartogne Taillet being at the top of the list. It is very difficult to pick a favourite, Lacourte-Godbillon and Remy are doing fabulous work, yet perhaps Chartogen-Taillet is my choice.
I only received a minuscule allocation this year and I imagine it will become more difficult as his star rises. Alexandre Chartogne worked at Selosse and is mentored by Selosse. His holdings are north of Reims in Merfy, not an area famed for its terroirs, yet Alexandre Chartogne manages to produce extreme terroir driven Champagne by concentrating not on the grape sorts but on the quality of the soil.
He does not have any certifications, he does not use herbicides, pesticides or insecticides, a large part of the vineyards are worked with horses. Manure from his sheep and chickens are used for fertiliser. Perhaps what is most interesting is his use of yeasts cultivated from the vineyards for first and second fermentation. The use of natural yeasts set his Champagnes apart, allowing the terroir to dominate. His champagnes are not for beginners, for those who know Selosse, will feel at home tasting his champagnes. These are not polished blends but works in progress, where ego plays second fiddle to the terroir.