Pierre Larmandier is well placed with his Grand Cru vineyard in Cramant, planted in 1960 and 1932 . This a minimal 'dosage', and is an 'Extra Brut', but the creamy texture, developed fruit, and subtle hint of oak gives a certain richness to this very delicious wine. L&S (Mar 2017)
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Our old vines in Cramant face south-east and are blessed with an exceptional terroir. Their deep root system and the diversity of the old stocks contribute to the complexity of the wine. Levant means the East, the first sun rays in the morning. The East-facing vines give particularly rich and powerful grapes, this is quite a magic place.The natural alcoholic fermentation (natural yeast) and the malolactic fermentation begin spontaneously in our casks and our wooden vats. The wines are left on their natural lees for nearly a year and undergo gentle bâtonnages, but no filtering or fining. If the year merits it, this cuvée will be bottled in July as a vintage. No need to blend, this is a single vineyard. Then the bottles are then taken down into the coolness of our cellars, where the second fermentation and the maturation 'on laths' quietly take place over a period of a minimum of 5 years. Each bottle is disgorged manually 6 months before being marketed. Winemaker's notes (Mar 2017)
Pierre and Sophie Larmandier are determined to make wines as true as possible to their origins in their different vineyards. These are split into around fifty separate parcels spread across the Côte des Blancs in the grand cru villages of Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Avize, and the premier cru of Vertus.
All but three of the parcels (representing 0.5 hectares) are farmed using non-officially certified biodynamic methods. Wines are made only from their own 15 hectares of vines, which are on average 33 years old. All of their Champagnes are the purest expressions of Chardonnay.
Working only with natural yeasts the influence of 'terroir' is all important to the style of his wines, so much so that he uses a minimum 'dosage' (if at all) so as not to mask the wines natural characteristics.
Pierre has recently changed the 'Tradition' cuvée, re-launching it as 'Latitude', and it is now also a Blanc de Blancs, with its origins in the vineyards south of Vertus. The old 'Blanc de Blancs cuvée, which is known henceforth as 'Longitude', comes exclusively from vineyards on the Cote de Blancs itself and is classified Premier Cru'.
The Pinot Noir is now reserved exclusively for Pierre's distinctive dark rosé and for the Vertus Rouge Coteaux Champenois.
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