Larmandier-Bernier – Vertus
Champagne Larmandier-Bernier is one of the true stars of the Côte des Blancs. Both the Larmandier and Bernier families have had a long history in the Champagne region dating back to the French revolution. Pierre took over the direction of the family estate in 1988, moving the family’s vineyards to Organics by 1992 and then to full-blown Biodynamic viticulture by 1999. All in all, the wines from Larmandier-Bernier are reference point Champagnes that fully demonstrate the profound potential of low dosage and non-dosé bottlings. These powerful wines revel in their beautiful expressions of terroir, impeccable balance and clean, zesty and very pure palate impressions.
Cuvée Latitude is 100% Chardonnay – 40% wine from their ‘perpetual’ reserve started in 2004 – all from vineyards south of Vertus, aged on the lees for over 2 years, with at least 6 months post disgorgement before release. Longitude 1er Cru comes from Chardonnay grown in Vertus, Oger, Avize & Cramant (all Grand Crus with the exception of Vertus which is 1er Cru) and benefits from a longer time on lees and up to 2 years post disgorgement. Both wines have dosage of around 4g/litre (in comparison many Brut Champagnes average around 10g/l). Located mid-slope on Vertus, the parcels of Les Barillers and Les Faucherets, provide the Chardonnay for Terre de Vertus 1er Cru. This exquisite single-vineyard, single-vintage has spent 6 years on lees and is bottled with zero dosage after initial fermentation in oak barrel and foudre. The Bourron du Levant parcel on the East-facing slopes of Cramant hill, vines aged between 48 & 75 years, receives the early morning sun and produces rich and powerful base wines, fermented 100% in oak with batonnage. After aging on the lees for a minimum of 5 years it creates the Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant, bottled with 2 gr/l dosage. The newest to the range is the sculpted Les Chemins d’Avize Grand Cru, a blend of Chardonnay from the Chemin de Plivot and Chemin de Flavigny lieux-dits vinified and aged in oak barrels of various sizes and bottled with 2 gr/l dosage after 6 years on lees. 40+ Year Old Pinot Noir fruit from Vertus (and a splash of interplanted Pinot Gris, or Fromonteau as its known in Champagne ) is macerated with the skins for around 3 days for the magnificent and much lauded Rosé de Saignée 1er Cru. Fermentation is in stainless steel and around 20% concrete egg with dosage of around 3g/l.