The 2009 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant is showing very well, wafting from the glass with aromas of lemon oil, orange, English walnuts, drawn butter and dried white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, vinous and sapid, with a pinpoint mousse, excellent concentration and broad shoulders, underpinned by incisive but ripe acids and concluding with a long, saline finish. As Larmandier-Bernier followers will know, this bottling hails from a parcel of old vines—between 50 and 70 years old—in the lieu-dit Bourron du Levant in Cramant and matures for a year in barrels, large and small, before spending another seven or eight years sur lattes. It's typically the richest, most powerful wine in the cellar. Drinking range: 2018 - 2030 Rating: 95 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (May 2019)
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The golden-yellow colored 2009 Vieilles Vignes du Levant Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra is sourced from up to 90-year-old vines in the Bourron du Levant lieu-dit in Cramant. It offers a deep, intense, powerful and complex nose that reminds me of great wines from Burgundy or Jura. Rich, intense and endlessly juicy but also highly finessed and thus seemingly weightless, this is a very complex, persistently mineral and structured Cramant with great tension, finesse and generosity. It sounds like a paradox, but this is the old-vines Cramant from the Larmandier family. Disgorged in September 2017; tasted in April 2018. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 95 Stephan Reinhart, The Wine Advocate, erobertparker.com(Aug 2018)
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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