2013 Les Chemins d'Avize Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru
The 2013 Extra Brut Les Chemins d'Avize Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is floral and gracious, much more so than is common in Avize Champagnes, which tend to have more body. The 2013 is beautifully perfumed and ethereal from start to finish, with striking beams of salinity that confer tension. Candied lemon peel, white flowers, spice, hazelnut, dried flowers and chamomile are some of the many notes that are laced together. This subtle, wonderfully nuanced Champagne has so much to offer. It is the most restrained wine in this range. The Chemins d'Avize is a blend of fruit from Chemin de Plivot and Chemin de Flavigny, done in neutral oak. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. Disgorged: October, 2019. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Nov 2020)
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Disgorged in October 2019, Larmandier-Bernier's 2013 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Les Chemins d'Avize is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with a lovely nose of citrus oil, fresh apricot, peach and pear, complemented by hints of fresh walnuts and almond paste. Full-bodied, deep and vinous, it's layered and elegantly muscular, with a concentrated core of ripe fruit, racy acids and a long, mineral finish. Pierre Larmandier invariably excels in cool, late growing seasons, so the 2013 vintage was perfectly adapted to his talents. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 96 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate(Oct 2020)
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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