2011 Les Chemins d'Avize Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru Champagne Larmandier-Bernier
This vintage cuvee was a long time coming! Pierre knew for many years that his Avize vineyards were unique expressions of the village and merited a terroir cuvee like those of Vertus and Cremant. Historically, the vineyards of Chemin de Plivot and Chemin de Flavigny contributed to the Longitude cuvée, but in 2009 Pierre and Sophie purchased a smaller press to allow them to vinify the juice from these parcels separately. It is fermented in small Austrian oak barrels and receives only 2 grams of dosage. Winemaker's notes (Sep 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2011 Les Chemins d'Avize Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Extra Brut is from a southeast-facing vineyard and offers a deep, fresh, very elegant and flinty bouquet with pure mineral and floral aromas along with citrus, herbs and perfectly ripe, concentrated fruit notes. On the palate, this is a highly finessed and expressive Champagne from Avize. The wine has perfectly ripe, lush and concentrated fruit, and its finish is terribly long and intense but also clear, precise, fresh and very well structured. This is a great Champagne from Avize. Disgorged in September 2017; tasted in April 2018. Drinking range: 2018 - 2040 Rating: 95-95 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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